Why haiku can be better than linux in theory?

I know haiku is not better than Linux yet but, if we can imagine what skill from haiku are better than Linux or can be be best in the future? Just for discuss and debate what can do better.

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Well BeOS was better than GNU/Linux (on the desktop) back in the old days, so it’s possible. However, it’s going to take an army of contributors to catchup. GNU/Linux has really made great strides in the last 5 (or so) years in the desktop arena. Of course with GNOME’s latest (3.28) release, they’re taking steps backwards too (who needs desktop support?)! :scream: :unamused: :confused: :rage:


I only have one think thats better, and this is the startup and shutdown time.

It would be more easy to list that is not better on haiku :slight_smile:

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Haiku is a complete desktop OS and developed as such from the kernel to the user interface.

It’s a proper spatial desktop, where the last Linux desktop environments to be considered anything like spatial was probably ROX and Gnome 2 when configured to use it.

Translators, attributes, live queries don’t really have an equivalent in Linux DEs.

The speed of installation and being able to ‘install’ your system disk to another is quite unique.

I can think of more…



The main problem right now for me is hardware support. Apps you can always port over, Qt-based and Java-based apps work swell and snappy on the real hardware in Haiku. But the lack of support for modern graphic and audio devices is a big one. Popular Linux distros cover that in most cases, proprietary drivers aside. Even the opensource drivers for nVidia cards are pretty decent these days, especially when you compare it to the OS with no modern drivers at all. To reimplement at least some of that stuff in Haiku you need many skillful devs working full-time. The task of porting OpenOffice to Haiku is much easier than, let’s say, making a new native graphics card driver, using Linux one as a reference. Unfortunately, you can’t just copy and paste the code and it would just werk.

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A hybrid microkernel
An advanced, journaling, database file system
A native, mature windowing system
A single, clean, orthogonal API, rich object-oriented API for faster development
Custom kernel designed for responsiveness
Fully threaded design for great efficiency with multi-processor/core CPUs
Pervasive multithreading
Specific focus on personal computing
Unified, cohesive interface
The modular design


The lack of hardware support DioGren describes was just as much of a problem for GNU-Linux when I first started using as a desktop OS (about 15 years ago). My impression is that it was the Ubuntu project that changed that.

Ubuntu was the first distro to make desktop users a priority, not an after-thought. They put a lot of energy into negotiating with hardware companies to release their hardware with GNU-Linux drivers available, and ideally, share their driver code so it could be ported, or provide enough technical specs that GNU-Linux drivers could be developed from scratch. Canonical poured boatloads of cash into hiring software engineers to develop fulltime for Ubuntu, hoping they could build a business providing helpdesk for commercial Ubuntu desktop users, as Red Hat had with servers.

I wonder what the Haiku project could do to convince hardware vendors to provide either Haiku drivers or specs for developing them?

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It was also Ubuntu that started crapi-fying Linux (aka Windows-ifying, meaning bad design) backwards making it stray away from the strong points it has. I would also not claim Ubuntu having done this. Ubuntu has the big mouth and the big money behind it. The true champions in that domain do not sit with Ubuntu to begin with :wink:

I think it’s the useless trying to compare Haiku against Linux/Unix. The versatility and usage range of Unix is very broad (from Server to Desktop to MC and back). The design caters for this broadness. Haiku has a narrow usage scope (Desktop). The design caters for this. Doesn’t make sense to compare it.

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  1. Haiku was developed from the start as a single-user (BeOS originally) desktop OS. Linux started as a multi-user server OS.
  2. All that extra server baggage is bound to make Linux slower and more resource intensive than Haiku. This means much more RAM etc. available for games or resource-intensive intensive graphics and video applications.
  3. Especially for laptops, fast boot, sleep and shutdown is important. Haiku should beat Linux hands-down!
  4. Integrated, single desktop API. Much easier to write and deploy applications.
  5. Less legacy. Linux needs to remain backwards compatible with old technology/sofrware. Haiku, once release one is out (and BeOS compatibility reached, has much less clutter, making it easy to go in all kinds of new directions (e.g. fully 3D GUI, etc.) The foundation of being multi-processor and multi-threaded, has been lain from the start. Not an afterthought.

And this is just what I can think of now. Drivers and hardware remains a problem (e.g. my current laptop doesn’t have Haiku installed because of UEFI issues when I bought it). But if we can get one hardware company to support a “BeBox” kind of laptop, with Haiku installed from the start, this will be sorted. Once the users come (and the games :wink: , the hardware support will follow - a bit of a catch-22.

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Haiku is better in not being Linux than Linux itself. :wink:

Not just being the (n+1)-th Linux based OS already is a reason to look at Haiku.

Like in nature we need diversity in IT too!


I’m surprised that nobody has yet specifically mentioned the Tracker. For me, this is the single element that makes me so much happier to use Haiku that any version of Linux I’ve come across. (I’m currently using Mint, which seems a bit more user-friendly to me than other Linuxes.) I’ve been meaning to start a topic about the Tracker’s uniqueness for a while, but it seems to fit this topic.

Every other OS has a “File Manager”, which is a rather different beast. A File Manager instance can only view one folder at a time, so you are always navigating around and up and down. If you want to move or copy, you have to open another instance.

Tracker OTOH can have as many folders conveniently open as you like. And most importantly they are persistent! Close down your machine and you’ve lost all your File Manager instances. All your Tracker windows are still there when you reboot, so you can pick up where you left off.

I make good use of Workspaces, too. Typically I devote one Workspace to each topic I revisit frequently,. with all the relevant folders open there for quick access. For instance, I have a lot of music and midi files in various folders on my system, but one Workspace has them all sitting there for quick access when I feel like playing something. Similarly, all my photo and art-work folders are ready for me in another Workspace. I just counted, and I have 50 windows in 9 Workspaces…

Linux has Workspaces, too, but I seldom find them useful there. They’re of slight use on my rPi, which runs 24/7; it’s useful to have Terminals open on some of the processes, so I keep those in a ‘non-work’ Workspace, but on my Linux laptop, I never bother with them.

I suppose “in theory”, Linux could have a Tracker, too, but I don’t see it happening.


The term for what you like is “spatial file manager” and has been mentioned above. Popular systems have experimented with these, some power users like them (as it seems you do) lots of ordinary users just get lost. So they tend to go away again from systems popular with ordinary users, perhaps by first being a “pref” and then after years pass with few people changing the pref to spatial mode it is removed altogether. Still, not just “in theory” this capability is indeed available on minority desktops for Linux, including Enlightenment and MATE.

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there is nothing to add, yeti has summed it up perfectly :slight_smile:
i like the (open) idea of linux, but for me it is old wine in new wineskins.
the comparison is quite unfair, but haikus stability and speed on my vintage thinkpad says it all.
personally, i especially love the database-like file system.

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Linux is in our toothbrush, routers, notebooks, phones, sat tuners, smart TVs, supercomputers, …

Monoculture is not only boring – monoculture is dangerous!


Calling Linux “monoculture” is quite ironic given its Unix customizable nature is quite the opposite of it. After all you might know how Unix builds an airplane? :wink:


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haiku has a better focus on usability

  • It gives the feeling it is more responsive
  • everything is possible overUI (no need for console)
  • gives you more the feeling of beeing konsistent
  • easy to use
  • interacting with apps is kind of consistent (mostly support drag’n drop and so on)

So i thing its soo cool if we can make Haiku feel better than linux. :-D.


For me the main thing that makes Haiku better than other systems is the focus on keeping the UI reactive to user input. On any other system I always have the impression that the computer takes some time to handle user input, or the UI freezes whenever an application is processing something.

There are also a lot of nice ideas (damoklas made a great buzzword-enabled list) which could show their potential if only we were to get some native apps and not just ports of existing software. This includes application scripting with hey, using the filesystem as a database for structured data exchange between applications (both extending some ideas from UNIX shells into a more modern way of doing things).

There is also the aspect of caring for backward compatibility (old apps continue to run) and forward compatibility (old apps can use modern file formats thanks to translators, etc). Overall, I like the fact that the project has a long term vision with these things and cares about both the future and past (this is not the case with most Linux DEs, and as a result they keep rewriting everything from scratch every few years).

And yes, the Tracker as the only remaining refuge for us spatial navigation addicts.


I have to reboot linux at least 4 times in a day sometimes… But yeah it still plying music while all interface is freeze, this is something dont happen with haiku in my hardware.

Not theory but Haiku already does a lot stuff WAY better then Linux one of the biggest thing in my opinion being one seamless system, i love Linux, do so since SuSE 5.0 in fact but in the end it’s a well working Frankenstein but its Frankestein and one with many flaws that who knows when will be fixed.

Another thing Haiku already does better is media, drivers are a big biter on that one since the sound card support is rather lackluster but when it works, simply wow, even the crummy onboard of my test system, is on par with my Steinberg Audio Interface on Wincrap and just because the sound API so good already. Now im curious how good a real good sound card or audio interface would sound.

This is where Linux is utter garbage you have ALSA then you have Pulseaudio then you have JACK, SDL, gstreamer, its a mess and latency is bad. If you aren’t aware of the quirks you wonder why sound is so silent and even max volume wont make it better, well Pulseaudio has its volume slider and hey guess what ALSA has its own mixer before Pulse, guess how confusing this is for new people.

Also video playback i tested a video file that gave me a lot trouble under Windows as well Linux, getting it to play smooth rather tricky, Haiku played it butter smooth without hardware acceleration, makes me consider getting a thin client where i can slap Haiku on and set it up in my living room.

I could prolly find a lot more reasons but i will say one last one, Haiku is small, a similar Linux setup uses WAY more space, just because we have huge HDD’s, dosen’t mean we have to waste space kay?


As far as performance and memory usage (or lack there of) haiku is leaps and bounds ahead of linux. I can do very well with 256 MB of ram with a Pent III 1000 mhz cpu. Try that with a modern linux!! You can not, the install will use up the entire 256 MB of memory and crash!!! Meaning you can not even do the installation of linux! Haiku will not only install in that 256 MB of ram BUT YOU WILL HAVE ALMOST 1/2 OF THE RAM STILL AVAILABLE FOR OTHER APPS. All of which will happily multi-task away for hours at a crack. Of course, we will not even mention Windows 10 (oh crud, we just did mention it, oh well). 256 MB of ram for any version of Windows past say Win 98, is a total joke, you would be swapped into oblivion in about 3 minutes, the hard drive being literal toast from all that swapping.

So, I think any serious geek that knows the facts of haiku knows what I just said. And, talk about a dead horse, the dead horse if the thousands of additional man-hours that would or will be required to do modern hardware support in haiku. Unfortunately, a lot of that work is impossible. The vendors of the hardware refuse to make the specs of their hardware available to anyone. So, no support for that particular device in haiku, as we are not psychic!! Ok, enough of this… it is very old hat by now. Some insist that haiku will one day be “a contender”. I beg to differ.