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Re: public opinion about Debian GNU (Hurd)

From: Farid Hajji
Subject: Re: public opinion about Debian GNU (Hurd)
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 01:57:14 +0200 (CEST)


> > GNU/Hurd is a different OS than GNU/Linux and Hurd is the kernel of the
> > GNU/Hurd OS.
> No, Hurd is a replacement for the Unix kernel, but it is not a kernel.
> The kernel of the GNU/Hurd operating system is currently GNUmach, and
> maybe it will be OSKit Mach somewhen. And in 20 or 30 years or so, it
> may be L4 (... or L5 :-)).
please don't be so pessimistic about the required time to port the Hurd
to L4. The recent discussions on the l4-hurd mailing list were very
promising indeed. The current state of the planned port is:

1. The L4 developers will deal with the problem of limited number of
threads/task in future L4 ukernels, so that we won't have to worry
about writing a multiplexing N:M thread library. We'll probably need
some Pthreads-wrapper around the new L4 threads, but that won't be
a real problem at all.

2. We'll most likely have to use an IDL compiler to generate stubs
for IPC, just like we do right now with MIG/Mach. This compiler would
simply generate Mach stubs for GNUMach/OSKit-Mach, L4-Stubs for L4
and, say, Unix-Stubs for Unix. The most promising IDL compiler right
now seems to be Utah's flick (currently 2.1) compiler kit that has
been extended to support L4(-Ka) IPC as well. Other IDL-compilers
are also possible and available. We shall try all of them; we should
just stick to formalized IDL as far as possible.

3. The first step towards porting the Hurd to L4 would be to
gradually replace the MIG *.defs with IDL files that would be
processed by, say, flick. I'll post a suggested list of further
steps on l4-hurd, once I've finished trying the available IDL

If you have some experience with IDL and distributed objects
(no, I don't want to turn the Hurd to CORBA, just to use IDL
as an IPC generator), please contact me directly or via l4-hurd.
The more expertise we get, the faster the port of the Hurd to
L4 (and other subtrates) would be possible.



Farid Hajji -- Unix Systems and Network Admin | Phone: +49-2131-67-555
Broicherdorfstr. 83, D-41564 Kaarst, Germany  | address@hidden
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