[SOLVED] What is installer going to do?

Yes, I know, it’s going to install. My concern is knowing just what it’s going to do to my hard drive. I installed the Haiku raw image into a partition, and I have three other partitions with Linux distros in them. I have edited grub.cfg so that I can boot Haiku.

The welcome screen offers two options: install or just run the desktop. I have only done the latter, but I think I would like to have an installed system that I can personalize.

So will the installer install Haiku in the partition where the raw image now resides? Or will it want to put Haiku somewhere else? And will it leave my GRUB2 bootloader in the MBR alone?


Essentially copy a bunch of files and nothing more. If you don’t have a bootloader you have to do that manually using a different program (BootMan), which means Installer doesn’t touch that.

You need to have BeFS formatted partition to install Haiku, and Installer will tell you which are available, so you can choose one.

Installer will just copy files from the currently boot formatted BFS partition to another BFS formatted partition of your choice and mark this partition as bootable. That’s all.


From Installer, you can open Haiku’s disk partitions tool, DriveSetup.
DriverSetup will allow you to add, modify and delete partitions from a disk (but you’ll be warned before doing it!) and format a partition as BFS volume (again, you’ll be prompted a big warning before doing it).

But you can perfectly use another disk tool under another OS, like GParted under Linux, to setup a partition
as a BFS partition, then reboot into Haiku and, bingo, Installer will propose that new BFS formatted partition as possible install target partition.

The install process is basically just copying a bunch of system and default files over, with some cares to avoid overwrite existing settings files, if any.

The only time Haiku updates your MBR (and thus screwing up your bootloader for your other partitions) is if you do so from the Install application’s menu.

You should be able to chainload the Haiku partition from grub similar to how you would do a windows partition.

Guys, I think you are missing Lane’s point. He “installed” haiku by writing the raw image to a partition on his hard drive. AFAIK this method will create a partition that is only as big as the raw image and will offer to “run the installer” or “continue to desktop” every time Haiku is booted. If Lane runs the installer, it will look for available (BeFS formatted) partitions on the hard disk, apart from the one that the installer is running from, and display them as targets. As a result of that Lane will not see any available targets when he runs the installer.

I think what Lane needs to do is to write the raw or anyboot image to removable media and boot from that media and then run the installer. That way he will see the Haiku partition on his hard drive as an available target and be able to install Haiku to it. He would then still be able to boot Haiku using grub since the installer creates a bootable partition but does not install a boot loader or otherwise alter the MBR.

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Yes you’re exactly right… usually the way I did this when I wante to install a Haiku CD image on my hard drive was write to to my linux swap partition and boot that… then install to my Haiku partition.

Then I could just reformat my Linux swap later…

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Thanks, everyone, for the responses. I’ve never done bootable flash drives, and I don’t know if my old BIOS supports them. I like the idea of using my swap partition as a temporary home for the raw image, and I think I’ll give that a try.


You’re BIOS has to be pretty darn old not to support USB booting… anything in the last 10 years probably supports it. Many computers even older than that still support it also although it’s more hit or miss.

Just for reference this is a Guide on how to chainload with grub2 https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/GRUB2/Chainloading

The “swap” approach worked for me, so I’m good to go. I copied the raw image to the Linux swap partition, edited grub.cfg so that it would chain load, and rebooted. Well, I tried to reboot. The GUI reboot just hung, so I used Alt-PrtSc-B to get things going again. Maybe Linux didn’t like losing its swap.

The installer worked fine. It’s a good thing I had given my target partition the label of “Haiku.” I was looking for /dev/sda8, and Haiku calls it /dev/disk/scsi/0/0/0/2_3


you probably should have done swapoff -a first.