Third official release for Haiku
Just over a year since the second official release, and now in its tenth year of development, the BeOS-alike Haiku operating system has received a third official release with Haiku R1/Alpha 3. The aim with R1/Alpha 3 is, say the developers, to create a more stable version which "has a greater chance of properly booting on more hardware". More than 950 bugs have been fixed since Alpha 2 and support for btrfs, exFAT and ext4 filesystems has been added.
The new release also includes improved read and write support for ext2, ext3, NTFS and UDF and enhanced hardware support for IO-APIC, ACPI, video drivers, network drivers and USB. Gutenprint is now used for additional printer support, while a general MIDI SoundFont has been added which enables many BeOS midi applications. The default compiler is still GCC2, but GCC 4.4.4 is now available as the secondary compiler. Physical Address Extension (PAE) has also been enabled to support more than 4 GB of physical memory. There is a new IMPA implementation in the mail system, alongside rewritten parts of MailKit and the mail daemon replacement. Improvements have been made in window management controls and MediaKit's decoding and encoding capabilities.
WPA encryption for wireless networking is still not supported though; WEP is the only encryption option. USB keyboards attached to hubs do not work in the kernel debugger and there is no package management available as it is still in development and didn't make it into alpha 3. Full details of the enhancements and the known issues in alpha 3 are available in the release notes.
Haiku is released under an MIT licence and can be downloaded as an ISO image from a number of mirrors or torrent sites; it is available for x86 32-bit systems only. A commemorative CD for R1/Alpha 3 is also available for donations over $10 or €8 per disc.