This document provides instructions for building the BeOS and Haiku version of NetSurf and provides guidance on obtaining NetSurf's build dependencies.

BeOS NetSurf has been tested on Zeta and Haiku only for now. There are still some issues to sort out for other BeOS versions.

Quick Start

See the QUICK-START document, which provides a simple environment with which you can fetch, build and install NetSurf and its dependencies.

The QUICK-START is the recommended way to build NetSurf for Haiku. BeOS needs too much manual hacking to be built this way.

Manual building

To build NetSurf on a BeOS, provided you have the relevant build dependencies installed, simply run:

$ make

If that produces errors, you probably don't have some of NetSurf's build dependencies installed. See "Obtaining NetSurf's dependencies" below. You may need to "make clean" before attempting to build after installing the dependencies. Also note BeOS has an old make command that won't work, see below.

Obtaining NetSurf's dependencies

Many of NetSurf's dependencies are either installed or available for BeOS and Haiku. The remainder must be installed manually.

The NetSurf project's libraries

The NetSurf project has developed several libraries which are required by the browser. These are:

BuildSystem – Shared build system, needed to build the other libraries LibParserUtils – Parser building utility functions LibWapcaplet – String internment Hubbub – HTML5 compliant HTML parser LibCSS – CSS parser and selection engine LibNSGIF – GIF format image decoder LibNSBMP – BMP and ICO format image decoder LibROSprite – RISC OS Sprite format image decoder

To fetch each of these libraries, run the appropriate commands from the Docs/LIBRARIES file, from within your workspace directory.

To build and install these libraries, simply enter each of their directories and run:

$ make install

| Note: We advise enabling iconv() support in libparserutils, which vastly | increases the number of supported character sets. To do this, | create a file called Makefile.config.override in the libparserutils | directory, containing the following line: | | CFLAGS += -DWITH_ICONV_FILTER | | For more information, consult the libparserutils README file.

TODO: add some more here.

Additional requirements for BeOS

On Haiku, other libraries and tools are either shipped with the system or available through the package repositories. For BeOS based systems, you will need to install and update all the required tools, as described below.


Building NetSurf needs the Haiku resource compiler (rc), that allows importing files from resource definitions (.rdef).

$ cd <haiku-trunk-directory>
$ TARGET_PLATFORM=r5 jam -q rc
$ cp generated/objects/dano/x86/release/tools/rc/rc  /boot/home/config/bin/

GNU make 3.81

BeOS has an old make tool, which won't work when building NetSurf. Haiku has 3.81 which is the one that works. For BeOS, one has to replace the original make with one built from the Haiku tree, or install it as gmake:

$ cd <haiku-trunk-directory>
$ TARGET_PLATFORM=r5 jam -q make
$ cp generated/objects/r5/x86/release/bin/make/make /boot/home/config/bin/gmake


NetSurf uses cURL to fetch files from the network. There is a patch against the official version on HaikuPorts.



NetSurf uses libPNG to display PNG files. It should build just fine on BeOS.


NetSurf uses libjpeg to display JPEG files. It should already be available in your dev kit.


NetSurf uses OpenSSL for encrypted transfers.

General requirements

There is currently an issue on stdbool.h (unsigned char bool vs enum bool) which needs to be fixed, for now one can use the Haiku version of the header and copy it over the gcc-provided one. $ cd <haiku-trunk-directory> $ cp headers/build/gcc-2.95.3/stdbool.h /boot/develop/tools/gnupro/lib/gcc-lib/i586-pc-beos/2.95.3-beos-060710/include/stdbool.h

NetSurf might build on BeOS R5 but probably won't work on anything else than BONE.