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The BeOS


Why is the BeOS so great? Why would I want to run or develop for the BeOS? What are the key features of the BeOS?

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The BeOS:
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BeOS, Features, Media OS
The BeOS is the only "Media OS," that is to say, a personal computer operating system designed from the ground up to support a new generation of multimedia creation applications. The BeOS is targeted to digital content creators who have high performance requirements that are not being well met by existing systems. Three of the main benefits are high performance, reliability, and integrated services.


  • The BeOS was built from the ground up, without layers of legacy baggage
  • The BeOS supports multiple processors (symmetrical multiprocessing)
  • The entire BeOS and Be apps are extensively multithreaded to take advantage of parallelism on multiprocessor systems
  • The BeOS offers preemptive multitasking to efficiently perform multiple tasks at once
  • The 64-bit Be file system supports files vastly larger than the typical 4-gigabyte limit of 32-bit systems
  • The high-performance Be file system provides journalling which ensures file system integrity and speeds booting after a power failure
  • Support for the industry standard OpenGL® 3D language
  • DMA support for IDE hard drives provides very fast data transfer


  • The BeOS supports protected memory, which prevents misbehaved applications from crashing the system or other applications
  • The BeOS is built from the ground up with a simplified API, resulting in smaller and more stable applications
  • The journaling feature of the Be file system makes disk operations more reliable, ensuring data integrity

Integrated Services

  • System database and queries
  • System level messaging and scripting
  • Built-in Ethernet with FTP, Telnet and PPP support
  • Bundled email and web browser software
  • Scripting
  • Replicant technology
  • MIME type file attributes
  • Unicode UTF-8 font encoding
  • Translation Kit for integrated opening, saving, etc. media data like JPEG, AVI, QuickTime, etc.
  • Improved and flexible user interface


  • Posix compliant layer
  • AppleTalk printing
  • PostScript printing
  • Unicode UTF-8 font encoding
  • Mac HFS and Windows FAT16/32 volume support

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