This segment Shannon goes walking into Haiku, the successor to the beloved BeOS.

Have you ever heard of BeOS? BeOS was this classic operating system created by Be Inc in 1991 to compete against Mac OS and Windows. The GUI was clean and uncluttered, the API was written in C++, and command line interfacing was available. But, sadly, BeOS was never meant to be. Only the big fans use it these days, but another OS took off in it’s place. This Open Source operating system was called Haiku. Lucky for us, Haiku is being maintained to this day, with the newest release recently in May 2010. Haiku was first created back in 2001, under the term OpenBeOS, but wasn’t self-hosting until 2008. Today I’m delving into the world of Haiku to give you an introduction to this easy-to-use Operating System.

Haiku can be found at

It’s key features include:

A focus on personal computing
The custom kernel designed for responsiveness
It has a fully threaded design for efficiency with multi-processor/core CPUs
Rich Object Oriented API for faster development
A database-like file system (OpenBFS) with support for indexed metadata and a unified, cohesive interface
Haiku can be downloaded to your computer or you can download it onto a USB stick. Yay portable!

To install Haiku on a flashdrive simply follow these steps. You’ll need a decent size USB flash drive, mine for example is 4 GBs. The extracted files are less than 1 GB so you’d be fine with a smaller drive.

First download the anyboot image file from the download page: Also, download ImageWriter from so you can write image files onto a USB. You can unzip ImageWriter to wherever you want. I created a folder called ImageWriter and unzipped it there. Once the Haiku Anyboot image file is downloaded, unzip it to wherever you want again. Rename the haiku-anyboot.image file to haiku-anyuboot.IMG so ImageWriter sees it. Open ImageWriter, select the image file haiku-anyboot.img, choose your USB stick drive (and make sure to double check it like 7 times so you don’t end up overwriting your original OS!), and click ‘Write’. It’ll take less than 5 minutes to do so, but don’t remove the USB stick during the process. When it’s done, you can restart and boot onto the USB flashdrive. If it doens’t work the first time, you may need to go into your BIOS and chance the Boot list to your USB first, instead of your original OS hard drive.

Now that I have Haiku booting onto my laptop, I can show you a little bit about the OS.

Haiku is very clean and crisp, with no crazy stuff going on. It’s very unobtrusive and easy to learn. This ‘deskbar’ up at the top is where you go to find all your applications and change any customizations you want to make. I played with a lot of the demos and applications, and it gave me a general idea of how well this OS works. A couple of neat things I found out were:
You can open up and use the terminal
Built in file converter
Sudoku demo game

Haiku is open source, so there will always be new things added to it. So if you’re bored of your current OS and want to tinker around with something new, give it a try. There are great user guides and forums at their website, as well as a slew of other information. So, enjoy!

Email me at [email protected] if you have a fun program for me to check out on a future Snubs Report. We’ll be back after a word from Darren with this week’s HakTip.”

Haiku Walkthrough

1 Comment

  • Ankit Pundir

    I like this OS. This OS is great and give us new idea.
    Please told me that what is the difference b/w backtrack and wifislax.

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