Sunday, November 30, 2008

Attempts to natively install Haiku on MacBook and Dell Desktop

After my great success yesterday of getting both Senryu and Haiku booting off extended partitions on my EeePC 901 (giving me a quadruple boot system on this tiny machine), I thought I'd like to see whether I could get either one operating on any one of my other two computers.
Installing was no problem and was the same as I'd used on the EeePC, i.e. download a raw image, unzip it, dd it to the selected partition and then run makebootable from the Haiku buildtools I had built.
On the MacBook, the selected partition was /dev/sda3 but it wouldn't boot. It got to the boot page where those little icons light up one after the other but then it invariably gave a kernel panic. Examples are:

i) Page fault, but interrupts were disabled. Touching address 0xccccccd8 from eip 0x800499ad
Thread 34 "ehci cleanup thread".

ii) Page fault, but interrupts were disabled. Touching address 0xccccccd8 from eip 0x8004998d
Thread 7 "page writer" running on cpu0

iii) Did not find any boot partitions.
Thread 13 "main2" running on cpu0

In googling around, however, I did see that this behaviour is typical for attempts at booting Haiku on a Mac. A solution seems to be to disable some drivers prior to the boot such as ehci and Intel_Extreme.
However, even after getting it to boot, apparently a lot of the mac's equipment doesn't work so you need a USB keyboard and a USB mouse among others.
Doesn't look like it's worth the trouble for the moment.
I also tried both Senryu and Haiku (basic image, 34 MB d/l 230 MB expanded) on the Dell. Again, installation was simple and trouble free but, once again, neither booted. What happened this time was that on selecting either Haike or Senryu from Grub, the screen went black and no Haiku boot splash appeared. However, after about 1 minute a pale blue screen (seemingly 1024x768) with a mouse pointer hand which wouldn't move showed up. But everything was frozen and a hard reboot was needed to get things moving again.
So, of my three computers, only the EeePC works at all with Haiku. This suggests that Haiku is very limited at present in its applicability to much hardware given that's it's still in a pre-alpha phase. I suppose I'm lucky that I managed to get it to work on the first computer I tried as otherwise perhaps I would have given up.

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