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Re: Aw: Re: Reviewing Hurd-on-L4 (and considering its future?)

From: William ML Leslie
Subject: Re: Aw: Re: Reviewing Hurd-on-L4 (and considering its future?)
Date: Thu, 24 May 2018 23:24:30 +1000

On 24 May 2018 at 19:45, (string-reverse "Nala Ginrut") <address@hidden> wrote:
> The key reason to me is "a better free OS kernel". Linux is very
> successful, and I use it everyday. I'm interested in Hurd not because
> Linux is not free enough, but because I want to see a better free OS
> kernel. Is Linux perfect? Of course no. Is it possible to provide better
> features in the current Linux architecture? I don't think so. For such
> reason, why not give microkernel another chance?


The state of the art seems to have moved so far from when the Hurd was
engineered, it's a difficult choice whether to simply do the porting
work to another microkernel or whether to address deep architectural
concerns with fresh implementation.  Richard Braun's work on x15
mach[0] is very interesting, it's a slightly smaller step than L4
would have been, but it's a very clean design.  On the flip side,
we've now got fairly safe low-level languages that could be used to
implement essential system services.  Neal's work on viengoos
highlighted the value of giving the user resource management controls.
Shap came back from the Midori project convinced that a better system
design would be deeply asynchronous at the system call level.  We've
now got rump, too.  I bet Samuel has some great ideas, too, with all
the time he's spent on the kernel.

Whichever of these directions you feel is most interesting, I
encourage you to explore at your leasure.  Don't let others tell you
what to do or where to focus your time because it will rob you of your
joy, but be aware you'll probably not get much help unless you're
working on porting debian packages, or otherwise under someone's

[0] https://git.sceen.net/rbraun/x15.git/

William Leslie

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