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Building Haiku from source

This is a overview into the process of building HAIKU from source.
An online version is available at

Official releases of Haiku are at
The (unstable) nightly builds are available at

To build Haiku, you will need to
 * ensure pre-requisite software is installed
 * download sources
 * configure your build
 * run jam to initiate the build process

We currently support these platforms:
 * Haiku
 * Linux
 * FreeBSD
 * Mac OS X Intel

Pre-requisite software

Tools provided within Haiku's repositories

 * Jam (Jam 2.5-haiku-20111222)
 * Haiku's cross-compiler (needed only for non-Haiku platforms)

The tools to compile Haiku will vary, depending on the platform that you are
using to build Haiku. When building from Haiku, all of the necessary
development tools are included in official releases (e.g. R1 alpha 1) and in the
(unstable) nightly builds.

 * Git client
 * SSH client (for developers with commit access)
 * gcc and the binutils (as, ld, etc., required by gcc)
 * make (GNU make)
 * bison
 * flex and lex (usually a mini shell script invoking flex)
 * makeinfo (part of texinfo, needed for building gcc 4 only)
 * autoheader (part of autoconf, needed for building gcc)
 * automake
 * gawk
 * yasm (
 * wget
 * (un)zip
 * cdrtools (not genisoimage!)
 * case-sensitive file system

Whether they are installed can be tested for instance by running them in the
shell with the "--version" parameter.

Specific: Haiku for the ARM platform

The following tools are needed to compile Haiku for the ARM platform

 * mkimage (
 * Mtools (
 * sfdisk

Specific: Linux
 * zlib1g-dev (for building GCC4 buildtools on Linux hosts)

Specific: Mac OS X

Disk Utility can create a case-sensitive disk image of at least 3 GiB in size.
The following darwin ports need to be installed:
 * expat
 * gawk
 * gettext
 * libiconv
 * gnuregex
 * gsed
 * cdrtools
 * yasm
 * wget
 * less
 * mpfr
 * gmp
 * libmpc

More information about individual distributions of Linux and BSD can be found

Download Haiku's sources

There are two parts to Haiku's sources -- the code for Haiku itself and a set
of build tools for compiling Haiku on an operating system other than Haiku.
The buildtools are needed only for non-Haiku platform.

Anonymous checkout:
  git clone git://
  git clone git://

Developer with commit access:
  git clone ssh://
  git clone ssh://

Building the Jam executable

This step applies only to non-Haiku platforms.

Change to the buildtools folder and we will start to build 'jam' which is a
requirement for building Haiku. Run the following commands to generate and
install the tool:

  cd  buildtools/jam
  sudo ./jam0 install
    -- or --
  ./jam0 -sBINDIR=$HOME/bin install

Configuring your build

The configure script generates a file named "BuildConfig" in the
"generated/build" directory. As long as configure is not modified (!), there
is no need to call it again. That is for re-building you only need to invoke
jam (see below). If you don't update the source tree very frequently, you may
want to execute 'configure' after each update just to be on the safe side.

Depending on your goal, there are several different ways to configure Haiku.
You can either call configure from within your Haiku trunk folder. That will
prepare a folder named 'generated', which will contain the compiled objects.
Another option is to manually created one or more 'generated.*' folders and run
configure from within them. For example imagine the following directory setup


Configure a GCC 2.95 Hybrid, from non-Haiku platform

  cd haiku-trunk/generated.x86gcc4
  ../configure --use-gcc-pipe --use-xattr \
    --build-cross-tools-gcc4 x86 ../../buildtools/ \
    --alternative-gcc-output-dir ../generated.x86gcc2
  cd ../generated.x86gcc2
  ../configure --use-gcc-pipe --use-xattr \
    --build-cross-tools ../../buildtools/ \
    --alternative-gcc-output-dir ../generated.x86gcc4

Configure a GCC 2.95 Hybrid, from within Haiku

  cd haiku-trunk/generated.x86gcc4
  ../configure --use-gcc-pipe \
    --alternative-gcc-output-dir ../generated.x86gcc2 \
    --cross-tools-prefix /boot/develop/abi/x86/gcc4/tools/current/bin/
  cd ../generated.x86gcc2
  ../configure --use-gcc-pipe \
    --alternative-gcc-output-dir ../generated.x86gcc4 \
    --cross-tools-prefix /boot/develop/abi/x86/gcc2/tools/current/bin/

Additional information about GCC Hybrids can be found on the website,

Configure options

The various runtime options for configure are documented in its onscreen help

  ./configure --help

Building via Jam

Haiku can be built in either of two ways, as disk image file (e.g. for use
with emulators, to be written directly to a usb stick, burned as a compact
disc) or as installation in a directory.

Running Jam

There are various ways in which you can run jam.

 * If you have a single generated folder,
   you can run 'jam' from the top level of Haiku's trunk.
 * If you have one or more generated folders,
   (e.g. generated.x86gcc2), you can cd into that directory and run 'jam'
 * In either case, you can cd into a certain folder in the source tree (e.g.
   src/apps/debugger) and run jam -sHAIKU_OUTPUT_DIR=<path to generated folder>

Be sure to read build/jam/UserBuildConfig.ReadMe and UserBuildConfig.sample,
as they contain information on customizing your build of Haiku.

Building a Haiku anyboot file

  jam -q haiku-anyboot-image

This generates an image file named 'haiku-anyboot.image' in your output
directory under 'generated/'.

Building a VMware image file

  jam -q haiku-vmware-image

This generates an image file named 'haiku.vmdk' in your output
directory under 'generated/'.

Directory Installation

  HAIKU_INSTALL_DIR=/Haiku jam -q install-haiku

Installs all Haiku components into the volume mounted at "/Haiku" and
automatically marks it as bootable. To create a partition in the first place
use DriveSetup and initialize it to BFS.

Note that installing Haiku in a directory only works as expected under Haiku,
but it is not yet supported under Linux and other non-Haiku platforms.

Building individual components

If you don't want to build the complete Haiku, but only a certain
app/driver/etc. you can specify it as argument to jam, e.g.:

  jam Debugger

Alternatively, you can 'cd' to the directory of the component you want to
build and run 'jam' from there. Note: if your generated directory named
something other than "generated/", you will need to tell jam where it is.

  jam -sHAIKU_OUTPUT_DIR=<path to generated folder>

You can also force rebuilding of a component by using the "-a" parameter:

  jam -a Debugger


Generally there are two ways of running Haiku. On real hardware using a
partition and on emulated hardware using an emulator like Bochs or QEMU.

On Real Hardware

If you have installed Haiku to its own partition you can include this
partition in your bootmanager and try to boot Haiku like any other OS you
have installed. To include a new partition in the Haiku bootmanager run this
in a Terminal:


On Emulated Hardware

For emulated hardware you should build disk image (see above). How to setup
this image depends on your emulater. If you use QEMU, you can usually just
provide the path to the image as command line argument to the "qemu"

Docbook documentation

Our documentation can be found in 'src/documentation/'. You can build it by
running 'jam' in that folder. The results will be stored in the 'generated/'
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