Would people actually buy a nice box of Haiku R1?

It has been suggested on the mailing list the possibility of having boxes made for Haiku R1 (paid for via pre-sales, so there’s no upfront cost).

I’m curious as to whether any thinks people would actually buy boxes of a free os that can just be downloaded, copied on CDs, etc…

The concept was to have some very nicely designed boxes with Haiku CD, manual, and maybe even a collectible object.

I would definitly buy it. Though admittedly, I would be happier with Haiku on USB in the box.

Just a CD box? Well, I might. What would excite me more though would be if a group of people built computers specifically for Haiku and sold them with Haiku pre-installed. As it is today, it’s almost impossible to buy a complete computer with decent specs (Not in parts) without it coming with Windows.

If the box looks nice, contains a nice manual and includes a professionally pressed CD, I would buy two boxed editions!


I believe that the answer is yes and no. It depends on the region of the market. Many people who will use Haiku are those who are technically able, and so wouldn’t buy a whole new PC when they could easily download and install the OS. On the other hand, we all know that Haiku is simply perfect for small home computers, and low-power laptops for the less technically learned. When wifi is fully supported, it may be an idea to see if any manufacturers are interested in pre-installing Haiku onto these types of computers. So, it’s a tough question. If I were doing this, I would leave it a while until a larger number of people use Haiku, just to make things simpler in terms of money.

I think what a lot of people might miss is that this would actually end up making money, or at the very worst, breaking even. There would be no up-front money required to make a box. Basically, it goes like this:

  • Ask for pre-sale purchases of the box.
  • If there are enough pre-sales for a production run, the people are charged (if not, the process stops there and nothing is made).
  • Any extra money is used to make additional copies beyond the pre-sales.


  • No cost to Haiku at any point (In fact, Haiku doesn’t even need to be involved except to give it’s approval.)
  • Potential to make some money (or just break even most likely).
  • Major psycological factor (it really means something to have a nice physical box to many people) and it says a lot about the project.