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HAIKU R1 Alpha 5 Release Notes

July 1st, 2014

These are the release notes for HAIKU R1 Alpha 5. For this fifth alpha release, we strove to provide an improved version of Haiku that is more stable, introduces more features for both the end-user and developer, and has a greater chance of properly booting on more hardware.

We have tried hard to make this release as good as possible. Still there are a few known issues and missing features, some of them collected below. Please keep in mind that this is alpha software, which means it is not yet feature complete and still contains known and unknown bugs. While we are mostly confident in the stability of this release, we do not provide any assurances against data loss.

Another goal that has driven the release of the Alpha 5 was to provide current and future Haiku developers an updated and (mostly) stable operating system to work on their software projects. Therefore we have included the basic build tools. This release of HAIKU is capable of building and running binaries using either GCC 2 or GCC 4. As this is alpha software, at this time no ABI compatibility is guaranteed with future versions of Haiku.

System Requirements

Haiku currently only works on x86 systems. The absolute minimum memory required to boot Haiku is 192 MB. Recommended memory for end users is 512 MB or more. Developers should have 1 GB or more. Haiku has been tested to work on CPUs as slow as a Pentium II 400 MHz, and requires as little as 700 MB of drive space.

New Features

This is a glimpse into some of the more notable improvements and additions to Haiku, since the previous release, R1 Alpha 4.

Bugs fixed More than 80 subtle bugs have been fixed, which were discovered by Coverity. Over 900 bugs have been closed as fixed since R1 Alpha 4 Experimental in-place OS upgrade The core operating system can now be upgraded using remote repositories. Package management. Haiku now has full package management with a graphical interface to browse package repositories and manage installed software. Haiku package management is unique as compressed software packages are mounted over the running system reducing boot time and improving disk performance. Haiku packages currently follow a rolling release model.

Updated WebPositive browser The native Haiku browser WebPositive now utilizes the latest WebKit rendering engine. This greatly improves rendering of modern web pages. WebPositive has also gained HTML5 video support enabling the playback of rich web audio and video content. Improved scheduler Haiku's CPU scheduler has been rewritten to provide better multi-core performance. Haiku now supports up to 64 CPU cores (and further growth will be much easier) Improved hardware support Various enhancements for hardware support, such as video drivers (radeon hd, intel extreme), and network drivers. MSI-X support activated in the FreeBSD compat layer (used with wireless cards). Improved hardware security Support for ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) and DEP (Data Execution Prevention) added. Improved software security Added KeyStore server for securely storing passwords. Improved virtulization support Addition of virtio block, scsi, and PCI drivers. Experimental TRIM support Manual SSD TRIM has been added (AHCI only). Numerous potential memory leaks fixed Update of the secondary compiler to GCC 4.8.2 Usage of compiler available via setarch x86 Update of OpenGL kit to newer Mesa3D 7.9.2 Improved OpenGL rendering.

Known Issues

LiveCD and first boot performance: After an initial installation or a boot into LiveCD mode, some background tasks are executed to finish the installation setup. This is known to degrade performance on the live media.

Due to the uncertain situation about patents, the official release has disabled code, which is known to be patented. This sadly includes the subpixel code used by FreeType. Once the situation is better understood and a decision has been made, subpixel font rendering may get re-enabled.

SSD TRIM is an experemental feature. While SSD TRIM won't trigger automatically, manually running it from the command line does have some risk of erasing data on the SSD device selected for TRIM due to the wide range of SSD devices on the market. Please have a backup and be prepared for dataloss before running fstrim.

Support for localization/internationalization is still a work in progress. Some applications might only be partially translated and have issues with long strings in languages other than English.

Firmware for some wireless network cards need user acknowledgement, prior to their installation. This includes Broadcom 43xx, Intel ipw2100, Intel ipw2200 and Marvell 88W8335. As a temporary measure, a script is included to assist in this process (available via

The IMAP protocol for the mail daemon replacement (MDR) has been removed from this release, due to concerns of losing server side data.

Due to size constraints of CDs, several developer related tools have been removed (e.g., hg, svn, cvs, python. They can be installed via pkgman or HaikuDepot)

Source Code

The source code of Haiku itself, the source code of the required build tools and the optional packages (except for closed source ones) is made available for download at:


Reporting Issues

There are over 3000 open tickets on Haiku's bug tracker and over 7700 closed items. If you find what you believe to be an issue, please search our Trac to see if it has already been reported, and if not, file a new ticket:


To see the list of tickets reported in Haiku R1 Alpha 5, visit:

For information about major issues that have been fixed since the release, visit: ​

For more help see the 'Welcome' link on the Haiku desktop, or visit the Haiku Project's website at:

Note: See TracWiki for help on using the wiki.