Running Haiku Release 1 Alpha 4.1 in VirtualBox 4.2

Blog post by 4997 on Thu, 2012-12-20 00:15

I’ve had some time to play around with Haiku R1A4.1 and got it working nicely in VirtualBox, running under Windows, and also on real hardware. Along the way I made a few notes (InstallingHaikuR1A4.html) on how to get it going. I’ll describe the significant things you need to know in the rest of this blog post.

The existing tips and instructions (search for Blog tag “virtualbox") are still useful, however after the problems I had with R4A1’s hard drive IDE controller support, the main change to the Haiku VirtualBox Instructions page is to set up the virtual hard drive controller in AHCI mode. I was able to boot a SATA drive on real hardware in IDE-Enhanced mode (before I switched the BIOS to AHCI), but I didn’t test it much.

As well, I was able to get the virtual machine to use a real disk with Windows 7 as the host OS. It’s tricky, and requires a second disk drive since Windows 7 security prevents you from writing sectors to the boot drive. The VirtualBox documentation describes it well enough, and you do need to run VirtualBox with the “Run as administrator” option in Windows. However, once it’s working, it’s quite convenient for building Haiku in the VM, copying it to the real drive, and then rebooting to run it on the real hardware.

There are also some problems with getting Haiku disk partitions to boot in VirtualBox, but if you use the BootManager instead of the old MSDOS style MBR boot loader, it will work. I assume GRUB and other modern bootloaders will similarly work.

I still have to try the VirtualBox Guest Additions for Haiku, but it works well enough without them.

I did have to tell VirtualBox that my display could do 1080p video (you can add your own VESA video modes), and Haiku then picked it up in its screen preferences. Pity I can’t do that with the real hardware - the monitor shows up as only 1400x1050.

Meanwhile, I should get back to fixing up VNC to work in Haiku - currently it mostly works but crashes when the screen resolution changes.