Computer emulation is a very handy tool, not only for users, but also for developers. Obviously running Haiku under native hardware is preferred (due to better performance), but this is not always an option. Manufacturers are often reluctant to release hardware specifications towards developers, and they are therefore often left to
the difficult task of writing hardware drivers from scratch - it is a plague and barrier for smaller operating systems. Since Haiku can not possibly support all the hardware available, the release of Haiku disk images that are compatible with leading industry emulators is a logical choice. Also, users may not be confident in natively installing pre-alpha software onto their computers, leaving emulators as a 'safe' and attractive option to test out Haiku.
Emulators attach to your hardware and usually emulate more common hardware on top. Because the hardware is now the same, and is fixed and consistent, development under emulation can also be consistent - bugs can be easily replicated as well,
eliminating suspect hardware. A couple of Haiku developers develop under emulators occasionally and realize their importance towards the development of Haiku.
Haiku runs very well under several of the major emulators such as Vmware, Virtual Box, and Qemu (has also been shown to run under Parallels and Virtual PC). Most emulators are cross-platform, and can be downloaded from the following locations:
Of all the emulation options, Vmware, Virtual Box, and Qemu are well supported without the need for format conversion or tinkering (should work 'out of the box'). Haiku under Vmware is the fastest emulation option (on a subjective basis), and has driver support for networking, audio, and video. Virtual Box has Vmware disk compatibility yet the audio isn't yet supported.
Haiku under Vmware
under Virtual Box
under Q (Qemu)
Where Can Haiku Disk Images be Downloaded?
Haiku's disk images are usually built on a daily basis, and can be downloaded here:
- Raw (Qemu compatible)
- Vmware (Virtual Box compatible)
Using the Disk Images
To use Haiku under Vmware, simply unzip the archive and execute the included *.vmx file. To use the disk image under Virtual Box, you will first have to create a virtual machine and add the Vmware disk image manually. For Qemu, rename the raw disk image to: haiku.img and man