BeOS Build/Install

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

BeOS Build/Install

Postby RJDog » 2018-1-23 @ 13:27

Recently I have been thinking about getting an old 1994~1997 Mac. I still havent decided if I want a 68040 system, or first gen PowerPC, or second gen (PCI) PowerPC.... or even decided if I actually want to spend the money.

Anyway, long story short, that led me to an OS that I had nearly forgotten about... BeOS, the would-be contender for MacOS replacement, also released for x86 after they realized that probably wasn't going to happen. I remember trying out the BeOS 5 Personal edition back in 2001ish on the P2 I had at the time but having a less than stellar experience with i because the video card and sound card and network card were all not on the modest BeOS Hardware Compatibility list. Well, now I have a small collection of retro PCs and, shockingly, three of the built systems I have are fully on the Hardware Compatibility list for BeOS 4 and/or BeOS 5. They are:

Pentium MMX 166
SiS 5598 chipset and VGA (BeOS 5 only)
Creative AWE32
Intel EtherExpress 100

Pentium Pro 200
440FX
ATI 3D Rage II
Crystal 4236
Intel EtherExpress 100

Pentium III 667
i810
nVidia Riva TNT AGP (this is not what is currently installed, but I have one)
SoundBlaster Live!
Intel EtherExpress 100

So, yeah quite a gap between the MMX/Pro and P3 system; I don't (currently) have a P2 system.

Anyway, what are ya'lls thoughts on BeOS, and recommendation for what system/version I should run on? Right now I'm thinking of running BeOS 4 on the PPro system -- I currently have OS/2 running on it and could be interesting to try to dual-boot OS/2 and BeOS...

And, yes, I am fully aware and going into this know that this, much like OS/2, is going to be a "toy" system for me. I will not use it regularly or play games on it but moreso a "cool, look, see, I can run BeOS!".
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby gca » 2018-1-23 @ 14:40

BeOS is still being developed under the name Haiku - https://www.haiku-os.org - nice to see that its still around. Kind of a shame support fizzled out very quickly as it showed some promise from what I can remember.
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby BloodyCactus » 2018-1-23 @ 15:53

beos5 is super super limited, haiku nightly is much friendlier/better (even beos5 compatible, so you can still run gobe office).

I have it running on my super socket 7 k6 2+ 500 with 512mb ram, g400max. its very picky on my 3com 905c network card for some reason (must boot dos, dhcp a lease, reboot into beos so the lease is good + active).
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby RJDog » 2018-1-23 @ 16:45

BloodyCactus wrote:beos5 is super super limited, haiku nightly is much friendlier/better


Yeah, I think that's like saying "Windows 95 is super limited... Windows 7 is much friendlier". But that's not what we're about here in a retro PC forum is it? :happy:
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-1-23 @ 19:16

That's not what it's like at all. Imagine if someone had made a fully compatible version of Win98 for modern hardware. That's more what Haiku is.
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby BloodyCactus » 2018-1-23 @ 19:33

well, BeOS's problem, even in r5 is drivers and networking. haiku takes care of this so much more, I would not say Haiku is akin to win7 compareing beos to win95. Haiku is still very driver limited, so its not like its a free for all with whatever you want to just drop in. I ran R5 pro for about 6 months before sticking haiku nightly over the top of it. beos r5 networking stack is a DOOOG! ugh. BONE is better but not part of r5.

one thing tho, haiku needs like 2gb for install, beos r5 pe will install in like 512mb or so.

you can still install and run GoBE Production for than retro office in haiku, its binary compatible.

(I wish I had not thrown all my big software boxes away when I was a kid, I just kept the cd's...)
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby lolo799 » 2018-1-28 @ 11:44

I'd say put 4.5 on the Pentium Pro and R5 on the Pentium III, put a Voodoo 3 in one of them if you want hardware accelerated OpenGL for playing Quake 2 (or 3).

I have a few machines running BeOS only, Edirol DV-7 video editing machines viewtopic.php?f=25&t=44796 , a BeIA appliance viewtopic.php?f=25&t=44870 and my BeBox that is currently running the old DR8.

Get a PowerPC with a 603 or 604 CPU if you want to run old BeOS versions, keep in mind the limited compatibility list from https://web.archive.org/web/19970218184 ... ylist.html

There has been a handful of BeOS related threads on the forum in the past, look for them if you want some ideas for software to run on BeOS.
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby dionb » 2018-1-29 @ 23:01

I wouldn't recommend running BeOS (or Haiku) on your main desktop system, it's just too limited in terms of hardware and software support for that. But it's a great demonstrator of how well a sleek OS designed from the ground up for desktop UI and multiprocessing can work. I ran it on various dual/quad So7/8 systems and usually didn't get much further than GLTeapot, but being able to enable/disable CPUs on the fly and seeing the impact immediately was mesmerizing - particularly if you consider that at the time the alternative for SMP was Windows 2000, which was very resource-hungry and inflexible, or Linux, which could be lighter, but back then its desktop/GUI stuff was clunky as hell.

Not to mention the fast boot times and extremely snappy responsiveness. BeOS withered because of lack of applications and/or political/financial muscle to get them there, but most definitely not due to bad technical performance.

Was very frustrated recently - I have an old subnotebook with slow CPU that is painful in Windows or a Linux DE. Tried Haiku and it ran like a dream - but try as I might, I wasn't able to get the HD audio working :'(
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby ynari » 2018-1-30 @ 01:16

BeOS is pretty limited, wasn't even that good when released.. Yes it did some things well, but I was supremely unimpressed that its video codecs were inferior to OS/2 systems I'd been running for years.

If you want *really* limited, I've got a PowerMac 7200 running BeOS PPC.. That refuses to install if you use a high speed CDROM drive (the Apple supplied drive is ok).

The TNT is probably supported, BeOS' display driver list was very short.
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby seob » 2018-4-02 @ 19:57

Been playing with Beos today.
4F07B951-1259-4A81-84A7-F69906E96D0A.jpeg

Had a pc that i wanted to try, but the harddisk in it was broken. Had a hdd with beos installed lying around. Popped it in and it worked straight. Must say the pc uses a 440lx chipset, with pII-233mmx, 64mb ram, 3d rage ii, and sb 64 gold.
A89BE973-2708-4AB3-B073-775EA0712F1D.jpeg

I’m lucky enough i bought Beos 5 pro when it was new, so i got it boxed.
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby Davros » 2018-4-05 @ 21:46

I know beos works with multiple cpu's but does it work with multicore cpu's ?
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby lolo799 » 2018-4-11 @ 12:16

If you can find a somewhat recent (around 2007) motherboard supported by BeOS, it's possible, but you will still have problems with SATA and USB input...
Look here for details:
http://littlebluerodent.tripod.com/MIDI ... rdware.htm
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-4-11 @ 16:01

I think there's a lot of disincentive to not move to Haiku at this point.
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby Styrbjorn » 2019-3-13 @ 02:19

Do you have the voodoo 3 driver for BeOS R5 around ?

Been looking for this for a while now without success.

lolo799 wrote:I'd say put 4.5 on the Pentium Pro and R5 on the Pentium III, put a Voodoo 3 in one of them if you want hardware accelerated OpenGL for playing Quake 2 (or 3).

I have a few machines running BeOS only, Edirol DV-7 video editing machines http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=44796 , a BeIA appliance http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=44870 and my BeBox that is currently running the old DR8.

Get a PowerPC with a 603 or 604 CPU if you want to run old BeOS versions, keep in mind the limited compatibility list from https://web.archive.org/web/19970218184 ... ylist.html

There has been a handful of BeOS related threads on the forum in the past, look for them if you want some ideas for software to run on BeOS.
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby Styrbjorn » 2019-3-14 @ 21:51

Thanks but don't i need any specific voodoo 3 driver aswell besides the patched library ?

If i remember correctly there was a voodoo 3 specific driver back in the days.

btw. you don't have or know a good BeOS software archive that is still around ?

unfornatually i lost all my previus BeOS applications that i had saved on my old nas :(

lolo799 wrote:If you can find a somewhat recent (around 2007) motherboard supported by BeOS, it's possible, but you will still have problems with SATA and USB input...
Look here for details:
http://littlebluerodent.tripod.com/MIDI ... rdware.htm
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby Styrbjorn » 2019-3-14 @ 21:57

btw. here's a photo of my ibm intellistation pro m dual p3 BeOS machine :)
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby Styrbjorn » 2019-3-14 @ 21:59

and one of my slow as hell BeBox running R5 :)
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby Tuxality » 2019-3-15 @ 00:15

Styrbjorn wrote:Thanks but don't i need any specific voodoo 3 driver aswell besides the patched library ?
If i remember correctly there was a voodoo 3 specific driver back in the days.
btw. you don't have or know a good BeOS software archive that is still around ?
unfornatually i lost all my previus BeOS applications that i had saved on my old nas :(


http://pulkomandy.tk/~beosarchive/

Use search function on that site. There was also direct access to his repo IIRC, not sure if it is still available (try this for instance: http://pulkomandy.tk/~beosarchive/unsorted/).
You'll be able to fetch that OpenGL beta package (w/ accelerants for 3DFX Voodoo 3/4/5, ATI Radeon and Intel i810 - IIRC), BONE network stack for BeOS R5 / Dano (original stack sucks) as well as other goodies.
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby Styrbjorn » 2019-3-15 @ 01:50

yep the netserver is a pain in the ass.

I remember many crashes using the original networking stack :) BONE is a must :)
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Re: BeOS Build/Install

Postby Jo22 » 2019-3-15 @ 07:48

Styrbjorn wrote:and one of my slow as hell BeBox running R5 :)

Cool! Reminds me of the times when I played around with BEOS 5 PE on a Windows 98 machine (and later, Zet?a ;) ).
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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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