I am a Haiku enthusiast and was wondering whether others would try this on their Reform if it were available? Just to gauge latent interest and if there is any appetite to take it further at this stage.
Haiku is a modern desktop operating system inspired by BeOS.
So far Haiku has neglected its ARM port because it is more focussed on its RISC-V port. There is little spare resource in the Haiku scene to devote to the ARM port. Therefore MNT users with the required skills would have to roll their sleeves up or simply wait till there is an RISC-V CPU option available.
I used BeOS in 1999/2000 and even wrote some software for it (Melt, and an unfinished game), so I’m definitely interested in Haiku ARM.
One selling point for Reform is niche operating systems Genode and 9Front are recognised, first class citizens. A Register article - covering Redox - touches on both before concluding:
But if you want to actually try using something other than Windows or an established Unix such as Linux, BSD or macOS, then right now, Haiku is much closer to something usefully complete and usable.
Haiku would thus, in my opinion, contribute to the alternative operating system scene on Reform hardware. In my case, it would be a useful fallback if I could not get on with the more exotic alternatives; yet still being more adventurous than Linux.
There was some interest in getting RiscV SoM for Reform as well. If there happens to be a RiscV CM4 module that might be easier than porting Haiku to a new platform. Some modules like Linux-driven RISC-V module can plug into Raspberry Pi CM4 cluster carrier do exist but it is not clear they have enough matching peripherals to be usable in the Reform.
Haiku has its own vibrant and friendly Discourse forum and I have started a thread to discuss porting Haiku to Reform.
@minute, are you already known to the Haiku community and if so what’s your forum handle there? They enjoy sharing stories from the days of BeOS. My own is rather tragic - I was blown away by what BeOS could do but my computer got stolen a year later (this was around the year 2001 also) and I ended up on XP. Haiku is thus like bumping into an old flame whose time spent together was all too brief.
Haiku’s considerable progress towards RISC-V bare metal is discussed here.