The Haiku/BeOS Tip Server
Tips and tricks for Haiku/BeOS users

An alternative to bootman

Contributed by: Greg Kellogg
This tip is valid for: Both BeOS and Haiku

Be’s bootman is easier to configure than nearly any boot manager on the market (it certainly blows LILO away in this department). However, bootman’s boot loader screen isn’t the prettiest, and it lacks some of the advanced features of other boot managers. There are a lot of boot managers out there — some are free, some are not, some are easy to set up, and some of them are hard. But none of them look as cool as XOSL!

XOSL, which stands for “Extended Opertating System Loader” written by Geurt Vos, is a GNU app that can manage all of the operating systems installed on your machine, including BeOS, Linux, Solaris, W2K, W98SE, and more. And it looks great (see screenshots). While XOSL is distributed as a Windows installer, an option is also available for machines without a DOS/Win partition. See the Downloads section of the site.

Unfortunately, XOSL currently does not display BeOS on its OS menu. To set up XOSL for use with BeOS:

  1. Download XOSL from
  2. Run the install.exe from DOS (you’ll have better luck with mouse detection than if you run it from Windows). XOSL can be installed on any partition of any hard disk.
  3. When the text screen appears, select Install XOSL 1.1.0
  4. Select the partition you want it on, for it to work right you need to place it on the disk you boot from
  5. Select your video mode and mouse, I used 800×600 for video and PS/2 for mouse
  6. Select Start Installation
  7. Select Reboot system (which just kicks you back to windows)
  8. Reboot your system

If you installed it on the right drive, the XOSL screen should appear. Now:

  1. Set your preferences, wallpaper, colors, mouse speed and so-on. You can even set a password. Select Save, then close (very important)
  2. Next select Setup, and select and name the partitions you want to boot.
  3. Select Save then close (again very important)
  4. Have Fun!

Posted in Miscellaneous

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