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BeOS 5.0 Available for Free - But Not Yet 227

A huge number of people have submitted over the last few days/weeks that BeOS5.0 will be free. You can grab it from - although I hope you've got a fast connection.Update: 03/28 01:22 by H :It doesn't appear to be ready yet - and we have an anonymous source at Be, who claims that there were some show-stopping bugs in the code, even up until last night. Could be hoax though, as it appears to be rolling now. They also announced that they are open sourcing (No license that I can see) the User Interface components Tracker and Deskbar, which have their own web sites. I've heard word that the isn't working - check out for a more secure connection.
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BeOS 5.0 Available for Free - But Not Yet

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    of course he was being sarcastic. Linux *isn't* "leading edge" by any definition (no offense, moderators).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    To help understand what's so special about BeOS, here's something to try out. (Also check out all the software at In BeOS 5's applications you'll find a program called 3dmix. (Click on the BeOS Icon in the upper right hand corner and scroll to Applications...)

    To learn how to use 3dmix it's best to start with a ready-to-go project. There are some projects located at []. Once there go to CatRec Misc, download one of the (smaller) 3dmix projects, expand it, open the folder, and double-click the ".3dmix" file. Everything will start up by itself after that.

    Once it's all running press the 'W' key. This is a 3D representation of a stage and you can move the individual instruments around to change the mix. Click on one of the instrument representations and type a 'P' to get a visual representation of the sound from that instrument. You can also drag the stage around to see it from different angles. Also, try pressing the 'D' key to put it in demo mode.

    Click 'W' again to go back to the individual tracks. Double-click one of them and you can edit it it, add filters, etc...

    Last but not least check out the 'About 3dmix' screen! Once it's up click on it.

    - Have Fun
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just a note to some of the messages I've seen; some of you complained you weren't going to bother cause your machine wasn't listed as compatible etc., *just try it*, it's really no sweat to double click this thing to see if it works! I would expect it would at least work in vga mode if all else fails - which is rather too small to work with but at least you can try it out - and I think you will find it's pretty cool. Some complained about being stuck with a 512mb limit - this isn't really true, I can download all kinds of beos applications to my win98 disk and run them from there, and it mounts linux/nt and dos/win98 partitions so you can use them all to store files. Some preference files etc. will be stored in your /home directory but that is hardly going to fill up soon. Just don't be afraid to try it, trust me you'll like it!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Are you serious? "Leading edge"? Don't get me wrong, I love running Linux at home, and cut my teeth on Unix -- but it's design is *not* "leading edge". Linux is based on a venerable and trusted design. It is essentially a highly modified monolithic kernel architecture [source: "Linux Kernel Internals"]. BeOS is far newer and certainly more modern than Linux is. There's plenty of resources around that describe BeoS (and Linux) internals. John
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One of my personal machines, but hanging off an oc3, so it should hold a few of you. Starting with a 50 user limit...If anyone has the linux archive, icq me at 861642 and I'll put it up there as well. []



  • by Anonymous Coward
    It will install on any drive with a (V)FAT(32), NTFS , or EXT2 (that's right!) filesystem. In addition, you can take the disk-image, burn it on CD and have yourself a nice little installation CD.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You do of course realise that mp3 decoding has little to do with the OS? The cpu load while playing mp3s is dependant entirely on how optimized the mp3 player you happen to be using is.

    All the mp3 player needs it for the OS to schedule it often enough to avoid dropouts. Which linux does as well as beos.

    Its nice that netpositive is multithreaded, but there is nothing stopping anyone from writing a multithreaded browser for linux that would exhibit the exact same properties. Mozilla for example.

    The only thing I've found so far that is clearly better than Linux is the font handling.

    And the Tracker has blown up on me several times (in about 2 hours of usage). Fortunately, it didn't seem to bother the rest of the OS.

    All in all, there is some cool stuff here, but nothing compelling enough to make me want to switch and learn a whole new set of APIs, however clean they may be.

    Perhaps if I did video editing, but for my custom audio applications, there is nothing here that can't be had with linux. Latency wise, if 2.5ms isn't good enough, you can always migrate from linux to RT/Linux, as David Olofson has shown. If 3ms on Be isn't good enough, well, you're fucked.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Am I teh only one feeling that Be is in it's last resort to get something rolling for them. I mean, when Be OS first came out it's strong points were that it was teh first really PopwerPC native OS available. The technology itself is nothing breathtaking, except for the fact that it was developped in a really really short time. Sure it's small and can fit on a disk, but they aren't the first nor the only one with that. They have a couple of nice things, like the RAM image thing, teh journaling filesystem, teh system-wide contact database. But overall they didn't bring anything groundbreaking new. They are just a nice system designed with today's technologies. But sadly they would have needed thing built with tomnorrow's technology. Now this latest move ios only the last of a long long string of moves from Be to get attention, mindshare etc etc. Am I the only one seeing it this way?
  • Yes, BeOS comes with the full complement of gnu tools, including gcc.
  • On BeNews:

    In a new press release [] (also on Yahoo! []), Be has announced that they will be releasing the source code to the Tracker and the Deskbar - available at [] and [] respectively, and covered by "an extremely open and lenient" modified BSD license. Be is encouraging developers to further develop the two fundemental parts of the BeOS user interface in "new, exciting and unforeseen ways."


  • This post [] addresses your complaint. He claims to have SMP working. I cannot verify this as my multiprocessor machines are sparcs.

  • Now I have to buy yet ANOTHER hard drive for _this_ operating system. *sigh* When will it stop!?!?!

    Be..all that you can...Be

    "Electric Relaxation" - ATCQ
    - Bwana
  • by MouseR ( 3264 )
    Hrm... how about slapping BeOS' Tracker and Deskbar on top of Apple's Darwin? The result: complete GUI OS that's X11-free (for those who care), fat-linked for Intel & PPC hardware. That would be interesting.
  • yes yes and yes. It's only because windows 9* disable the second CPU, but you can boot from a floppy disk, or bypass windows with an itemmenu in config.sys/autoexec.bat and launch beos.bat or or whatever the name is
    BeDevId 15453
    Download BeOS R5 Lite [] free!
  • DVD: I think there are some licensing issues Be is struggling with. Be would probably get themselves sued hard if they decided to support DVD media the same way they support CD media (ripper built in to CD Player, CD Burner designed for audio, etc.) Of course, Xing isn't getting sued for leaving their keys lying about where any Scandinavian hacker could find them, but that's a whole 'nother rant.

    GL Hardware Accel.: Still in development. BeNews had a couple of articles (OpenGL Status in Release 5 [] and R. Jason Sams Talks About the OpenGL on BeOS []) on this last month. Sams goes into the guts of the new OpenGL subsystem. They're using some neat tricks to optimize the performance, so when it (finally) arrives, it should be lickety-split quick.

    Every day we're standing in a wind tunnel
    Facing down the future coming fast
    - Rush
  • It's only 40 megs, what's the big deal about having a fast connection? It's smaller than most videogame demos.


  • And let's all remember, this is _not_ "BeOS 5.0", shall we?

    This is "Developer Release 5.0", IE: we haven't even seen BeOS _1_.0 yet. I don't think their website even admits that anymore; it's mutated into a Big Lie, the same way most of them start...

    -- jra
  • Well, if the first release that they considered a 'complete consumer release' was _not_ numbered 1.0, then I have as much respect for them as I do for anyone else who does not understand how to assign version numbers, ie: none -- completely regardless of how good the product is.

    If I can't trust the vendor not to give in to marketing on something as simple as version numbers, how in hell can I trust them on anything else? Let's have a little self-confidence, companies? Keerist; their primary market is geeks. Are _we_ unable to think a version 1.0 is purchasable too?

    I can feel my hair growing points...
    -- jra
  • Has anyone done this yet? I tried naming the file as an iso, and burning it in windows (don't have a cd-burner on my FreeBSD machine).

    So far, it is no go. Does this have to made as a different type of image? Can this be extracted? Also I thought that this was a working BFS formatted partition. Does BFS support El-Torrito loading?

    I'm new to the world of cd-burning, and I'm curious to see if this hack works. Ofcourse none of this would be needed had they supplied support for FreeBSD's FFS :-) -Peter

  • About 2 or 3 EST this morning The Register said Ars Technica had the link. Went there, clicked the link to Be, it was already slashdotted. Now the story has disappeared without a trace from Ars Technica.
    Other cool stuff on The Register right now, another Brit spy looses another laptop, and look for the hidden Motorola/IBM story (hint: eleven)
  • Do you mean they took down the download site (free/ or they took down the main page ( 'cause the main page was just as inaccessible about 3am est.
  • Yes, but for what it's worth, I had no problems viewing Be's site before the link was posted. Then suddenly....Poof! Gone.
  • I checked it right before the post to /. and it was okay. /. completely jumped the gun on this.
  • First of all, of course this is a publicity stunt. allmost everything that a company does is a publicity stunt these days. Be is a publicaly traded company, so everything that they do publically has to promote the company. secondly, Their OS is concitered technically superior(except for the lack of multiuser support (scedualed for release 6 or 7)) but without the programs of a linux/windows os. third, BEOS IS NOT IN THE OPEN-SOURCE COMMUNITY. the project has never been open source, they dont have a community to give back to. Allmost every piece of software for BeOS is Open, except for a few (really excelent) large apps.
  • A few years ago, Be tried to get popular OEMs to offer BeOS on new machines. The OEMs would get the licences for BeOS for free, and then could charge the end user. Only a few OEMs took up the offer, the rest had exclusive contracts with MS, which meant that the couldn't package any other OS (remember Refund Day?).

    Free BeOS is a great move, BeOS5PE is a little restricted, due to licencing and size constraints, but the missing features aren't used by the average desktop user, and there are always alternatives to the missing features. For example, since the MP3 encoder isn't in the PE, and only in Pro, you can use GoGo and GoGo-Gadget instead. You can also download the Development stuff in a separate file. (only 20Mb)

    BeOS is a very simple OS to use, but provides a wealth of information anout how you're computer runs. Maybe a new User gets BeOS, realises that there is a world outside MS, and it is better, and eventually gets interested in GNU and BSD OSs. (Linux, Hurd, *BSD, etc) This can only be a good thing for these communities. Know any GNU/Linux Distribution which installs itself non destructivly in Windows, in the same amount of time, and is just as accessable?

    The release of BeOS 5PE will benefit Be with more publicity, but I think it will benefit (and liberate) the average computer user even more.
  • Am i the only one that can't reach this site. I get server reset errors.

    Oh well

    Pointless comment of the night!
  • I assume that this image, like any other filesystem image is made by a utility like dd. How do I place that on a CD to make it bootable in such a fashion that people talk about? Personally I think that Be are fucking idiots for not releasing a CD image. Why the hell would a company that does anything to conquer Microsoft customers, require that they would run Microsoft OS's... But back to the real issue, I read a bunch of the posts here, and I saw people saying and concurring that burning a CD is possible. If anybody did this successfully or has a plausible explanation on how to do this and with what kind of tools, please speak. I am very much all ears.
  • Really?!? Who would of thought that a company needs to use a trick or a gimmick to get people to take a look at their product. Where could they have possibly come up with that? This is something totally new and should be stopped immediately.

    But of course, since it's not open source, it must be evil. Why would any group of people in their right mind believe that they have the skills and intelligence to create something on their own, without the help of millions of wannabe programmers poking and proding at their source code. How are they ever going to be successful if they don't have 35 different versions of ICQ?

    Find their HeadQuarters and burn it to the ground!

  • And I'd hardly call the people who code open-source "wannabe programmers" - I'd imagine they're far better coders than you are, seeing as how you're so closed-minded I doubt you ever try and learn new techniques.

    This was not an attack at _all_ open source coders. That would be insane. It's simply a comment on that fact that we have hundreds (!) of Instant Messaging clients, and only three Instant Messaging _Servers_ (Jabber [], gicqd [] and KiT []) that I know of.

    Linux is an excellent server platform, but has not made the leap in _current_ server-side apps, at least for the ones I'm looking for :)

    And I do not profess to be a programmer, I know my strengths and weaknesses, and programming is one of my weaknesses.

  • But they *did* release a CD image. It's part of both the Linux and the Windows BeOS distros. Here, see this tip: []

  • The free version is much more crippled then Be had led everyone to believe.

    You obviously weren't paying attention. These limitations have been known about for months, and there is already a story on BeNews on how to get around them.

  • About 90% of the software on my BeOS system is freeware, not shareware. Compared to the Windows/Mac world, there's a ton of freeware, and much of it is of better quality than gpl'd linux programs.

  • Wrong. First, Linux is not derived from Minix. Secondly, it is not a microkernel, by Linus' own admission. For a while, he lamented having not designed Linux to be a microkernel based OS like Minix, until he decided to be an ass and start slamming Tannebaum all over the place, at which point he somehow converted to thinking monolithic kernels were leet. And no shit you can replace smtp and http servers without rebooting - the fact that those 2 things are not in the kernel doesn't make it a microkernel.

  • by Lx ( 12170 )
    For crying out loud, does it not occur to people that someone might possibly have said that before? That possibly it's been the title of every other jackassed BeOS article in the media for the last 4 years?

  • I have an NE2000 compatible PCI (Realtek) and it works fine. Why not just give it a try, it's worth it.
  • But NT has a microkernel! And Linux doesn't!... Your analogy has left me completely stumped. You should think of a better one.

    That's like saying "xxx OS" is based on a Microkernel because you can launch and quit different programs without rebooting.
  • Actually I've een wondering about this all fucking day. I can't get to to check the prices or even what the upgrade offer was. Thank god someone answered my questions. Now if the leechers would let me just go buy my upgrade copy ;)

  • Here's a cool german mirror riebssysteme/beos5-personaledition.exe

    Mind you, they have "tweaked" the ftp-server not to show directory listings.
    Oh, and they obscured the location on the referring webserver (redirects) and did some other tricks (referer) to make you go through their side.

    But this link works really well, I have 80kByte/s at the moment ;-).
  • No, you don't understand why I was excited (and I'm a BeOS user, too).

    The reason I'm excited is because somebody can take the source and make it work with X-Windows. This would be a pretty awesome hacking opportunity for an enterprising individual(s). It's not that this thing will compile straight out of the box, but with some hacking and pounding, who knows what you might be able to do with it? :)

  • Try using Gnutella to find it. I've seen it on several servers now, and it must be quicker that these overloaded FTP servers.
    (Got over 300K/sec, compared to the 3K/sec I was getting via ftp from Sweden).
  • Usually suggests they're still uploading it themselves.
    I'm still trying to download it after 3 hours of trying! I guess the demand for it was a bit unanticipated, but at least there are new servers springing up occassionally.
  • Amirror that just about seems to have uploaded the necessary files:
  • There were 100,000 people signed up for email notification for the release - something tells me that more than just Slashdot readers are interested in FreeBe. I'll bet it's been slashdotted since midnight last night...
  • However, there are some downsides-it supports a very limited number of ethernet cards-I tried using an SMC card, and it wouldn't autodetect or let me install manually. Does anyone know a way to get it to?

  • | I just like BeOS because it puts the lie to Linus's uninformed
    | and defamatory ranting about microkernels.

    Not exactly. BeOS is not a microkernel. It's a very modular
    system, but drivers and kernel modules share the same address
    space, permissions, etc with the main kernel.

  • I'm not sure which license you're reading, but if you look
    at, you'll note it's
    pretty open-ended.

    The app_server side isn't half as hard as the attribute,
    query, and node monitoring stuff that really makes the
    Tracker fly.

  • | You're missing the point. The neato query and node
    | monitoring stuff comes from the filesystem, not the tracker.
    | Doing such things with the ext2 filesystem would be less
    | than straightforward.

    That was, I believe, exactly my point. The GUI side of tracker
    is very nice, but the stuff that makes it very snappy and
    responsive is the filesystem support. After working on BeOS
    for a few years, I massively miss node monitoring in UNIX :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I found these rather fun constant definitions in BarApp.h (part of the open source deskbar). They are used for the hidden menu that allows one to select the style of the windows border.

    const uint32 msg_Win95 = 'Bill';
    const uint32 msg_Amiga = 'Ncro';
    const uint32 msg_Mac = 'WcOS';
    const uint32 msg_Be = 'Tabs';
  • I've thrown a copy of the files on one of my machines at []
  • by Malc ( 1751 )
    Oops! Why did I keep mentioning LOADLIN when I quite blatantly meant LILO! Uggh! Flashback to 1995!

    On another note, thanks for the personal email I received concerning GAG:

    "You posted on Slashdot about the problems of booting all those operating
    systems. Well, I use a graphical boot manager called GAG, which I found at
    Freshmeat. In its readme it says:



    GAG is a Boot Manager program, this is, a program that is loaded when the
    computer is turned on and allows to choose the operating system you want
    to use. Its main features are:

    -Allows to boot up to 9 different operating systems.

    -Can boot operating systems instaled in primary and extended
    partitions. Them can be instaled in any hard disk too.

    -GAG doesn't need its own partition. It installs itself in the
    first track of the hard disk, wich is reserved for this kind of
    programs. It can also be instaled in a floppy disk, without using
    the hard disk.

    -Has a timer to boot a default operating system (selectable by
    the user).

    -The configuration menu can be protected with a password. Also,
    each operating system can be protected with its own password.

    -The program works in graphic mode (needs a VGA or better graphic
    card), and has a lot of icons.

    -Hides the primary partitions, allowing the installation of more
    than one DOS and/or Windows in the same hard disk.

    -Can exchange disk drives, allowing to boot from the second, third...
    hard disk operating systems such as MS-DOS.

    -Has the SafeBoot system, that allows to boot your hard disk even if
    GAG is accidentally overwrited.

    I think this addresses some of your issues."
  • Okay, I'm running out of options. I currently have:

    Disk 0:
    WinNT - 4GB
    Win98 - 3GB
    + Various other partitions at the end of the disk

    Disk 1:
    /boot (Linux) - 24MB
    Win2K Advanced Server - 4GB
    Win2K Professional - 4GB
    + Various other partitions at the end of the disk

    Yes, I have lots of MS operating systems as I have to test the products I develop under various environments. For various reasons I can't add any more disks.

    So the question is in the days of 40GB hard drives, do I have to put the boot stuff for an OS within the first 1024 cylinders? Or is that a LOADLIN problem and I should be looking for something different?

    Linux is the only OS I don't have a problem with. I can put the kernel image where I want (i.e. in an partition that is a few blocks in size rather than with the GB of other data).

    Is it possible to boot using LOADLIN from a logical/extended partition? That seemed a limitation when I looked about a year ago. Otherwise, I can only have 6 OSes installed before I'm forced into making them share a partition (which seems foolish to me, especially when it comes to Windows).

  • yeah? what'd you have for lunch? dead cow? chicken flesh?

    disgusting creature, you.
  • I've set up a mirror of the BeOS4Linux.tar.gz file. I compressed it with bzip2 bringing it from 40 megs down to about 35 megs (woohoo!).

    You can find it here [].

    I've found that it works nicely with Linux. Just uncompress the archive to /beos, dd the floppy, and reboot.

  • BeOS Personal Edition for Linux

    To boot the Personal Edition partition image, place it at in a directory called 'beos' at any root point on a ext2 partition. ex, /beos/, or if you have /home on a seperate partition, it could be placed at /home/beos/

    Then create a boot floppy from floppy.img, and reboot! (try dd if=floppy.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 conv=sync; sync )

    This configuration is provided for your enjoyment, and is NOT supported by Be, Inc. Please don't ask us for help and support on making this work

  • $tar zvtf BeOS4Linux.tar.gz
    -rw-rw-rw- builder/users 538 2000-03-27 22:55:36 readme
    -r--r--r-- builder/users 1474560 2000-03-29 02:23:56 floppy.img
    -rw-rw-rw- builder/users 524288000 2000-03-28 11:17:18

    Especialy the date on floppy.img is nice. BeOS the OS of the near feature.

  • This article [] on BeNews [] describes how to work around the "limitations" of the FreeBe package. I haven't yet looked to see if the CD image has been posted yet, but if you install from that, you can create a full-fledged BFS partition, without size limitations. And if you boot from it, or from a boot floppy, SMP will be enabled. It's only disabled in the Win9x-based bootloader. <sarcasm>Thanks, Microsoft, for disabling that "extraneous" processor!</sarcasm>

    I've read through BeNews' preview [], and the only thing that really stands out among missing features (compared to the boxed version) is the MP3 codec, because of licensing issues, naturally. Other than that, everything works. It just takes more work if you won't or can't run things from Win9x.

    Every day we're standing in a wind tunnel
    Facing down the future coming fast
    - Rush
  • True enough. When you get down to it, Linux is more or less a Unix lookalike.

    The only thing that is really 'leading edge' is that it is extremely open (beer and speech-wise), which means it actually has a chance to take over a lot of marketshare.

    Even cooler, while Linux still has a ways to go, it has improved at a very rapid pace. Give it a couple years and we'll see some cool stuff - after everyone is done reimplementing stuff done by other operating systems, at least. :>

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews ( [])
  • You're missing the point. The neato query and node monitoring stuff comes from the filesystem, not the tracker. Doing such things with the ext2 filesystem would be less than straightforward.


  • all they are making avalible is a trial version. it's full fetured as far as the OS goes, (AFAICT) but it doesnt have all teh extras. they are also relasing a full version, which they will charge for. (probably less than full price if you baught a prevoius version)
  • I should take that last remark back. Tanenbaum was regarded as arrogant and insular, but as far as I know, he never descended to accusing his rivals of academic dishonesty...
  • Much of that improvement would require improving X. Like antialiasing and making color management *actually* work (X in theory supports color profiles, I've never seen it implemented). Good luck getting any of that in.

    I just like BeOS because it puts the lie to Linus's uninformed and defamatory ranting about microkernels.
  • How's this grab you? lw-03-opensources.html

    ... In fact, this made me think that the microkernel approach was essentially a dishonest approach aimed at receiving more dollars for research. I don't necessarily think these researchers were knowingly dishonest. Perhaps they were simply stupid. Or deluded. I mean this in a very real sense. The dishonesty comes from the intense pressure in the research community at that time to pursue the microkernel topic. In a computer science research lab, you were studying microkernels or you weren't studying kernels at all. So everyone was pressured into this dishonesty, even the people designing Windows NT. While the NT team knew the final result wouldn't approach a microkernel, they knew they had to pay lip service to The idea.

    This person calls the OS research community either intellectually dishonest or, and this just kills me, stupid or deluded. This from a guy who implemented SMP with a global kernel lock (that still exists, it's just masterfully hidden under several layers of macros)

    Tanenbaum *would* be proud: Linus has become just like him.
  • I've got it almost done, does anyone have a place to mirror it at? If so, I can give them a fast download, I just can't get slashdotted.

    e-mail me:
    ICQ: 6497760
  • I found a Tucows mirror out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (at least I think it's in Edmonton). I was getting 300-350 kbps download. And am currently running it. My network card was setup seemlessly. A click on a configure button, followed by use DHCP, and voila. My little scrolly wheel on the mouse worked right away, and it detected my Creative Voodoo Banshee perfectly (1280x1024x32 bit goodness). Everything seems to work perfectly.

    I haven't downloaded the development stuff to check it out yet, but will soon. Everything looks very promising. The browser works flawlessly so far, and the text isn't too small.
  • BeOS is now available. Better get in quick...
  • Apparently, the connection from their offices to their servers has been cut.

    New release time is marked for 9 AM EST (6 AM PST).
  • I find it funny that, althouth in their install README, and other documents they mention that BeOS 5 free edition can only install to a 500 meg container file, and that it is limited to single processor, and that you should upgrade to the pro version in order to support these things.

    It appeared to support my dual processor box just fine (I did use a boot disk).

    It also appears to allow you to migrate it to a different filesystem if you wish.. one that's bigger.

    Now I could be wrong.. but the features not 'supported' in this version seem only to describethe installer behavior, and not the functions of the kernel itself.
  • Well. I just know lots of unix guru wannabes are going to scream about how "BE sux! Linux rules! Be doesn't do blah blah blah".

    I must say, I was excited to get my hands on the free edition today. I've always wanted to have a good hard look at BE. I find a few things that threw me off though.

    1) The installation notes indicate that SMP is not supported, but it appeard to work just fine on my SMP box (even showing both processors in Pulse).
    2) The installation notes indicate it is limited to a 500 MB installation. This may be true of the installer, but is definately not true once it is installed. You could migrate it to a pure BE partition, or whatever, of whatever size you want.
    Neither point #1 or point #2 seem to be actual restrictions in the software... just the way the installer works. If this is the case, it seems kind of sleazy to suggest that if you want to do either of these things, you should buy the Professional version. That's not how the crowd they need to attract works.

    3) No GeForce support. Yes. I know. What do they say on the newsgroups? "Write it yourself then!". Well.. sorry guys, but if Be wants to get more mindshare by introducing this free distribution (which is cool! don't get me wrong), it would REALLY make sense if a 'multimedia' OS supported what may be the most common graphics chipset out there. And why is it that I can't even do 16 bit color by 1024x768? A reference SVGA card driver could even do this.. but for some reason the only thing available is 640x480, B&W.
    I certainly won't go out and purchase another graphics card just to use BE.
  • You'll note that there's a .tgz with the filesystem image
    and README for linux. Conveniently this image will also
    act as an install cdrom, should you write it to a CDR using
    your favorite cd burning tool (I'd suggest CD Burner in
    BeOS 5, but that does present a bit of a chicken-and-egg

    -- Brian

  • There are two dedicated news sites (like slashdot) dedicated to BeOS.

    They should keep a fairly up-to-date scene of what is going on w/the free-be. :)

  • Unless, like me, you have a scsi cd burner attached to an unsupported scsi card. Come on, Be, how hard is it to expand your _very_ limited range of supported scsi cards?
  • In the Graphics card secion:

    * These are the code names used for these products while they were under development. They are not actual product names or trademarks. We use them here because many people know the nicknames but not the actual product name. If Intel's lawyers saw us using them, they would start hopping around on one foot with all the pores of their bodies frowning, and then they'd probably make us stop...
  • I'm on right now, and the file is there, but I can't download it due to the permissions... Can't even GET ReadMe.txt. Has anyone gotten it yet?
  • So, what do you do if you've put it in /beos/ like they said, and it can't find it?
  • Components of an interface do not a complete GUI make. . .
    Getting the Tracker to run with nothing to support it would be like trying to use FVWM w/o X.
    A lot of what makes Be's GUI so easy to use is the overall layout of the OS. If you want to rebuild a whole graphics server system and all the other accouterments of a GUI that need to interface with the OS and then place the Tracker on top of that, you might have something.
    And notice the license - to distribute or sell your own software based on their source you have to get express permission from Be. They're not going to let the Linux/BSD community take one of the few things that keeps some Linux/BSD users buying their OS. With this recent i-opener situation, I'm sure Be knows that the Linux community has a penchant for screwing over corporations and is therefore making sure to cover their butts over this.
  • We want Open Backhoes! No more shall we let other people dictate when our fiber will be cut! The community should have the option to review and modify all backhoes to suit their individual needs.
    Donald Roeber
  • I don't think Bill needs to be so scared yet about BeOS. Yes, Be is really good. I'm using it right now, actually, with few problems. If it had the same amount of Software as Windows, Bill would infact need to be very, very afraid. It is easier to use than Windows, and it still has a command line hidden away fro users who want a bit more control. However, the software support is pretty pathetic, it seems, and in some cases I still need to build things from source.

    As a Linux user, there are actually a lot of things I don't like about it. Of course ,it beats out Windows and MacOS. The fact that it does have a shell is great.

    Developers should really take a look at BeOS as the OS for people who don't want to jump blindly into Linux, but want to get the hell away from Windows.

  • So I just got 5.0 installed, and being a 4.5 user, I am not too overly impressed with the "progress." NetPositive still doesnt seem to support Java, JavaScript, etc, and it is still limiting. The best hope is for Mozilla to catch up on BeOS to M14 or beyond. The OS at best should have been a point release, there doesn't seem to be much addition in the way of feature sets, no huge difference in UI, and it seems most of the applications are the same that came with 4.5.2. I don't consider the ability to run off a fat partition that impressive. It's still smoking as always. The OS is crisp and clean, but it's like moving into a nice new house with no way to move furniture in. It's beautiful and empty!

  • SMP works fine if you use a BeOS boot floppy (included)
  • Try this one instead: []

  • Try this one instead:

    I suck, not only replying to my own post but posting in the first place with incomplete information as well. If you're lucky to get through to it redirects you to which is the same damn FAQ page we've been reading for weeks now, and links back to, guess where, for actually downloading.

    I got through to but it hasn't been posted there as of eight seconds ago.

  • I think you read that wrong. It says that you cannot install it within any other operating systems. It even says later on in the FAQ that you can still put it in its own partition.

    Why would you want to install it within something unless you can't partition?
    Windows is not required!

  • worked best for me - DL'd the whole thing in 25 min on 128k frame relay connection!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @09:04AM (#1166233)
    I managed to d/l freebe5 today from a german mirror, though I had to use gozilla to retry a few times. Once connected I got 60k/s. It's a 43mb file. It's compressed with winzip and barely compressed - kind of a waste. When you install it puts a few files at letter:/BeOs. One is a 512mb file called So prepare to have lots of room to unzip the installer and for the installer to run, then 500mb+ to install it. Once installed you just click it, it reboots to dos mode and loads - except it hung on me, so I had to make the boot floppy. Using that, it loaded in under one minute. Now let me tell you what amazed me right away. It came up in 640x480x8 and a welcome message telling you to set your time, video, and network. I set my network to hdcp and it came up right away, I tried netpositive and was able to browse, and boy it's FAST! With my cable modem, it was faster than linux/netscape or ie/netscape on win98 or win95, and even faster than opera/win95. I'm talking loading about as fast as I can blink, under 1 second. And this wasn't even using a web proxy or increasing the # connections, which I suggest you do under preferences. The other thing you need to know is click the BEOS logo to get access to your apps and preferences (where network etc is). It doesn't tell you this in the welcome screen. Also right click and select mount and you can easily access your other hard drives. Next I tried playing mp3, avis, mpgs and was impressed, they all played even compressed avi's. But I found mpg's used 100% cpu on a celeron 300 ;( Try running the pulse application to see. Another thing I noticed - no disk activity. Everything loads lightening fast compared to win98, pretty well instant. Now I have to expand on the boot process being fast, because it installed and used all my drivers automatically, I didn't have to do a thing and it *worked* right away, unlike windows which takes forever to find and install drivers and asks you dumb questions along the way, and has to reboot 3 or 4 times. There basically was no installation for this OS! Just load and run. Everything worked, let me tell you what I have: ATI all in wonder pro, 4mb, I got this running in 1024x768x32 now. I tried the tv application but it didn't work, so I guess that's out. No video in devices were listed either. Diamond MX300 sound card based on vortex 2. I can hear sounds faintly, something weird going on here cause the mixer sliders work and have effect. Maybe it mixed up the out jacks and I have to use line out 1 (this card has 4 speakers). Yes! I just tested it and that's the problem. For the record use out 1, the far right connector. I have an adaptec 2902e scsi, a weird oem model based on aic-7850 chipset, which works fine. The scsi probe showed my teac 4x CDR. I was able to mount audio cd in my toshiba dvd. I can see my fat32 partitions in my win98 disks. My network card is a d-link 528ct which is ne2000 compatible I think. All my devices are pci. But my radio card and winmodem and hollywood plus don't work, which I didn't expect anyhow. There's not a whole lot of applications to play with, so you'll be downloading more. Overall I am very impressed with it, if I had all the applications I generally use for it (icq, web browsing, mp3, video, wordprocessing, some games and programming) I would use it all the time - given that it's incredibly fast, easy to use and stable. And I have 6 cards in my machine and no conflicts! It's a bx board, celeron 300a, 96mb ram, acer ax6bc brand board. 3 hard drives, scsi cd-r, ide dvd-rom. Haven't tried burning a disk yet but it's supposed to work. One more thing - not all websites work, I tried a secure site and it just failed, also had some complaints about javascript not enabled, but the failure could also be related to java as the secure site immediately loads a java applet. Obviously slashdot is working fine and I could post this message. Try - it looks messed up at first but wait for it to download and it will correct itself.
  • by ACK!! ( 10229 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:50AM (#1166234) Journal
    Their OS with the database journaling filesystem, fast bootups and good multimedia support is a valid alternative OS especially for the desktop space that alot of Linux evangelists lust after right now.

    It is not the fact that the OS is inferior. The company is finally slowly but surely waking up to the fact that making people pay for the OS is fool's way of making money.

    If you had said that they did not go far enough I would sincerely agreed. However, you don't move mountains all at once. Corporations like mountains move slowly sometimes. One day soon I predict that you will see them open up the code of their product.

    There have been some very good reviews of this OS in more than a few Alternative/Free OS type websites. I don't carry URLs like weapons around but do the searches. Once this thing is open sourced and the community can improve the code we will be the better for it. However, you do not insult a child for running after they made their first steps. That sort of zealotry marks our community and makes us all luck bad.
  • by Sebbo ( 28048 ) <sebbo@seb b o .org> on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @05:19AM (#1166235) Homepage Journal
    BeOSCentral is kinda only half-there these days.
    BeGroovy [] has more-or-less taken over the niche of funky, chatty news site.

    BeNews [] has a full review of R5 Pro and Free up now.

    Yabel [] (Yet Another BeOS Link) has a nice RDF index of the top news from most of the major BeOS sites.
  • by garver ( 30881 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:25AM (#1166236)

    Huh? Linux is not a micro-kernel based OS. MacOS X, the Hurd, and NeXTOS are, but not Linux.

    The question should be, how can they compete against a free as in source OS like Linux. Their answer is to make Be free as in beer. Time will tell if it works, but I'm really not sure that Be and Linux are competitors in the first place. Not many people would use Be as a server OS and, on the flip side, not many people would use Linux on a desktop. This may change, but I think Be needs to grab some market share on the desktop first before trying to attack Linux.

    Therefore, I see this really as an attempt by Be to compete with Windows and MacOS. What better way to get people to try it than to give away a mostly functional version for free? If customers like it, they will come back for the professional version.

  • by dhuff ( 42785 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:53AM (#1166237)
    Scot Hacker, author of The BeOS Bible [], had an article [] over at BeNews about a possible way around this. Worth investigating once the free version is actually available.
  • by rutger21 ( 132630 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:32AM (#1166238)
    Right here...

    BeOS5 Free edition can be found under /pub/beos/

    A particular cool file is named:

  • by SigVn ( 166099 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:22AM (#1166239)
    Or we could look @ it figure out what it does well, and then improve our own product (Linux).

    Just bycotting something because it does not agree with our poltical views, is pointless.

    There is always something to learn.

    My 2 cents anyways.
  • by DarkBlack ( 5773 ) <darkblack.miscreation@net> on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:21AM (#1166240) Homepage
    Ok. I normally defend the writers, of the stories, but this time I cannot. Why did you not read the freaking page at It will be available today, but they are on the West Coast of the US and probably wont have it up until this afternoon. Now their site will be down for most of the day as people try to get in to download.

    Read the freaking links that you post!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Shadowlion ( 18254 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:42AM (#1166241) Homepage
    The site is at

    The license is the Open Tracker license, but it looks to be almost a version of the BSD license (not familiar with the intimates of the latter, I can't say for sure).

    DAMN! Maybe we'll finally get a decent GUI for Linux! ;)
  • by VSc ( 30374 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:17AM (#1166242) Homepage
    BeOS's got a new logo [] and the list of the new features is here []. Still more detail in here [] (complete list actually).
  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @05:06AM (#1166243)
    Stuck my foot in my mouth, it does require windows to install, at least according to the readme, and is also limited to 512 meg partition for it's "root" though can mount other partitions to use.. The free version is much more crippled then Be had led everyone to believe. But I guess the wording of the FAQ could have gone either way. I'm still curious about the BeOS4Linux.tar.gz file, anyone tried it, I can't get in to download off of any mirror... In any case I wish they had/will release an ISO with fewer limitations.. I can understand leaving out the royalty-laden stuff and leaving out a few features, but if they want to claim a free, fully-functional O/S it should in no way depend on any other O/S for anything and should not be limited to 512 megs, such a restriction truly makes freebe "crippleware". In any case, BeOS itself is great, I still have 4.5.2, and looks like I'll have to stick with it for now.
  • by timbo_red ( 112400 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:31AM (#1166244) Homepage

    The above FTP sites are mirrors of They are
    synchronized with at least once per day, sometimes more
    often. We encourage you to use these mirrors if your connection to is slow.If you have a fast connection to the Internet and
    would be interested in maintaining a mirror of the Be FTP site, please contact us at Locations of the above servers:
    United (San Jose) (Champaign, Illinois) (San Francisco)
  • by MrEd ( 60684 ) <> on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @08:07AM (#1166245)
    Not to be too redundant here, but I'd just like to clear up a few worries about FreeBeOS 5.
    • You aren't limited to 500 megs! Yes, the Be-in-a-file can only be that big, but if you set aside a partition (say, 1.5 megs) and format it as BeFS using the Partition Magic version that came with R4, you can install onto that directly using the "Installer" program that comes with FreeBe 5. I'll bet you could format partitions as BeFS using the DriveSetup utility that comes with FreeBe5 too... Check BeNews [] for details
    • You're not limited to one processor! This is a problem only if you launch BeOS 5 directly from Windows, as the second processor is disabled in hardware during the Windows boot sequence. Make a boot floppy and start from there, or install the BeOS Boot manager by running "bootman" in the BeOS shell (Be Menu -> Applications -> Terminal ... Bash, whee)
    In fact, you can install BeOS 5 overtop of your existing 4.5.2 partition and it will boot without any problems... Or at least none that I've found yet while typing this post in the new NetPositive!
  • by LordEq ( 63011 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @05:09AM (#1166246)
    > Be are simply doing this for marketing reasons
    > and not from any type of kindess or good-will.

    Of course they are. BeOS is a commercial product, still fairly new on the scene. Most people only know of Microsoft. Be would certainly do anything to give them an edge over the crew at Redmond. And, in my opinion, they have done the best thing that they could do. By releasing a fully functional version of their OS as free for personal use, they are gaining a massive audience and potential customer base (that is, everyone in the world whose ears perk up at the prospect of getting something for free).

    This, however, is only the beginning. Once people see the basic version in action, things will begin to happen. So-called "power users" will get curious about the bells and whistles available in the for-sale version... those who are really impressed will buy a copy to show their support (and to fund further development)... those steeped in the hyper-commercial eighties/nineties/naughties culture will buy a copy because the freebie "feels wrong to them", or some similar nonsense... and when the CEO, CIO, or CFO sees what h[is/er] kid has downloaded, starts playing with it, and likes it... BeOS might find its way onto quite a few desktops in the business space as well.

    > They realise that their OS is regarded as an
    > inferior product with little support and a very
    > small user base, and as such are trying to
    > increase their share of the OS market through
    > this publicity stunt.

    Who have you been talking to? By all accounts that I've heard, BeOS is a well-designed and well-implemented OS that has made astounding progress in such a short time. Of course its user base is small compared to, say, Microsoft's... but that is why Be is using this marketing tactic (or "publicity stunt", as you misjudge it).

    > Until Be show that they are truly commited to
    > the community by releasing the source code for
    > BeOS then I think we should boycott this as we
    > should any other closed-source product. If we
    > blindly rush to download BeOS then you are
    > tacitly supporting closed-source applications
    > and OSes, and thus harming the open-source
    > movement.

    Be is NOT committed to the [open-source] community. They are committed to developing, producing, and marketing their product, as is any commercial venture. At least Be is choosing to do it by developing a quality product and increasing its visibility to as wide an audience as possible. Certain other companies take much easier ways out (e.g. leveraging monopoly power to push low-quality product).

    Everything has its place, ye zealot. Supporting a quality product, even if it is closed-source, is not harming the Open Source movement.

    Lighten up.

  • by wolvie_ ( 135527 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2000 @04:43AM (#1166247)
    For those who can't get to, here is the mirror site list they have posted:

    Americas: [] - Ziff-Davis, North America [] - CNET/, California [] - BeOS CentralJohnson City, TN [] - Oak Ridge, TN /freebe/ [] - BeForever, Omaha, NE [] - RoadRunner.Com, Rochester, NY [] - Be, Inc. San Jose, CA

    Europe/Australia: [] - AARNet, Brisbane, Australia [] - BeEurope, Paris, France [] - World Online, Paris, France [] - Gigabell.Net, Frankfurt, Germany irrors/ [] - P.H. Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany /beos/ [] - ComputerChannel, Hamburg, Germany [] - XTDNet, Karlsruhe, Germany [] - Neues-3Sat Online, Mainz, Germany [] - Univ. of Milan, Milan, Italy [] - XS4All, Amsterdam, Netherlands [] - SUNET, Uppsala, Sweden

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.