Boot Loader

Haiku's Boot Loader can help when you experience hardware related problems or want to choose which Haiku installation to start, if you have more than one (maybe on an installation CD or USB stick).
It's also handy after you installed a software component that acts up and prevents you from booting the system to remove it again. The Disable user add-ons option that's mentioned below, will start Haiku without loading user installed components, e.g. a driver.

To enter the Boot Loader options, you have to press and keep holding the SHIFT key before the beginning of Haiku's boot process. If there's a boot manager installed, you can start holding SHIFT before invoking the boot entry for Haiku. If Haiku is the only operating system on the machine, you can begin holding the key while still seeing boot messages from the BIOS.

Once it's there, you're offered four menus:

Select boot volume Choose which Haiku installation to start.
Select safe mode options There are several options to try in case of hardware related trouble or if the system becomes unstable or unbootable because of a misbehaving add-on. When moving the selection bar to an option, a short explanation appears at the bottom of the screen.
- Safe mode
- Disable user add-ons
- Disable IDE DMA
- Use fail-safe video mode
- Don't call the BIOS
- Disable APM
- Disable ACPI
Select debug options Here you'll find several options that help with debugging or getting details for a bug report. Again, a short explanation for each option is displayed at the bottom.
- Enable serial debug output
- Enable on screen debug output
- Disable on screen paging
- Enable debug syslog
- Display current boot loader log(Press Q to exit the log)
- Add advanced debug option
If "Enable debug syslog" is activated, a warm reboot after a crash shows these additional options:
- Display syslog from previous session
- Save syslog from previous session
Select fail safe video mode If you had to activate the option Use fail-safe video mode, you can set resolution and color depth.

After activating one or more options, you return to the main menu and continue booting, which presents you with this boot screen:


If everything works OK, one symbol after another quickly lights up.
The different symbols roughly correspond to these boot stages:

Atom Initializing modules.
Disk + magnifier Creating rootfs (/) and mounting devfs (/dev).
Plug-in card Initializing device manager.
Boot disk Mounting boot disk.
Chip Loading CPU specific modules.
Folder Final initialization of subsystems.
Rocket Boot script starting the system.