Emulating Haiku In VMware Fusion

There are several methods offered to install Haiku. Among those, only the vmdk and the iso methods are suitable for running Haiku easily on VMware Fusion. Basically these are the two methods that will be shown in this guide. The easiest of all is utilising the vmdk which is already properly configured.

Running Haiku from a VM image is recommended to avoid any possible problems. Unless it does not work, or you would like to simulate an actual installation, do stick to this method.

The required files can be found at on the Get-Haiku page of this website which is located here.

Both the vmdk and iso are available there, do select the closest mirror to enjoy higher transfer rates. Verify using the checksums to make sure that the downloaded files are not corrupted as they are big files. VMware Fusion is available for free on their website which can be found here.

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Running Haiku from a VM image.

Step 1. Downloading Haiku.

After downloading the VMDK image, unzip the file and in the folder, you will see a .vmx file.

Step 2. Opening the file.

Open the .vmx file and open with VMware Fusion. VMware Fusion will prompt if you would like to upgrade this Virtual Machine, it is totally up to you if you want to as an ungraded version offers support for new features, however, cannot be used with older versions of VMware Fusion. It is possible if you want to downgrade the Virtual Machine. After selecting your choice, VMware Fusion will start to boot Haiku.

Step 3. Finishing Up.

Wait for Haiku to boot and Haiku is now up and running! It is convenient, time-saving and easier to manage.

Installing and running Haiku from an ISO image.

This method is pretty much similar to installing on an actual machine, but a little more tedious than running Haiku from a VM image

Step 1. Downloading Haiku.

After downloading the ISO image, unzip the file and in the folder, you will see a .iso file. Under Virtual Machine Library, which you can use the shortcut Shift+cmd+L, click Add and then New.

Step 2. Creating a virtual machine.

At the Installation method screen, choose Create a new custom virtual machine.

Then, on the operating system type screen, for the operating system, select Other. For version, do take note to make sure that Other is selected. Do not select Other 64-bit. After selecting, click Continue.

Choose Legacy BIOS as the boot firmware.

Then, you can choose to use an existing virtual disk or create a new one. The default values should be enough to install Haiku. Click Continue.

Verify the settings of the virtual machine. We now need to attach the Haiku ISO to the virtual machine. Click Customize Settings.

We will be asked to save the virtual machine first. Name the virtual machine, and choose the location, then click Save.

Step 3. Configuring the Virtual Machine

The Settings window will now appear. Choose the CD/DVD (IDE) item.

Choose Use ISO image file, then browse for the Haiku ISO we downloaded.

To adjust the amount of memory the virtual machine uses, we go back to the main settings window by clicking Show All. Then, click on the Processor & Memory panel.

Adjust the memory amount as needed, by moving the slider to the right or typing in the new amount. Note that too much memory assigned to the virtual machine can slow down the host system.

Step 4. Starting the Virtual Machine.

Save the settings and power on the virtual machine. Once Haiku has booted, you can choose whether to run as a Live-CD (which does not have any persistency through reboots) or continue with the installation.

Step 5. Initialising partition.

Don’t worry if you see the warning saying Haiku can’t find any partitions to boot from. Click OK and we will setup the necessary partitions needed to install Haiku. Click Set up partitions. Before clicking on the device with the hard disk icon. Then click Disk > Initialize > Intel Partition Map…

Step 6. Selecting partition.

Select the new space and click Partition > Create.

It is important that you tick the active partition or else your disk will not boot!
Step 7. Formatting the new partition.

Format the newly created partition(s) by selecting the partition and clicking Partition > Format > Be File System… Accept the defaults and you should see something like the previous screen.

Step 8. Selecting your new partition.

Close the dialog box and select the partition you just created. Ensure that the partition is correct.

Step 9. Installing Haiku.

Begin the installation! Reboot once you are done, you should be able to see the Haiku desktop after you reboot. If you are stuck at the installation screen after reboot, disconnect the iso from the virtual disk drive and try again.

Step 10. You are now finished.

You have successfully installed Haiku! Have fun and refer to the Haiku User Guide if you encounter any problems.

Additional Steps.

Additional step 1. Installing the VMWare Addons

Haiku provides a vmware_addons package that allows clipboard sharing between Haiku and the macOS host, mouse sharing (so that the mouse can seamlessly enter and quit the VM window), and disk compacting (reducing the sizes of auto-expanding virtual disks). Install it with the HaikuDepot application from the Deskbar’s Applications menu.


Increasing the virtual disk size without reinstalling

VMWare Fusion allows expanding a virtual hard disk to be bigger, but take note that there is no way to reduce the size of your virtual hard disk once it starts to occupy space.

First, shut down the virtual machine if not already by clicking on the Virtual Machine menu > Shut Down.

Then, on the virtual machine window, click on the Virtual Machine menu > Settings. The Settings window will appear.

After that, choose the Hard Disk (IDE) item.

To expand the hard disk, move the slider to the right, or type in the new size. Then, click Apply