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Re: Future Direction of GNU Hurd?

From: arnuld
Subject: Re: Future Direction of GNU Hurd?
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2020 09:22:48 +0530

> On Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 1:37 AM Marc Dunivan
> <m7173588@gmail.com> wrote:
> I understand that the I4 micro-kernel for GNU Hurd is dead,
> and that micro kernels beyond GNU Mach are just research.

I am not the authority on Hurd but I think you are correct on that.

> ..SNIP..
> It is unclear to me as to which documentation one should be reading
> and what physical hardware is being targeted as reference platforms
> for developers to use, and for what purpose?  What are people working on?

Thing is, I once emailed RMS about it and he told me pretty directly and straightforwardly that they don't need Hurd for GNU because the Linux kernel is there. Even though Linux kernel uses GPLv2 (not latest GPLv3), it is still the kernel that GNU is using and they will keep on with it. So Hurd development is of no concern to GNU. Anyone who wants to work, can work with Hurd, it is just like other Open-Source software, you are free to work on it.

Regarding L4 and Pistachio kernels, other developers (yes, excellent ones) did try to replace Hurd with Pistachio and other L4-kernels from https://www.l4ka.org/ but design of kernel and technical constraints made them drop this idea. Then back in 2009, Neil Walfield started working on Viengoos but later stopped with it because of lack of time. IIRC he was doing Ph.D at that time:


If you want to use Hurd then I think you should try it on QEMU first rather than formatting your hard disk and using it as a general-purpose OS for everyday tasks. That won't come out pretty. I have done both several years ago:



So it is entirely up to you what you read and what you decide to do when it comes to Hurd because officially there is no direction.


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