Haiku Distro Guidelines

The Haiku project believes that having one distribution (the one officially released by the project) is the best long term strategy to ensure success of the platform. Therefore anyone considering creating a new distribution should think long and hard before doing so. The project is very interested in working with anyone who feels they need a new distribution to add what they need to Haiku itself.

Haiku distributions must comply to the following set of guidelines. Haiku Inc. reserves the right to change these guidelines in the future.

Naming, Trademarks, and Logo

  • The trademark "Haiku" may not be used in your distribution's name. Choose a distinctive name in order to avoid potential confusion with the official Haiku distribution.
  • You are not allowed to use the official Haiku trademarks or logo.
  • You may use the official Haiku icons and artwork.


Distributions that comply to the following compatibility guidelines are allowed to use the "Haiku Compatible" logo which will become available when we release our base distribution.

  • You must not change or extend the API of the Haiku system libraries in any way.
  • You should not change, move, or rename any of the files and folders that are part of the base distribution's "system" folder without good reason.
  • Provide a version of AboutSystem that identifies your distribution and contains a disclaimer as described in this document.
  • Use the same GCC version as the official distribution:
    • for 32bit x86: GCC 2.95.3 Hybrid with modern GCC (currently 8.x) alternative GCC libraries
    • for 64bit x86: modern GCC (currently 8.x) only
  • Run the "configure" script with the parameter "--distro-compatibility compatible".


Please include the following disclaimers in a conspicuous place in your website, your AboutSystem version, and the documentation of your distribution:

<DISTRO NAME> is based on Haiku, but it is not the official distribution from the Haiku Project. For information about the official Haiku project, please visit https://haiku-os.org.

<DISTRIBUTOR NAME> is not associated with the Haiku project. To obtain support for <DISTRO NAME>, please contact <DISTRO SUPPORT INFO>.

Development and Alpha/Beta Releases

For development and alpha/beta releases please add this to the disclaimer:

This software is work in progress and has missing functionality as well as many (known and unknown) bugs. Use <DISTRO NAME> at your own risk.

Promotional Demos

If you want to help spread the word by creating a promotional demo CD or VM image you may ask us on the Haiku mailing list for explicit permission to use our trademarks and logos with your modified Haiku version. Please provide a complete list of modifications.

Promotional releases must be compiled either:

  • 32bit x86: as x86 GCC 2.95.3 Hybrid with modern GCC (currently 8.x) alternative GCC libraries
  • 64bit x86: as modern GCC (currently 8.x) only

The demo must show the following disclaimer in read-only form after every boot-up, and CDs must additionally be labeled with that disclaimer: "This promotional demo is based on unstable alpha Haiku code, and is intended for developers as a technology preview. This is not the official Haiku distribution (available at https://haiku-os.org)."

It is very unlikely that we will allow promotional releases to change icons, window decors, or other parts of the base Haiku experience unless there is a very good reason to do so (e.g., your target audience is visually impaired). Please concentrate on essential modifications (e.g.: software, fonts, translations) for your target audience. This will make it more likely that you get permission from us and it simplifies the validation process.