What to focus improving in order to increase user numbers?

I must say it is impressive to see what Haiku has become, thanks to all the talented developers working on it for years and years. I’d love to see it get more attention. What do people feel are the areas that would help drive more adoption if addressed with the current state of Haiku? Here’s some suggestions for what it seems to me would as someone that has only recently really started to look at where this project is nowadays. I’m sure I don’t have a complete picture.

Graphics drivers

Without accelerated drivers watching video and web browsing doesn’t really seem viable so for me this seems like the number one thing to address. It would be very good to have some well-supported hardware that is commonplace and somewhat modern and I’m under the impression currently this doesn’t exist…

Modern web browser

Good browser gives you a lot especially on desktop. What’s available isn’t terrible but there’s certainly room for improvement.

Better wifi functionality

Somewhat works currently but seems fairly frustrating. Then again ethernet exists.

Server apps that expose more of what makes Haiku/BeOS unique

I think this one could make Haiku be utilized more without the need for people to replace their main desktop. To me it seems there’s a lot of potential to get value through this sort of thing out of BFS for example.


I don’t understand the server you mentioned.

I agree on a modern browser. Web+ is cool and there are Falkon, Otter and Netsurf.
Here is a even more complete list:

But we need Javascript and that’s still missing afaik. [Edit: At least Web+ crashes when stumbling over certain JS sites. And yes, it is already reported.] HTML5 is already in Web+ I think.

I think email is important, too. Good thing is: We already have two good email programs. One simple [Mail] and one advanced [Beam].

Also games are important. Xlibe and Wine make many games available, or?

More killer apps are Gimp and Blender. Both available, right?


Apps are okay I think, it’s possible to find something or some other analogue with some seek and find. Native applications are coming nice and slow. KDE ecosystem is great with more than a hundred applications, and most of them are already available on Haiku. Epiphany is also on the pipeline with great stability unlike all the other current web browser offerings.

What would help with the adoption is… having a stable release. Beta label is off-putting for many users and developers. The things needed to be completed in order to achieve stable status is another topic.

I think that the numbers will increase dramatically after first release.

Many people don’t need 3D graphics for anything, so for them to have Libreoffice & a web browser that works well; to be able to block advertising; cookie clearing; to be able to use a VPN; view videos & listen to music; Netflix & the like - all on a free OS that is uncluttered & elegant in its design, plus simple to use.

This will be a very attractive OS for many people I think.

Beyond that, devs will continue to polish; improve & add to Haiku. The growth in users & popularity will bring more help & funds to Haiku & things will happen faster (& easier) due to this.

That’s what I reckon, anyway. :wink:

Hello all,

since im really new to Haiku (~ about 2 weeks) I can share some impressions and thoughts from me and my wife who also tried it out for a few hours. Note that these points are just my/our observations and don‘t necessarily apply to a lot of people!

Main Points:

Web browser
As already mentioned a mondern web browser who can deal with all the javascript hell, we are forced to live with is essential. Netflix, Youtube, Spotify and so on .

Mail + Calendar + Contacts integration
Like Gmail or other service which integrates into the system and is synchronized across devices. Being able to import contacts and calendar would be great. There is the calendar application which can be used with gmail, but it didn‘t work for me when i tried that.

Webdav / Cloud
I would really like to synchronize my folders with some kind of cloud service like Nextcloud or Onedrive. Right now, if I do something on haiku, I have to export it (when on baremetal) to a usb device and then import it on another device.

I read somewhere that the devs are working on it, to implement something like apples bonjour/airprint service so they don‘t have to port millions of drivers which is a great idea. It takes some time so patience is key. Right now if I want to print something, the easiest way is to use Haiku in a VM with a shared folder and print from the host OS. (We have a network printer, so a direct connection is not used)

Also previously mentioned, the use of VPN.

Minor Points:

Quicklaunch /Search
Quicklauncher is a great tool! If there is a way to use it via a short cut (i.e. command + spacebar or like the windows button) this would be great. So far I couldn‘t find a setting to use it without opening it with my mouse first.

Software like Zoom, Teams etc. Doesn‘t need to be standalone programs, If there is good web browser, these can be done with that.

Like hard disk encryption (LUKS, Bitlocker). For people like me who travel a lot because of their work, disk encryption is essential in case the device gets stolen, so no sensitive data can be compromised.
Also email encryption like PGP or S/MIME would be nice.

Being able to use bluetooth headphones/headsets, or other bluetooth devices (mice etc.)

Keyboard Layouts
This one is most likely a non-issue for 99.9% of people since all the major layouts are available on Haiku. Right now im trying to figure out how to import some specific layout im using. If it would be possible to import layouts from Linux, it would be great. Best to just ignore this :smiley:

Everything else like the look and feel: Please don‘t change it! This is the main thing I fell in love with Haiku! It‘s a really nice and clean look which points out its functionality and doesn‘t bother the eyes while working with it. If people really want “modern” looks, just put more themes on the theme manager.

Just my two cents :slight_smile:
Have a good day!


There is ongoing work on this, primarily from @X512.

Honestly with RNDIS support, more WiFI support isn’t as necessary these days. Just connect your phone to a WiFi network or mobile data, plug it into the computer, then turn on USB tethering.

Improvements to WebPositive are underway which should facilitate this. @PulkoMandy would be able to speak better on this matter.

No. Haiku has a core mission statement to be focused on being a personal desktop operating system. While it is possible to host a web server with PoorMan, it is not recommended for exposure to the general web. A major reason why Haiku stands out from most open-source OSes is its devotion to desktop users. Without that, Haiku become just like the others; somewhat quirky, but overall more or less the same.


“What to focus improving in order to increase user numbers?”

Most pppl interested in development would probably want to work on some sort of cutting edge tech - like a new prog language, new feature, new type of app, etc. So being a legacy OS would be a problem in that area - as it has a kind of restriction in place.

Haiku - like other tech sights, like distrowatch, OSnews, Redox-OS, ReactOS, etc. - attract a posse of tech hackers / trolls, who are not only contributing but also making deliberately stupid posts under fake names to harass others, etc. News of this within the tech grapevine - or just being able to spot trolling activity - could be putting keen developers off from getting involved.

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These have nothing to do with each other. Watching videos should work totally fine without accelerated graphics. Unless you want to watch videos spinning on the faces of a 3D cube?

Not at all, Javascript is fully uspported in WebPositive.

Changing the label will not make the release more stable. It will raise false expectations and result in more people trying it, and more people being disappointed and leaving.

None of these are related to Javascript. Netflix needs DRM. Youtube and Spotify need proper support for web audio and video, not the stupid hack I wrote 10 years ago in half a day.

Not really working on it, there is a ticket on the bugtracker and we could try making it a GSoC project next year if a student is interested.

That’s a workaround but it’s still quite annoying having to keep your phone connected to the computer all the time. Not good enough for a serious release-quality system, but we’ll work on that. And we already have rather good support for a range of devices (even if we don’t do as well as Windows).

I am just doing minor updates with upstream webkit and small bugfixes for the last few years. No time for more from me. The idea is that if someone is interested in working on WebKit, they can start immediately by building it and fixing bugs, not by merging 2 or more years of changes from upstream as was the case when I started working on WebKit back in 2014.

What? Certainly such people will be shown the door very quickly here.

It happened a few times in the mailing lists due to more limited moderation possibilities there, but the mailing lists are largely dead now.


What I was getting at here was that it’s easier to get people to install a home server than it is to get them to replace their desktop so it would be the path of lowest resistance for Haiku to get a foot in the door that way and I think remote services that depend on Haiku’s functionality could be valuable.This kind of approach worked well for Linux back in the day although the downside in that case is that the desktop side never really gained much traction… BUT: It’s still really well supported on the driver side nowadays and there’s a nontrivial amount of people using desktop Linux.

I’m not advocating to drop or make the desktop side of things less important of course. Just for looking for ways that what makes it unique to be useful in that way too.

Well, GPUs do have hardware assisted video decoding features so I don’t think it is nothing but I could be wrong on the level of impact. My experience with Haiku as well as Linux graphics drivers has been that the basic ones offering no 2d acceleration have a really hard time with playing video though. I guess it could be coincidental and I’m always interested in learning more but my Haiku install that is relegated to using VESA certainly seems to be struggling hard with video playback.

While I think wifi support still has value I do agree that reasonable workarounds can reduce the importance of particular points quite a bit. The mentioned bluetooth support for example I don’t find that critical because there’s devices that don’t use bluetooth, adapters that convert between 3.5mm jack and bluetooth audio, just wired devices etc.

That is a pretty good point. It does seem like there’s some level of support for “trendy” programming languages on Haiku so in that way developers aren’t pushed away at least. Being a niche platform there’s probably more opportunity for working on apps and features when there’s not already a million different solutions to every problem also so I think Haiku is actually in a pretty good place in this regard. Despite being “legacy” in some ways there’s also some technologically interesting things about the system.

The problem though is that this would dilute the already limited resources that Haiku has for a somewhat questionable usecase of a home server. People who want a server in their home are very likely to be technically proficient enough to make one with existing OSes already, while everyone else would rather not manage their own server and leave that to someone else.

I would know, since I have set up home servers in the past. It doesn’t get any easier than using something like YunoHost or Syncloud on a spare computer or a Raspberry Pi, with most of the latter example’s setup being done through a mobile app that connects to the local server.

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Yeah, if we’re talking about some kind of a concentrated effort picking and choosing your fights is certainly a good idea. To me home server doesn’t seem questionable though, you could just as well argue that people are likely proficient enough with another desktop OS already.

I don’t mean Haiku should strive to be a generic server where you just run all the same stuff that you can run on Linux or *BSD but that its unique strengths being accessible over a network could be useful. Haiku could have something more to offer than the alternatives as a file server thanks to BFS for example.

To summarize something that many people have probably thought when reading this thread : “Patches Welcome”.

Devs develop Haiku in their spare time, doing things they like / want. And as described elsewhere, most of the points are already solved / reasonably working.


I am acutely aware of the fact that this is how open source projects work (except for paid work which could be more directed).

I don’t think this is a reason not to discuss it though.

You can use Haiku’s Shortcuts preferences to assign a keycombo to QuickLaunch, e.g. OPT+SPACEBAR. Shortcuts, unfortunately, is ripe for a makeover as it’s a bit complicated to use.
If you cannot figure it out, open a new thread and we’ll try to help… :slight_smile:


Answers like “Patches welcome” are not helpful, sorry.
It means you do not need a user base and you do not need a community, you are most on your own.
And this is simply not true.
The way to go is to go together give comments, advice, help and power!
To the dev and to the user.
The Haiku community is a special one and it will not work without respect, help and passion.

That said, it is a good thing to be in a small community for now!


I started a thread on the MX Linux forum yesterday. I looked at it this morning & it has had 140 views & 1 reply to which I made a reply.

The longer it is being used the more people will view it. Perhaps it will pull in the “odd” person to the Haiku community? :wink:


enterprise software, productivity software, tool software are what drive users. games are not important.

what can i accomplish eith haiku ? can i do my taxes ? keep books ? run a cnc machine ?

these are the things that rrive adoption, and the less painful it is for people to get shit done, the more they will use haiku and it’s software stack.

speaking of software, I’m in the market to fork Linux CNC and hire a developer to port it and write a natuve gui

anyone capable and interested lmk

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Now that consoles rule the gaming stack and high-end graphics cards are only just coming down from chip-shortage vintage prices, I’m becoming more inclined to agree with you. I’d rather have a car repair done right than have a few month’s installment on a gaming graphics card or a 4k UHD monitor.

I still think a statically compiled bytecode for package manager unification would help matters since everything uses the same GPU APIs regardless of the OS like WebGPU and WebGL, it’s predecessor. I’m not really looking so much into Wasmer as W2C2 for Haiku now. Both would still be nice though.

If looking for workers in IT, just look at who is about to topple because their workers will be reentering the job market soon. Twitter? Parlor? Meta? Who needs them when WebAssembly is decentralizing things? Soon decentralized communication infrastructure will be sufficient. Zoom seems comfortable but Jitsi Meet is more decentralized especially when reaching large crowds cheaply as the recession hits home.

Just as software and hardware support for cnc machines are important for you, so are the games for him. I don’t see any difference. different people, different areas of application.

I think you should think in general terms here, not include personal ones ;-).

You should be able to use software for everyday use. Mail, surfing the Internet, shopping, writing letters, managing photos, spreadsheets…


The problem with linux users is that they are mostly people who have a lot to do with networks, things for which haiku is currently not usable. We will probably read more negative things there.

But it is important to make haiku visible and to point it out again and again, because only in this way is the term “haiku” something that others can associate.