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[1] Welcome
[2] The Deskbar
[3] The window widgets
[4] The shortcut key
[5] The Twitcher
[6] The Team monitor
[7] Window management: Move & Resize
[8] Window management: Stack
[9] Window management: Tile
[10] Workspaces
[11] Replicants
[12] Single window navigation
[13] Drill-down navigation
[14] Mounting volumes
[15] Filesystem layout
[16] Finding files with queries
[17] Wireless connection
[18] Getting more and updating software
[19] The end

Bienvenue dans la présentation rapide d’Haiku

While Haiku shares many ideas with other operating systems, it does have a unique approach in some areas that are worth pointing out. In just a few slides, you’ll learn about the most important Haiku features and peculiarities that’ll help you get a running start.

For each topic you can find a box with links for "further reading" that point to additional resources, like related topics in the Userguide.

La Deskbar

Further reading

By default at the top right corner of the desktop, the Deskbar is the hub of interacting with Haiku. You can start applications, applets and preferences from there, for example, and switch between running applications.

The Deskbar

The window widgets

Further reading
Haiku's GUI

Here's a typical Haiku window with its usual widgets:

A window and its widgets

Les raccourcis claviers

Further reading
Shortcuts and key combinations

The Keymap preferences let you switch from the Haiku standard ALT key to CTRL (Windows/Linux mode). This is a global switch, so for example quitting a program in the shell will then be done with ALT C instead the usual CTRL C.
This inconsistancy is one reason for the default ALT shortcut in Haiku.

Shortcut key: ALT vs. CTRL

The Twitcher

Further reading

Holding CTRL TAB summons the Twitcher where you switch between running applications.
Tapping the TAB key only quickly while holding CTRL switches to the last used application.

The Twitcher switching between apps

The Team monitor

Further reading
Team monitor

If some application crashed badly and maybe won't disappear from Deskbar's running application list, press CTRL ALT DEL to invoke the Team monitor. Here you can select an entry and kill a misbehaving app.

The Team monitor

A neat way to quickly get rid of an app hanging in the Deskbar is the Vulcan Death Grip.
Hold SHIFT CTRL ALT and click on the offending entry in the Deskbar. Poof!

Gestion des fenêtres : Déplacer & Retailler

Further reading
A quick way to move or resize windows

Haiku offers a neat way to quickly move or resize windows:
Holding down CTRL ALT will highlight the window borders nearest to the mouse pointer.
Click and dragging with the right mouse button will resize the window along the highlighted border(s).
Click and drag with the left mouse button to move it around.

Move with CTRL+ALT+left mouse button

Gestion des fenêtres : Empiler

Further reading
Stack & Tile

"Stacking" is putting windows on top of each other, automatically moving the yellow tabs into position.
While holding the OPT key (normally that's WIN on the keyboard), tabs change color when they overlap; drop the window to establish the stacking.
You un-stack by holding OPT and dragging a window out of its group by the yellow tab.

Stacking windows

Gestion des fenêtres : Le tuilage

Further reading
Stack & Tile

"Tiling" means gluing windows horizontally or vertically together.
While holding OPT, the borders that'll fuse together when you drop the window change color when brought near each other.
You un-tile by holding OPT and dragging a window out of its group by the yellow tab.

Tiling windows


Further reading

Workspaces are virtual desktops, complete with their own resolution, color depth and background.
Up to 32 of these workspaces can be set from the Screen preferences.

The Workspaces desktop applet can be used to change workspaces or to drag a window from one to another.

The quick keyboard shortcut to change workspaces is CTRL ALT / / / .
If you add SHIFT to that, the active window is taken with you to that workspace.

The Workspaces applet

Les réplicants

Further reading

Replicants are small self-contained parts of applications that can be integrated into the Desktop (and other programs).
Provided Deskbar's option to Show replicants is activated, replicants are indicated by a small handle.
You can drag & drop them by the handle onto the Desktop, where they are fully functional without their parent app running.

A weather app and its replicant

You can move a replicant by its handle and remove it with a right-click on it and choosing Remove replicant.

Navigation dans une fenêtre unique

Further reading

Double-clicking your way down folder after folder, you'll quickly end up with many open Tracker windows.
Holding the OPT key (normally WIN on the keyboard) prevents this as it automatically closes the parent folder.
Alternatively, you can activate Single window navigation from the Tracker preferences.
Show navigator will add back/forward buttons.

Using Single window navigation

Navigation par forage

Further reading
Tracker navigation

A nice alternative to opening a deep hierarchy of folders is called "drill-down navigation". Right-clicking a folder or anywhere in a Tracker window (or the Desktop) will open a context menu. Beside various expected commands, there's a menu of the current folder at the top that contains all its subfolders.
Drill your way down until you find the folder or file to open.

Drilling down folder hierarchies

Montage de volumes

Further reading
Mounting volumes

In order to access a harddisk, CD, USB stick etc., you first have to mount the volume. Once mounted, its icon appears on the Desktop.
This is done with a right-click on the Desktop or an already mounted volume (like the boot disk) and choosing the volume from the Mount submenu. You find the same Mount menu in the Deskbar. ISO images can be mounted with a double-click.

Before removing a USB drive etc., you have to right-click its icon and choose Unmount and wait for its icon to disappear. Otherwise you may lose data not yet written to it!
Mounting a volume

Filesystem layout

Further reading
Filesystem layout
Directory structure

While Haiku is currently not multi-user, there are already two branches in the filesystem tree:

The system hierarchy contains system files and settings for all users. The package management makes most folders under /system effectively read-only. Packages contain all their files in a fixed folder hierarchy. Upon installation, a package gets "mounted" and all its files just appear to be in that hierarchy in the /system folder.
The folders there (like add-ons, apps, bin etc.) are just a virtual amalgamation of all the installed packages and are therefore read-only. Exceptions are cache, non-packaged, settings, and var.
  • /system/packages/ is the default install location for software.
  • /system/documentation/ is used by some applications to store their manual.
The home hierarchy is your personal folder where you keep your data and settings. The folder /boot/home/config (or shortened ~/config) mirrors the /system folder described above and is likewise virtually read-only with the same exceptions of cache, non-packaged, settings, and var.
  • ~/Desktop/ is where the files of your Desktop live.
  • ~/config/settings/ is where the system and applications store your settings.

The writable non-packaged folders mirror the hierarchy of the /system or ~/config/ hierarchy (add-ons, apps, bin…).
Software that doesn't come in form of a HPKG package can be installed here.

Retrouver vos fichiers à l'aide de requêtes

Further reading
Filetypes, Attributes, Index and Queries

Files on Haiku formatted (BFS) volumes are quickly searched with Find… from the Deskbar. Instead of file and folder names, you can also look through filetype specific attributes, e.g. for an artist in your MP3 collection.

Finding all MP3s of an artist

Connexions sans fils

Further reading
Wireless networking
Network preferences

You can connect to your WLAN router either by right-clicking the NetworkStatus icon in Deskbar's tray,
or by selecting your network from the Network preferences.
When the connection is established, you'll be asked for the network's encryption and password.

Connecting with a wireless network

Obtenir plus de logiciels et les mettre à jour

Further reading

HaikuDepot from the Deskbar's applications menu is where to search, install and uninstall software packages.
Note, there are two tabs: Besides the limited number of Featured packages, you can switch to see a list of All packages (over 5,000 and counting).

SoftwareUpdater should be started from time to time to update installed software as well as Haiku itself.

Installing and updating apps


This is the end of the tour. We hope it helped you to quickly feel at home in your new OS!

For more detailed information, check out the Welcome page and the User Guide.
You can also join our Webforum and main IRC channel #haiku to get help or discuss your ideas.

The Haiku website has information how to get involved in driving Haiku forward. You can also make financial donations.

Visit the Haiku website at