Emulating Haiku in Xen

Virtual instances of operating systems are perfect for all kinds of testing purposes that need to be done in a safe and isolated environment. Installing Haiku in a virtual machine is a solution for people who do not want to install it on their physical computers, but wish to become familiar with it.

In this guide the Haiku operating system is being run under virtual circumstances using Fedora 27, Xen 4.9.1, and Virt-Manager, but you can use any distribution of Linux that is supported by Xen as dom0.

In this guide, we will be using an Anyboot image - it can be obtained here. Both the ISO and anyboot images 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.

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Installing Xen

For instructions on installing Xen on other distributions, the Xen wiki has links to installation documentations which can be found here

On Fedora 16 and above, you can enter the following into the terminal to install Xen and virt-manager (replace yum with dnf for Fedora 22 or newer)

yum install xen
yum install libvirt-daemon-driver-xen libvirt-daemon-config-network libvirt-daemon-driver-network virt-manager virt-viewer

The libvirtd daemon is by default not running, enable it on startup with

sudo systemctl enable libvirtd

To boot into Xen, on Fedora’s boot menu choose Fedora, with Xen hypervisor.

Installing and running Haiku from an Anyboot image

The following guide will describe the installation of Haiku on Virtual Machine, using an Anyboot image as an ISO. Once Xen is running and the Anyboot image is downloaded, you can start the installation.

First, create a new virtual machine.

First, choose the method of OS installation, which is Local install media in this case and click Forward.

Choose Use ISO image, and browse to the Anyboot image we have downloaded. Then, click Forward.

Here, we’re supposed to choose memory and CPU settings. It is better to assign more than 256M of RAM for smooth running ; too much, on the other hand, may cause a lag for the host. After choosing the memory size and CPU, click Forward.

Here, we can adjust the size of the disk image, or existing disk images. After adjusting, click Forward

Name the virtual machine, verify the settings of the VM, then click Finish

After clicking Finish, the VM will start and boot to the Haiku image. You can choose to install Haiku or boot to the desktop. Installation is simple and does not differ really from a physical one (follow the guides on this page if you are not familiar with installing Haiku).

Additional steps

Additional step 1. Creating a virtual network

The VM we created by default does not have networking. To create a virtual network, you can follow the steps below. If you want to create a bridged network instead, consult your distribution’s documentation.

First, on the virt-manager window choose Edit > Connection Details. The Connection Details window will appear. Click on the Add button in the lower left corner to add a virtual network.

Name the virtual network that will be created.

Here, you can customize the network address range. If you are fine with the default settings, simply click Forward

If you want to enable the IPv6 address range, you can customize it here. Otherwise, just click Forward

Here, you can forward the network packets of the VM to a physical network, or keep the virtual network isolated. If you need Internet connection on the VM, you should forward to a physical network connected to the Internet. When you are done, click Finish

The virtual network will then be created. Now, close the Connection Details window.

On the virt-manager window, right-click on the Haiku VM, and choose Open. Then, click on the button with the light-bulb icon to switch to the VM configuration tab.

If there’s no NIC hardware in the VM, click the Add Hardware, then choose Network.

After that, go to the NIC hardware on the VM, then choose the network source to be the virtual network we have created.

Now the VM should have a network connection.


Unable to connect to Libvirt

If, after running Virt-manager, you run into a pop-up saying that it is unable to connect to libvirt, then:

  1. Make sure the libvirtd daemon is running by issuing sudo systemctl start libvirtd

  2. Make sure you are a member of the ‘libvirtd’ group by running:

    sudo usermod -a -G libvirtd $(whoami)