In praise of HaikuOS

Arindam Basu
2 min readFeb 8, 2024

… and how it breathed life into an old hardware

I am writing this post on an old (read ancient) slow computer, an Acer One (1 gb RAM and 300 gb hdd) with absolutely horribly laid keyboard, but running a spiffy Haiku OS using the Falkon browser. I just discovered Haiku OS and I am mighty impressed. It is an open source free operating system, and Unix based, but not Linux. It is in beta but it can be a perfect candidate for daily driver, depending on your needs.

Installation is easy. You can download the image from their webpage at

and then burn it on to a USB drive with

dd if=<the file.iso> of=<dev/sdb> (this was my address for my usb drive, yours will be different

Then, select to boot from your USB drive and off you go.

If you choose to install on your device, then remember to partition the hard drive accordingly, and make sure your /boot partition is at least 20GB, because post installation, you need to install software, so you need a large boot space, and also they create your home directory in the boot partition.

The system boots into a window manager so you do not have to install a separate window manager, and everything is intuitive. There is no provision of a root user, so you can install software with pkgman install whatever where whatever is the software you want to install. It automatically identifies the dependency and install for you. This cannot bve easier to use.

The OS seems to have a limitation that the web browsers are lacking: for instance, you will not get a firefox or chromium browser, and their default stock browser is webpositive. Webpositive is good as is, but I found, searching in their discussion group, a better browser named Falkon, in which I am typing this.

It has most of the software we need, with LibreOffice and Calligra for office productivity, and R, and Python, and Rust etc for development, it has Emacs and Vim (but not neovim, although it has kakoune for those who like modal editors). It does not yet have texlive in it, neither pandoc for that matter. It does not have julia, which is kind of deal breaker for me, but with Falkon, I can access juliahub, so I am sorted for now. I will eventually either build a julia package for this OS myself, or look for one.

All in all, with Falkon browser, Haiku OS is a fantastic free open source operating system. Love it!



Arindam Basu

I am a Medical Doctor and an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury. Founder of TwinMe,