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Haiku is a free and open source operating system compatible with BeOS. It is in active development.

Using Haiku

You can use Haiku in different ways:

Since Haiku is in active development, the nightly builds are recommended over the previous "official" release.

Please keep in mind that, even though there is a lot of hardware that is supported by Haiku, there is a lot more that is not supported yet.

Add Haiku To The GRUB Boot Menu

If you choose to install Haiku, you can add it to the list of operating systems in the GRUB boot menu.

In Linux, edit the "/boot/grub/menu.lst" file. Add this section:

 title        Haiku
 rootnoverify (hd0,0)  # WARNING: Replace these numbers with your own drive and partition numbers
 chainloader  +1

And reinstall GRUB:

 # grub-install /dev/sda  # WARNING: Replace "/dev/sda" with your own primary drive name

Sharing Files Between Operating Systems

Haiku can mount and read EXT3 file systems. In Haiku, click on the deskbar "leaf" menu and select "Mount".

Conversely, Linux can mount the Be File System.

 # mount -t befs /dev/sda1 /mnt # Replace the drive name and number with your BFS drive
Note: Linux refers to the BFS as "befs" to avoid confusion with the UnixWare Boot File System.

Optional Packages

Optional packages are packages that are packaged by the Haiku developers but are not maintained by them. You can install them when using Haiku with the "installoptionalpackage" command.

$ installoptionalpackage -l # List optional packages
$ installoptionalpackage -a pkgname # Install a package

Here is the list of the current optional packages.


This section is just to give you a simple idea of "what to do next", after you finish booting into Haiku. All of this software can be installed with the official installoptionalpackage command.

  • Web Browser
    • WebPositive
    • BeZillaBrowser (an old Mozilla build, very stable)
  • Media Player
    • MediaPlayer (comes with Haiku, plays music and videos, includes playlist support)
  • IRC
    • Vision (the Haiku developers use #haiku on Freenode)
  • Text Editor
    • Pe (comes with Haiku, programmer's editor)
    • Vim
  • Bittorrent
    • Transmission (CLI)
  • Image Editting
    • WonderBrush
  • Scripting
    • The Terminal application uses BASH.
    • Perl
    • Python

Haiku Ports

"Haiku Ports" is an effort to port software from the BSD ports tree to Haiku. It is very easy to install and use. Installation instructions are here:


And a list of packages can be found here:

Please keep in mind that, even though a lot of software is listed on Haiku Ports, some of it is a work in progress and is not fully functional yet.