So I’m sitting in my hotel room late one evening here in Tokyo, and for whatever reason I got a wild hair to try out Haiku in VMware Player (version 6.0.5 build-2443746, the latest). Maybe it was this recent article about it on OSNews that got me curious. Installation is certainly simple enough. And once installed it came up and allowed me to play with it a bit. It’s the first time in years I’ve tried Haiku, and from my experience with BeOS, it’s as close as I remember BeOS 4 and BeOS 5 running on one of my very ancient boxes around early 2000 (oh my, fifteen years ago…).
In this case I fired up the old GL Teapot demo and then brought up Windows 8.1’s resource monitor. 360 frames/second isn’t too shabby, especially for a VM. If I did decide to contribute or otherwise fool around with this OS, running it on the VM would certainly be quite doable. The only problem (so far) is moving files back and forth between the VM and the local host. I can’t install the VMware Tools on this VM.
Considering just how light-weight (i.e. resource usage wise) that Haiku is, it makes me wonder how hard it would be to port this to ARM and something like the Raspberry Pi 2 with its quad-core ARM v7 chip. There seems to have been some interest in cross-compiling to the earlier RPi back around 2012, and there’s a page on the Haiku wiki about compiling Haiku for ARM. Not that I have a lot of cycles these days. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I would certainly use it as an alternative to Linux on those boards.
Certainly something to think about.