Why still a 32 bit version?

I was of this same mindset when I first started testing out Haiku, so I get where you’re coming from.

While it might not seem a logical move to attract new users with old applications, that’s not really who the 32bit version is built for. It’s built to give continued functionality to BeOS software regularly used by people who enjoyed BeOS.

One does not necessarily have to have 32bit hardware to use a 32bit OS, and many users and devs themselves are certainly running the 32bit version of the OS on newer hardware for the simple sake of having access to those applications. Since nightly builds are automated for both 32bit and 64bit versions, there’s not really a labor issue keeping two separate spins going at once.

Even Canonical only dropped 32bit installer support a year ago with Ubuntu 17.10, and many of the other flavors of Ubuntu are only getting around to dropping it with their 18.10 releases this month. Still further, though, that doesn’t mean the 32bit versions of these OSes are actually gone or unsupported for the time being. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the last core Ubuntu LTS with a 32bit image, will be supported with new updates and fixes until 2021.

Seeing as Haiku hasn’t even hit a full and proper R1 yet, let alone a biannual release cycle with 13 years of stable releases built on a 25 year old system and running a kernel with the development scope of Linux, I don’t see a real issues with meeting the project’s initial goal before bemoaning how it’ll never take over the desktop world.

Let us not forget: even as ubiquitous, pervasive, and important to the fundamental running of the modern world as Linux may be, even it never won desktop majority. Certain Linux based OSes have done well, but Windows ships on every PC sold on multinational scales and OS/X on every Mac, and as long as it’s easy to use and affordable most users don’t care what they’re running.

For everyone else, though, there are alternatives, and Haiku aims to be an alternative. One that had a specific goal at the start and has grown from there while maintaining that goal in mind for their R1.

If you don’t need old BeOS application support, or 32bit hardware support, use the 64bit image. I do.


It is also worth noting that 32 bit Haiku has PAE support… so each application gets acess to several GB, if you have more than 4GB ram. So, compared to 32bit Windows it isn’t as artificially limited.

I think most people will move to the 64bit release once it achieves feature parity with the 32bit release. But Haiku will probably still provide the 32bit images for a long time as there is really no reason not to. Also many capable embedded CPUs are still 32bit because 64bit just adds cost/complexity.

Most operating systems use 64bit as an excuse to add nonsense bloat… and while Haiku has increased in requirements over the years it has been very slowly and with solid reasons behind the features added.


He is not trolling… he has a understandable question… and i am shocked that the haiku comunity goes the same way like the linux community years ago (one of the reason why i switched from linux to BeOS) following this RTFM paht…

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Well, the aggressiveness and recounting of his stellar past success do smell a bit trollish… :japanese_ogre:

Nevertheless, I agree that everyone should calm down a bit and not jump down his throat all at once. If you think you see a troll, just quietly back away and leave the thread. Even more so as @KapiX already hit all points to factually counter the wrong assertions.


As i did… And he IS a troll

Lol. “Not a troll”, but resorting to threats…

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Ideally, your education should tell you that using 32-bit software on 64-bit hardware is not only possible, but also recommended when you have 2GB (or less) RAM and you can’t upgrade because the manufacturer made it sure their customers are forced to buy a new PC instead of adding one more stick of RAM. Because someone who knows how software works, knows that 32-bit software requires less RAM, which makes 32-bit software better for PCs with low RAM.

Either you lack proper technical education or you’re willing to ignore it and make everyone else seem uneducated. So which one is it?


He is an IT Journalist… so he knows all things about you talk :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Can we all stop with the baiting now, please?
A path has to be left open to bow out more or less gracefully, if so desired. By taunting, this is made even harder then that already is.


Do you have any measures in mind should this whole thing start to escalate out of control?

We can always just close the thread. But I’d rather see people acting mature. It may also help in not escalating a situation the next time around…


All the sought after apps are only supported on the 32bit version of Haiku, like SoundPlay for example, which is arguably the most popular app for BeOS and Haiku.

I concur; it would be better if stuff like this can be deescalated more organically instead of having to use more heavy-handed methods. That being said, you never know when it’s time to exercise the more consequential powers of being a mod until it arrives…

Back to the topic.

It would still be nice if Haiku will continue to have a 32-bit version in the future. Considering how efficient Haiku is, it would be a shame if old computers wouldn’t be able to run it. Not to mention, some older 64-bit computers (netbooks probably) have shipped with 32-bit EFI; last I checked, only 32-bit versions of Linux can boot on these Frankenstein systems (besides Windows).

Other side of looking: tunetracker is the only commercial User of haiku for there Radio Studio solution. This is the point we need to look who need 32bit after r1 anymore. I does not know if the programs of tunetracker are recompiled for 64Bit.

32-bit Haiku has a simple 2G split like most 32-bit 1990s operating systems. Microsoft’s server and professional lines offered a 3GB split option, which trades reduced virtual address space in the kernel for more in each application if that’s what you want. So, compared to 32bit Windows, Haiku is more limited.

Haiku is trying to develop 32-bit compatibility for the first time at a point where other vendors are ceasing to support it (current macOS will warn you that your 32-bit apps won’t work in future OS versions for example), I suspect this is an illustration of where Haiku fits on a technology curve. “Check this out, a car phone!”.

32bit windows doesn’t have PAE unless you hack around it or run a server OS try again.

There is also the possibility that Haiku could implement a different memory split configuration Intel bug security

This line of reasoning seems like it should work, but, not so much. I would not recommend a 32-bit OS if you have 1GB or more RAM because the virtual address space is too tight. A lot of unfortunate shenanigans can be avoided by just having many times more address space than RAM, as a 64-bit OS does.

On Intel the difference is even greater. Long Mode is how you do 64-bit on x86-64 and it comes with more general purpose registers, guarantee of a more normal FPU and other benefits. So giving up Long Mode (to run a conventional 32-bit OS like the 32-bit Haiku) is a high price to pay even if you only have 512MB of RAM.

Linux has an ABI to try to salvage the benefits you’re talking about while keeping Long Mode, the x32 API. But x32 is generally felt to “not live up to the hype”. It makes programs a bit smaller, but not by as much as you’d hope and so they don’t end up much faster.

As long as they are still compatible…

One good question is if 64 bit Haiku (future) needs to provide both compatibilities with gcc2 and gcc7 as the 32bit do now. I guess that … yes, to keep the old aps running where needed.

PAE was a supported feature of 32-bit Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

What’s the point if it isn’t enabled or is actually set below the limit as in many versions of Windows. Even windows 10 still sets it at 4GB artificially gimping their 32bit OS.

XP sets it at 4GB… install 8GB and it is not seen unless you go mucking about to try and enable it.