Compiling Haiku for Arm

Haiku can be compiled for devices leveraging the ARMv7 or later processor architecture.

Please ensure that you have obtained a copy of Haiku’s source code as described in Get the Haiku Source Code if you have not already done so.

The state of the ARM port is extremely early. Roll up your sleeves and help out!

Create a Compiler Toolchain

Building the ARM compiler toolchain is quite easy using Haiku’s configure tool. For a complete list of flags for the configure script, see Haiku’s Configure Options

From the Haiku source directory, run the following to compile the build tools (be sure to adjust the options to match your build environment):

mkdir generated.arm; cd generated.arm
../configure -j2 --cross-tools-source ../../buildtools --build-cross-tools arm

Building an MMC (SD Card) Image

Once you have a complete ARM toolchain, you can build a Haiku MMC disk image via jam -j2 -q @minimum-mmc This will generate an MMC image suitable for booting Haiku on real ARM hardware devices or in emulators like QEMU.

The generated MMC image only contains Haiku software. Most physical ARM hardware devices will require extra binary bootloaders (including u-boot). Users can leverage the Rune tool to post-process generic Haiku ARM images for their target ARM device.

Building raw disk images

It’s possible to build separate disk images for the bootloader and Haiku software. The image esp.image contains the EFI system partition with Haiku bootloader. The image haiku-minimum.image contains the BFS file system with Haiku kernel and software packages. These images are useful mainly for development purposes, when running Haiku in an emulated environment.

jam -j2 -q @minimum-raw esp.image haiku-minimum.image

Emulating Haiku

The ARM images can be emulated in QEMU with an EFI firmware like TianoCore or U-Boot.

It is recommended to use u-boot binaries available from Haiku firmware repository in u-boot/arm/qemu folder.

Emulating Haiku with U-Boot firmware, using the unified haiku-mmc.image image file:

qemu-system-arm -bios u-boot.bin -M virt -cpu cortex-a15 -m 2048 \
    -device virtio-blk-device,drive=x0,bus=virtio-mmio-bus.0 \
    -drive file="haiku-mmc.image",if=none,format=raw,id=x0 \
    -device ramfb -usb -device qemu-xhci,id=xhci -device usb-mouse -device usb-kbd -serial stdio

The location of the ARM TianoCore firmware will vary based on platform. This example is for Fedora, with raw images esp.image and haiku-minimum.image:

qemu-system-arm -bios /usr/share/edk2/arm/QEMU_EFI-pflash.raw \
    -M virt -cpu cortex-a15 -m 2048 \
    -device virtio-blk-device,drive=x0,bus=virtio-mmio-bus.0 \
    -device virtio-blk-device,drive=x1,bus=virtio-mmio-bus.1 \
    -drive file="esp.image",if=none,format=raw,id=x0 \
    -drive file="haiku-minimum.image",if=none,format=raw,id=x1 \
    -device ramfb -usb -device qemu-xhci,id=xhci -device usb-mouse -device usb-kbd -serial stdio

Be sure to examine the uart console in QEMU for debug data from our bootloader / kernel.

Running on real hardware

While the 'structure' has been setup to get Haiku booting on real hardware, more work needs to be done to make it work reliably.

Generally, you’ll need to “post-process” the Haiku MMC image for your target ARM device. The Rune tool was designed for this purpose. It will download the necessary binary blobs to get Haiku running and inject them to the MMC image.

Provisioning an SD card directly

Be sure to replace /dev/sde with your SD card block device.

rune -b rpi2 -i haiku-mmc.image /dev/sde

Creating an SD card image

rune -b rpi3 -i haiku-mmc.image /home/alex/haiku-rpi3.mmc
dd if=/home/alex/haiku-rpi3.mmc of=/dev/sde

Adding support for additional ARM hardware

If upsteam u-boot supports your board, open a ticket to with the details and help us expand our inventory of supported devices!