Proposal for Haiku reference hardware

Hello Haiku Users and Developers,

I have quietly followed the project for six years, installing Alpha 2 on an elderly Pentium III system and Alpha 4 on my ThinkPad workhorse. Haiku interests me, not for its compatibility with BeOS software, but for its combination of cohesion, performance, flexibility and open-source licensing, that I have not seen from any other desktop software platform.

Today, Haiku is not yet ready as a production environment, and hardware support is still limited, so one can not expect to be able to utilise all features of their computer’s hardware, even with all the drivers available.

In the light of this, and in the light of the Beta 1 release still somewhere on the horizon, I would like to propose a specification for a custom PC, parts being in the region of a mid-range system (£400-£600), where functionality is complete under the platform. That means, for instance, that the features of the graphics card are met to a degree similar to the equivalent driver under a Windows PC (hardware acceleration etc.).

This would serve as a development kit where, if one were to purchase a system with identical parts, or build the system themselves, they could expect it to work without modifications in Beta 1. In the fullness of time there could be a specification that catered for other price brackets, if there is demand.

The motive is to increase interest in the platform and provide an avenue to market it ahead of the final R1 release. BeBox may have been a gimmick at heart but it allowed the underlying product to be taken that much more seriously, especially by Apple. I think there is the same opportunity here.

Sounds like a good idea to me. :slight_smile:

Once ValeT’s config test site currently under development at https://dry-bastion-46138.herokuapp.com/ (feedback very welcome) is filled with people’s test results, I shouldn’t be a problem to pick and choose what works best.

Though that of course still doesn’t mean it’ll magically support any hardware accelerated graphics…

Regards,
Humdinger

Yeah, to be clear, haiku doesn’t support hardware accelerated graphics at all.

But in principle the idea is good. The config site is really nice, but it would be really great if there was a news article that could point to a specific machine that works perfectly. Perhaps one of those miniature desktops, a particular laptop and, if possible, an ultrabook as they are the new trend.

I think the idea of a target specification has some merit.

One downside is some diversion of resources from getting to R1 Beta. On the other hand, having a target hardware specification may help by minimizing hardware related issues while the rest of the code is polished.

So far, it seems that blessing a given system for Haiku involved booting it, installing it, and running a few applications. Beyond the end checklist, has a list been put together of all the various things to be checked and what are the expectations?

I would like to see Haiku-OS on the tablet. Maybe, in the beginning, the one that with the Intel processor.

Not sure that is entirely true… there is Rudolph’s NVidia driver I believe it provides Hardware Accelerated OpenGL. Only for older Nvidia cards though.

if haiku get the 3d acceleration i will give free my games only for this “Os”

I have thought about the idea of having development hardware in the past, and even tried to - unsuccessfully - pitch it to a few of the core devs.

I think for starters the common hardware needs to be x86 and relatively cheap and basic.

There is a development board called the minnowboard that is available:
http://store.netgate.com/Turbot.aspx

The Intel NUC is range of “barebone” PCs that are well suited to Haiku userspace/app developers:

There is a brand new x86 mini board that looks interesting and I don’t think the developers know about it yet:

The Gizmo board from AMD is a little pricey:

The AMD boards sold by “PC Engine” seem to be more reasonable:
http://www.pcengines.ch

X86 boards from VIA can be picked up pretty cheaply as well.

It might pay to contact tunetracker to see if they are willing to sell a Haiku development kit:
http://www.tunetrackersystems.com

I understand that users and developers benefit from a list of well-supported hardware. Which will be a result of people testing their hardware and submitting those tests to ValeT’s site.

What I’m not too clear about is if there’s a need for an ‘official’ development machine.
Are there developers that are unable to work on Haiku software and that would consider buying a dedicated machine instead of just running in a VM?
Wouldn’t they rather pick components from the supported-list to make their existing machine more compatible?
Aren’t the main reasons for incompatibilities driver issues, things like UEFI and USB3.0?
Wouldn’t a development machine that circumvents those current driver obstacles be counter-productive as it hides the state of those areas?

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, just thinking out loud really. I’d be attracted to a sexy little Haiku box as much as the next guy. :slight_smile:

Regards,
Humdinger

You are right! There’s even a very recent (6 days ago!) update to provide dual head support (http://www.rudolfs-place.nl/BeOS/NVdriver/index.html). How have I missed this in all my years of haiku?!

How do I post a reply to him on that site?

Hi!

Hehe, I could find my login stuff back and update my mailadress :slight_smile:

Anyhow, the nVidia, Matrox and Neomagic drivers do support accelerated 2D graphics, overlay and hardware cursors. But indeed, Haiku does not support 2D acceleration by default (from the looks of it it could be enabled though: in that case it would use the, now considered old, acceleration hooks (blit and fill mostly). Still I’d love to see that activated as on AGP and especially PCI cards that speeds up things still quite a bit.

3D acceleration is supported on older nVidia graphics cards indeed, looks like driver 0.80 and alpha 4.1 3D driver was the most recent (still old though!) release from me.

I’ll update my site a bit more (have to look at wayback machine to recover some information as I posted my drivers on bebits, now down, in the past). Don’t know if 3D would still be able to work, it’s based on a old MESA version lib with the driver hardcoded in there. If that can still be dropped in place it should work I guess.

If I can find some time I’ll try to have a look at that to see what’s possible in that respect. But free time is still very limited for me I fear…

At least I’ll post info about (changed) status on my site again.

Bye!

Rudolf.

Sounds like a great idea and would make the hardware support mystery less mysterious.

Rudolph: this is really great! Is there some information about which cards are supported by your driver? Would be interesting if I have a machine around here that can use it!

If the specification could include a reasonably recent nVidia card, with PCI-E and all the modern luxuries, then that would be fantastic.

I noted your mention of retrieving some of your old posts on BeBits from the Wayback Machine.

Unfortunately, it will not be possible to do so as the owner of BeBits (and HaikuWare) had enabled an anti-crawling robot.txt.

You might be able to retrieve by communicating directly with the owner - I have seen name and contact information in previous forums regarding the demise of BeBits and HaikuWare.

Good luck.

I’ve come up with a draft spec:

  • Samsung SH-224FB - standard DVD rewriter, in white to match the case
  • Evercase KM1380 - Micro ATX case. I envision printing the 'Haiku' logo on the case for the purposes of volume distribution
  • Intel Core i5-5675C - this has Intel's best integrated graphics, which is important as the open source drivers for Intel's are the most polished out of the three major GPU manufacturers
  • Gigabyte Z97M-DS3H - Micro ATX motherboard with LGA1150 and decent I/O
  • Crucial 4GB PC1600 DDR3 x 2
  • BeQuiet 300W TFX PSU
  • WD Black 500GB HDD - Haiku's trim support is still not quite there yet, hence the magnetic drive for the time being

Comments?

I’m glad you’re pursuing this endeavour. It’ll be nice to figure out the hardware compatibility state. Once Haiku B1 rolls out, I plan to get new PC hardware for it, until then, it’s all VirtualBox for me.

For the record, I swapped out the HD in my Dell Latitude 2120 for an SSD. (Crucial BX100 250 GB). Everything runs smoothly, but I haven’t seen the supposedly amazing performance boost, either in Haiku or Linux. IMHO, rather invest in more RAM.