I've been coming up to speed on the Haiku operating system, an Open Source clone of BeOS 5 Pro.
I'm using an Apple MacBook Pro as my development machine. Apple's BootCamp BIOS does not support more than four partitions on the internal hard drive. While I can set up extended and logical partitions, doing so will prevent any of the installed operating systems from booting. To run Haiku directly on the iron, I boot it off a USB stick. Using external storage is also helpful because I am perpetually out of filesystem space.
While VirtualBox is documented to allow access to physical drives, I could not actually get it to work. Also VirtualBox can only use one of the host CPU's cores. While VB guests can be configured for more than one CPU, they are only emulated. A full build of the Haiku OS takes 4.5 under VB.
I had the hope of reducing build times by using KVM instead, but it's not working nearly as well as VirtualBox did. The Linux Kernel Virtual Machine is broken in all manner of fundamental ways as seen from Haiku.
But I'm a coder; maybe I could contribute to fixing some of those problems.
The first problem I've got is that Haiku's video in virt-manager is quite painfully slow. When I drag Haiku windows around the desktop, they lag quite far behind where my mouse is. It's quite difficult to move a window to a precise position on the screen. Just imagine that the mouse was connected to the window title bar with a really stretchy spring.
Also Haiku's mouse lags quite far behind where I have moved it.
I found lots of Personal Package Archives that enable Spice from QEMU / KVM at the Ubuntu Personal Package Arhives. I tried a few of the PPAs but none of them worked; with one of them, the command "add-apt-repository" crashed with a traceback.
There is a Wiki page about Spice, but it says that it only works on 64-bit. My Early 2006 MacBook Pro is 32-bit. Its Apple Model Identifier is MacBookPro1,1; these use Core Duos NOT Core 2 Duos.
I don't mind building a source deb for 32-bit if I can expect it to work. Is there some reason that Spice should be 64-bit only? Does it need features of the x86_64 Instruction Set Architecture that x86 does not have?
When I try using SDL from virt-manager, the configuration for Local SDL Window says "Xauth: /home/mike/.Xauthority". When I try to start my guest, virt-manager emits an error.
When I Googled the error message, the usual solution was to make ~/.Xauthority readible. However, .Xauthorty does not exist in my home directory. Instead I have a $XAUTHORITY environment variable. There is no way to configure SDL in virt-manager to use $XAUTHORITY instead of ~/.Xauthority. Neither does it work to copy the value of $XAUTHORITY into the file.
I am ready to scream, because I've been five fscking days trying to make KVM work for Haiku development. There is a whole lot more that is broken than the slow video.
All I really want to do for now is speed up my full builds of Haiku by using "jam -j2" to use both cores in my CPU.
I may try Xen next, but the last time I monkeyed with Xen it was far, far more broken than I am finding KVM to be.
Just for now, I would be satisfied if there were some way to use my USB stick as a drive in VirtualBox. VB does allow me to configure /dev/sdb as a drive, but it always causes a fatal error when I try to launch the guest.
Thank You For Any Advice You Can Give Me. -