is the final version of BeOS
from Be Inc.
. It was
released in March 2000
, and came in two
varieties: Professional and Personal.
R5 was the 4th major release of BeOS for a public audience, and the
6th since it left developer-only stages. It changed only slightly
from the previous release, BeOS R4.5, and was even seeded to
developers as "R4.6". Improved POSIX
compliance, particularly in the area of networking
, was provided. The OS in general
was moved towards the new modular media kit over the former
audio-only sound subsystem. For end-users, new logos and some new
icons were the only major differences.
R5 was the first release of BeOS for x86 to have a freely
downloadable version which could be fully installed on a user's
hard drive; previous versions had a free Live
download, which could not be installed. R5 was also to be
the last version to support the PowerPC
architecture which BeOS had originated on, including the companies
hardware. According to Be's
marketing, it was the first OS to ship with legal MP3
encoding and decoding support.
Personal Edition, a 48MB download, was the most commonly used
version of R5. Stripped of developer tools (though these were later
made available as a separate download), mp3
encoders, and RealPlayer
. It was installed into a 500MB
"hardfile" through Windows or Linux, and could be booted either
directly from Windows 9x
, or using a boot floppy. Once booted, it could be
installed to a real hard drive or partition, and the Be Bootloader
could be installed to allow
dual-booting. This bootloader uses only the MBR
of the hard disk, and will continue
to function even if the BeOS is uninstalled.
Professional Edition was only available commercially, and for the
first time in BeOS's history, could not be purchased from the
company unless you were a developer. Instead, a number of regional
resellers sold it - Gobe Software
the United States, Apacabar
in Europe, and Hitachi
in Asia. These resellers were
responsible for all packaging of the OS, from localisation to CD
labelling and packaging. As a result, some variations exist between
packaged R5 Professional discs, with some being slipstream updated
to the newest patches, and most notably, the inclusion of
Gobe releases, and French
translations of the user documentation on Apacabar.
The CD shipped with an ISO9660
hybrid partition, containing
documentation, GPL licenced source code, the Personal Edition
installer (with the aim of you circulating the installer to
friends), a copy of Partition Magic
for Windows, and the Mac OS boot-loading code for the PowerPC
version. Two separate BFS
existed, one for x86, one for PowerPC, and the x86 one is directly
bootable from CD.
In addition to all the features of Personal Edition, Professional
Edition includes the full developers tools, including a rebranded
MP3 encoders, and support for both
video, and playback/encoding of
Indeo Real Time. Additional media on the CD varied by
supplier, but always included some sample multimedia files,
including two songs composed by Be staff (" 5038" and "
(void)") as well as a video of Be staff pushing computer
monitors off the roof of their building in Menlo
Three updates for R5 were released during 2000.
R5.01 was mainly a stability fix for R5 Professional, fixing some
deadlocks in drivers and critical servers. However, additional
POSIX support was again added for networking, although the update
neglected to include the newer headers to use some of these
functions - they were only available in an updated Developer Tools
for Personal Edition download.
R5.02 (marked as R5.01 on personal) contained all of R5.01's
updates, as well as some enhanced drivers, and more stability
R5.03 was solely a security fix, and fixed a remote-access bug in
the system's ftpd
. The update, however, made a
change to the core C library
do this, and in doing so, updated the version of glibc
it was based on, again providing slightly more
Following the failure of BeIA
, Be's Internet Appliance
venture, the company
ceased operations, and R5 was the last official release. A widely
leaked version of BeOS that had been seeded to developers,
, carried many new
features, and a build ID indicating it was BeOS R5.1.0.
Another extremely widely leaked update is a new, fully POSIX
compliant, kernel-land networking stack, known internally in Be as
BONE. While officially alpha, this brings higher stability to R5,
as well as opening up the application base available. The updater
for BONE Alpha 7 increases the system version number to
A new commercial venture, ZETA
an operating system that appears to be based on the Dano codebase,
and has been accepted by some BeOS users as a successor to R5.
However, at least during its protracted release candidate
stage, it was dogged
with problems that have left some people using R5, and in some
cases, looking to Haiku
the future of their OS.