What do I look for in a Haiku compatible Motherboard & CPU?

I have already read the forums where users let us know what computer or products they have and if Haiku worked on them, but that list is fairly old in computer years. Something sold in summer 2010 is already older model that more than likely discontinued. At least the one I looked up was already from a poster in summer 2010.

Anyway, I really want to build my first PC but it will be ONLY for Haiku, maybe Linux if I had to. I am a Mac user so don’t have a spare PC to tinker on. I did do the VMWare and ran Haiku but my fans in my Macbook Air went nuts and could not be throttled down so I would prefer to have a real desktop system running Haiku to learn on.

So, I don’t want to buy an expensive motherboard and CPU to find out it will not work with Haiku. That would royally suck.

So, are there some basic guidelines to follow to give me the best chance of buying a Haiku 100% compatible motherboard and CPU. I hear this VESA video word sometimes. Is that it, make sure it supports VESA?

Please offer basic guidelines I need to stock to so I have the best chance of building a Haiku only system.

I would like a AMD Phenom CPU of some kind. One that is new and current model. One that has 4 cores or maybe 6 if that works for Haiku.

Same goes for motherboard, one that supports current graphic standards and speed standards.



I was look at the new Phenom II X4 970 ‘Black Edition’ (3.5GHz, 125W, 2MB total dedicated L2 cache, 6MB L3 cache, 4000MHz HyperTransport™ bus, socket AM3). I guess why so high is because this will be my first and maybe only PC I build for a very very long time. Like a Mac, I try to get the most recent model at the time so I don’t get left behind. I would guess the extra horsepower could be used for gaming or other non Haiku apps if I end up exploring Linux or god forbid, Windows 7 .

Just want the most horsepower when I make this happen that I can afford.

Downloading a anyboot version right now. Will try on my Mac Mini and MBA and see what happens.

So, is it like most alt OS on Mac in that I boot holding down the OPTION key and then select the Haiku CD to boot from?


Have you tried Haiku LiveCD on your Intel Mac (MacBook Air)? LiveCD better than virtual machine but not as good as install. If you can do LiveCD then you can try installing Haiku to hard drive or usb key after. Some people have success running Haiku on Intel Mac systems.

On QEMU, the virtual machine maximizes one CPU causing my notebook fan to kick into higher gear too.

Most hardware works with Haiku. I can say that Core i3 works. So, does Atom systems. Some people use Core i7. AMD CPUs work too. I have not tested any Phenoms. Get a motherboard that has a chipset which has been around for about 2 years. Newer motherboard chipsets should also work but may not.

Anyone with newer system is using VESA driver. Modern video cards have VESA. Only thing, VESA modes are determined by graphic’s card video BIOS. You may not get widescreen modes & are limited to 60Hz (great for lcd but not for crt). Nvidia & ATI cards tend to have many VESA video modes whereas Intel may not.

Phenom X4 core should work. Can’t say for X6 core. Why so high end system? Haiku lacks any power hungry applications or games. X2 core should be pretty good to go with 785G or 880G chipsets.

Ok, I think you’ll be good with X4 working.

Careful with anyboot. Some programs don’t know how to burn it properly. I usually rename to .iso and burn how you would an iso image to CD. Otherwise, it might get burned as data file rather than image file.

Don’t have Mac so can’t say. On notebook, I either set boot preference in BIOS or hit F12 key for boot menu (to select device to boot from). Whatever gets you to boot from CD rather than hard drive is the right way.

My current Haiku development box has an Asus M2N68-AM SE2 with a Athlon II X4 620 that I bought at a great deal from TigerDirect a little more than a year ago. I might be forgetting something, but IIRC everything is supported. The integrated graphics are pretty decent, too. With the pervasive multithreading that Haiku has, running Haiku on a quad core box just flies, especially with compile times!

I run a phenom2 thuban 6 core with a m4n78pro MB. Works fine, everything works actually. The key with this quest is to make sure you use a properly supported chipset.

Who makes this motherboard you are using with the 6 core Phenom? Tj

Looks like Asus. His uses (Nvidia) Geforce 8300 motherboard chipset.

Not the best board for quality. Quite a few had issues with this particular board.

Asus is one of the top names for making great motherboards. So is Gigabyte which I prefer. MSI very good too but never tried them.

[quote=tonestone57]Looks like Asus. His uses (Nvidia) Geforce 8300 motherboard chipset.

Not the best board for quality. Quite a few had issues with this particular board.

Asus is one of the top names for making great motherboards. So is Gigabyte which I prefer. MSI very good too but never tried them.[/quote]

The board quality is fine, I have bui;t 6 machines with this board. I got a deal for buying 6 closeouts, It can be a bit sensistive to ESD, and the clock generator gets flaky above 250 on the FSB which makes overclocking a bit of a pain. The other parts is that alot of people are sledgehammer assemblers.

Either way the geforce 8300chipset is VERY compliant with the haiku drivers all the way down to audio and networking. I will confirm EVERYTHING works as it should.

If you use one of these boards or the 8300 chipset, make sure to disable plug and play options in bios.

aside from that, runs great.


I want to build a new PC with AMD Phenom X4 CPU too. And I want to use Asus M4A88T-I Deluxe
motherboard: chipset: AMD 880G/SB710, vga: ATI Radeon™ HD 4250 GPU, lan: Realtek® RTL8112L, wlan: Ralink RT2770F, audio: Realtek® ALC 889.
I want to build strong PC because I want it to use for years.

Can somebody tell me are these hardwares (chipsets) are working width Haiku / BeOS? I think the VGA, LAN and the Audio is not problem, but what about the WLAN? The WLAN is my preferred network connection. The mainboard has integrated Bluetooth adapter, but I do not know the chipset.


For Haiku, video would work with VESA & likely provide widescreen modes, wired LAN & Audio would work also but WLAN would not right now.

Haiku uses lots of BSD drivers for wired and wireless networking.

Haiku’s source repo has ralink2860 driver (have not checked image to see if included):

Which supports the following:
#define PCI_PRODUCT_RALINK_RT2860_PCI 0x0601
#define PCI_PRODUCT_RALINK_RT2860_PCIe 0x0681
#define PCI_PRODUCT_RALINK_RT2760_PCI 0x0701
#define PCI_PRODUCT_RALINK_RT2790_PCIe 0x0781


rt2770 is not listed anywhere in Haiku’s source so won’t work. I think it will go into ralink2860 driver when added later on. Colin handles wireless drivers. Best to ask on General mailing list.

I will test my wifes PC tonight and see if her 880g chipset motherboard will boot and work properly. I will report back. I think IIRC I tried to boot her PC before and was met with lots of problems. I belive there are a few bug tickets regarding the 6xx 7xx 8xx AMD chipsets. I will test and get back to you tonight.

The CPU will be fine.The motherboard is the larger concern.

Thanks for your answers. I checked the vga source code for Radeon, but I did not found the 4250’s ASIC in the source code. This mean I can use only the VESA modes? Cannot use acceleration?
These are the ASIC codes:
ATI Radeon HD 4250 RV610 95C0
ATI Radeon HD 4250 RS880 9715

And what about the bluetooth?

How about the Intel X58 Chipset? I am looking at the ASUS Sabertooth Motherboard and may get a 4x or 6x Intel i7 instead of an AMD processor.

Here is a link to the Asus board I am looking at. It has Chipsets North Bridge Intel X58 and South Bridge Intel ICH10R.

Would this board work?


Guys, you have to be careful with Northbridge/Southbridges. The newer they are the more likely you may encounter issues. Haiku does pretty good at support systems these days but no one can say for sure if it’ll work unless it gets tested. Could have chipset issues. That’s why going for motherboards with very common chipsets that have been out for 2+ years is best to ensure good support. In most cases, newer motherboards will boot but may have 1 or 2 small issues.

You can always try searching tickets to see if any show up to show any potential problems.

You can also join and ask on the General Mailing list.

VESA is very fast - same speed as accelerated driver right now. Graphic card drivers only available for older cards. Most of us use VESA modes in Haiku. Hard to notice a difference.

There is optional bluetooth package you can install (using installoptionalpackage). Not sure how well it works or how far along but you can test it.

Very nice motherboard. The graphics (VESA), sound & wired LAN look like they would be supported by Haiku. Can’t say if the northbridge and southbridge work well with Haiku. They should but only testing will tell for sure.

Haiku has a CPU/CORE limit of 8 which includes HyperThreading (HT). A 4X Core i7 with HT enabled equals 8 cores. More than 8 cores do not work. A 6X Core i7 would require disabling HT to work (check motherboard manual pdf for BIOS settings because some mobos may not give the option to disable HT).

Thanks for the heads-up.

By the way, is there an official list of what Chipsets have been confirmed to work?



I have seen this list. I guess I thought there was a list for chipsets also. Tj

well look up the chipsets for the supported boards.

I did test with a 760g chipset board and a phenom 9550 today. It hangs up on IRQ issues. I would call the 7xx chipsets a no go.