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Re: L4-Hurd; wortel's missing modules; was: (autoreconf errors)

From: Johan Rydberg
Subject: Re: L4-Hurd; wortel's missing modules; was: (autoreconf errors)
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 23:27:26 +0100

"Christopher Nelson" <address@hidden> wrote:

: I have looked at all that, but I didn't know how much was actually done.
: (If anything.)  The physmem server seems to be in place already.

The physmem server is far from done.  I've done a bit of work on it
(nothing public available yet, though) but I stopped since the API
has not been specified to full extent, yet (Neal, where are you?)
Marcus also has to finish libhurd-cap before any fun stuff can work.

When it comes to the other core services, there has only been done
work on wortel (the root server.)  Niels has said that he wants to
write the task server (but I'm not sure that is correct any longer.)

: Nothing very interesting can happen until we have device drivers, b/c we
: can't even talk to the disks to load interesting programs until that
: happens.  I am assuming we want to have user-space drivers, and that the
: primary drivers (e.g. persistent storage and filesystem) will be loaded
: by GRUB.  From then we can have some program in charge of looking at
: what hardware is in the machine and loading the correct drivers.  

True, the initial drivers will most probably be loaded with GRUB.
How that will be done is not yet determined, though.  There has been
talked to put them in an archive, or load them one-by-one as a module.

: I have seen that there is interest in enabling the Linux DDE in the
: context of Hurd.  Is this primarily so that Linux drivers can be used
: straight-up from Hurd, and so that Hurd does not need to maintain it's
: own drivers?  

Yes.  Writing and debugging drivers is a huge job, so if it is possible
to re-use any drivers from Linux, that would be a good thing (tm).
This already done for GNU Mach, and pfinet (the network stack is from

: As far as how to setup the initial tasks, why has there not been
: agreement? Is it political, or is it that no one really has a good idea?

Marcus has an idea that when a service comes up, it reports back to
wortel (which is the root task in hurd-l4), which propagates the
provided information to the other bootstrap services.

What I was talking about is what information wortel should provide to
the bootstrap servers, so that they can get on their feet.  It is not
trivial task to boostrap a multiserver operating system.  For example,
physmem can not create any threads before the task server has been
started, and the task server can not operate without physmem (since it
is in control of all physical memory.)

Johan Rydberg, Free Software Developer, Sweden
http://rtmk.sf.net | http://www.nongnu.org/guss/

Playing Gecco - Monday Acoustic

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