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.

index Boot Loader Options

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
Puts the system into safe mode. This can be enabled independently from the other options.

Disable user add-ons
Prevents all user installed add-ons from being loaded. Only the add-ons in the system directory will be used. See Troubleshooting below.

Disable IDE DMA
Disables IDE DMA, increasing IDE compatibility at the expense of performance.

Ignore memory beyond 4 GiB
Ignores all memory beyond the 4 GiB address limit, overriding the setting in the kernel settings file.

Use fail-safe video mode
The system will use VESA mode and won't try to use any video graphics drivers.

Disable IO-APIC
Disables using the IO APIC for interrupt routing, forcing the use of the legacy PIC instead.

Disable local APIC
Disables using the local APIC, also disables SMP.

Disable SMP
Disables all but one CPU core.

Don't call the BIOS
Stops the system from calling BIOS functions.

Disable APM
Disables Advanced Power Management hardware support, overriding the APM setting in the kernel settings file.

Disable ACPI
Disables Advanced Configuration and Power Interface hardware support, overriding the ACPI setting in the kernel settings file.

Blacklist entries
Allows to select system files that shall be ignored. Useful e.g. to disable drivers temporarily. See Troubleshooting below.

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
Turns on forwarding the syslog output to the serial interface (default: 115200, 8N1).

Enable on screen debug output
Display debug output on screen while the system is booting, instead of the normal boot logo.

Disable on screen paging
Disables paging when on screen debug output is enabled.

Enable debug syslog
Enables a special in-memory syslog buffer for this session that the boot loader will be able to access after rebooting.

Display current boot loader log
Displays the debug info the boot loader has logged (press Q to exit the log)

Add advanced debug option
Allows advanced debugging options to be entered directly.

If "Enable debug syslog" is activated, a warm reboot after a crash shows these additional options:

Save syslog from previous session during boot
Saves the syslog from the previous Haiku session to /var/log/previous_syslog when booting.

Display syslog from previous session
Displays the syslog from the previous Haiku session

Save syslog from previous session
Saves the syslog from the previous Haiku session to disk. Currently only FAT32 volumes are supported.

Select fail safe video mode If you had to activate the option Use fail-safe video mode, you can set resolution and color depth.

index Troubleshooting

If Haiku refuses to boot on your hardware from the get-go, try out setting different options under Select safe mode options. Consider filing a bug report in any case.

On the other hand, if Haiku only suddenly acts up after you have installed some software, especially hardware drivers, you have several options to get Haiku bootable again to make things right by uninstalling the offending package again:

index Booting Haiku

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.