Having experimented and used BeOS R5 back in the early 2000’s, when its company was just going down, I have been following with some interest the development of Haiku during all these years. While one can argue that the old BeOS and Haiku both miss some important features to be considered modern OSes these days, a lightweight operating system can be, for instance, a good way to bring new life into old, or new but less powerful, hardware.
I happen to have two 10 years old Mac computers that are still in use, but would benefit from the speed improvement. From time to time, I load the current Haiku in VirtualBox to see how it’s going, but it’s not the same as having a native operating system. So, when I heard of the beta release, I decided to give it another try.
Here is my brief report of how it went.
MacBook 13” 2.4GHz (Early 2008)
It boots from dvd, but not from USB, and works at full res (1280x800x32). I just needed to disable APIC and ACPI during the boot sequence.
- Only one processor core.
- Does not turn off automatically.
- Seems to record audio using the internal microphone, but apparently there is no audio output.
- No Wi-Fi.
- No iSight câmera.
- Trackpad works, but without secondary button and no scrolling.
MacBook Pro 15” 2.2 GHz (Mid 2007)
On the other computer, a 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid 2007), I have only been able to run Haiku in a virtual machine. It does not boot from USB (the same issue I have found when trying to run Linux), and the DVD drive has been replaced by an hard disk drive long time ago. I did several tries using two different USB sticks, an external USB hard disk drive, Etcher and Refind, a FireWire cable, the other MacBook, the install DVD, and I did every procedure that came to my mind using those tools, without success.
So, in this MacBook Pro, I am now stuck with VirtualBox. It allows to use the full screen resolution and shares the host’s network interface, so wifi works in this case, which is a plus. However, there is no sound at all and it’s very slow, which is perfectly normal when doing virtualization in a 11 years old laptop, but certainly does not give the same nice feel we used to appreciate on BeOS.
My current only hope is that maybe it can be done by extracting the SSD and doing the install externally using the other MacBook. I had promised myself I wouldn’t tear down this laptop ever again, but I may change my mind soon, for a good reason.