Where is Haiku R1?

Blog post by kallisti5 on Mon, 2017-10-09 10:48

Haiku released R1 Alpha 4.1 on November 14th, 2012. (5 years ago next month).

Since our last release, we have seen a huge number of groundbreaking new features slip into the nightly code including package management.

Along with the addition of Package Management (which was added pretty shortly after R1A4), we were presented with the massive task of building “all the ports” into packages and maintaining their dependencies within our repositories.

New infrastructure

Haiku, Inc. recently approved the purchase of a new larger server to replace our aging (and full) baron server. This new server is only slightly more expensive, has 4x the amount of RAM as baron (16GB to 64GB), more disk space (3TiB to 4TiB), and a much newer i7-7700 (vs the aging i7-3770).

This new system has been named maui (In honor of BeOS R5's engineering code-name.)

We plan on better leveraging our resources by reducing our dependence on full virtulization of core infrastructure. We plan on doing this by leveraging docker containers and outsourcing anything we can to external services. For example, Haiku's main website has been hosted by Netlify for quite a while now. These changes to offload the “simple” things help distribute the risk, while leaving more of our dedicated server resources free for the “less simple” things.

Baron over the years became a unique snowflake of complexity, hidden from everyone except the system administrators. Our new docker container approach makes our services more portable, and maintained in the light of day. maui leverages docker running as non-root with enforcing selinux to ensure persistent data security. Anyone who wants to spin up our infrastructure can simply do so based on the infrastructure git repository. (minus critical sensitive user + application data of course)

The work to transition to the new maui server is on-going as time permits.

Waiting for package build automation.

One reason getting Package Management ready has taken so long is the need for a builder (and hardware resources) to perform mass-builds of software. Most operating systems have a full-time team of people to write such a system; however we only have a few individuals working on it in their free time.

mmlr has been developing and improving the haikuporter buildmaster and feels it is almost ready for production use.

Build services

With the newly free resources, we now have the capacity to place the Haiku package builders on the new maui server. With our simplified infrastructure, we can keep these systems behind a NAT to ensure their security while building software, without risking downtime of critical production services such as git.

The reduction of dependence on the personal hardware of our developers and community should help improve the reliability and security of our critical package build systems.

So, where is Haiku R1?

Keep in mind plans can change as we determine what works and what doesn't. This is a lot of uncharted water for us, however there seems to be consensus with these plans for the moment.

With all the infrastructure changes and improvements, paired with the bug fixes in our master Haiku branch, we are slowly and steadily moving towards the R1 Beta 1 release which will live in its own R1(!) branch.

R1 Beta 1 installations should slowly roll towards the final R1 release via package updates. R1 Beta 1 is going to be a big step towards our first stable release.

The exact dates are still not solid. I know we have been saying “soon” for quite a while… but soon.