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Test Driving GNU Hurd, With Benchmarks Against Linux

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the have-you-hurd dept.

GNU is Not Unix 335

An anonymous reader writes "After last week's news that GNU Hurd is coming, Phoronix set out to install Debian GNU Hurd and to provide GNU Hurd vs. Linux benchmarks. Linux was mostly faster than The Hurd while also having much better hardware support, multi-core SMP support, and other modern functionality."

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I guess it was inevitable... (5, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802516)

...now that Duke Nukem Forever has been released.

Re:I guess it was inevitable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802546)

watch out for flying pigs

Re:I guess it was inevitable... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802652)

...and Hurd seems to have made about the same impact...

Re:I guess it was inevitable... (4, Funny)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802792)

Now all we need is hell freezing over and pigs to start flying... damnit, i might start to believê 2012 is really end of the world

Re:I guess it was inevitable... (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802898)

Hurd, DNF, Wine 1.0, Gmail out of beta, Windows running stable, grannies using Linux, video chat on handheld computers, movies commonly coming out in 3D, video games you don't play with your hands, electric cars on dealership lots, a US president who isn't a white guy...

We're in THE FUTURE. It just doesn't feel like it, because it's fuckin' lame.

Re:I guess it was inevitable... (4, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802982)

Hurd, DNF, Wine 1.0, Gmail out of beta, Windows running stable, grannies using Linux, video chat on handheld computers, movies commonly coming out in 3D, video games you don't play with your hands, electric cars on dealership lots, a US president who isn't a white guy...

Dogs and cats living together... Mass hysteria!

Also the same... (-1, Troll)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803044)

DNF had a scene where the player is rewarded picking up poo.

HURD rewards GNU/Linux users for replacing a working kernel with poo.

The similarities are striking.

Re:I guess it was inevitable... (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803056)

I realize this is a joke, but the comparison is surprisingly apt. Projects that are delayed like this are rarely, if ever, successful. After so long in development, half the code is probably designed for hardware that is 20 years old, and the remaining half is designed for hardware spread across those intervening 20 years. Since the project was continually under development but never released, by the time they finish updating old sections of the code, the hardware they revised it to support is already several years old. And the code that was modern is even older. And since no one is actually using it, they don't have a massive base of users modifying, testing, and updating it like real operating systems (i.e. Linux, FreeBSD, etc) do.

The result, if it ever gets released, is a cobbled together mess, most of which is outdated and barely works, and the rest is buggy and poorly coded because they were trying to shove it out the door. Any modern features that it has either don't work properly, or don't mesh with the rest of the project. Just like DNF. At this point, the Hurd developers should either admit defeat and close the project, or get enough people together that they can scrap everything, start from the ground up, and rewrite the whole thing within a few years. Otherwise, they will be constantly behind and never become relevant. Likely, they won't do this, which is why I doubt Hurd will ever really make any kind of impact. Being released might help, or it might just make people realize that this is essentially an operating system that was designed 20 years ago and should be abandoned. My money is on the latter.

Re:I guess it was inevitable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36803202)

Forget the Linux desktop, 2011 is the year of the HURD desktop!

WOW (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802540)

I haven't HURD of a Slashdot story on HURD in like 10 years.

I guess with Duke Nukem forever being released also this must mean that the apocalypse is upon us.

To be fair (0)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802548)

Its only been under development for a short time. Oh. 20 years? n/m

Re:To be fair (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802922)

Oh neat, I see what you did there! You made people think that Hurd was a new project when you KNEW it wasn't! LOLOLOL what a hilarious gag.

n/m.

Re:To be fair (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803204)

Based on TFA's claims on driver support and such, I'd say it's still underdeveloped.

better quit now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802562)

Its not as fast as linux, and doesn't have hardware support. So, there is no bother kicking it out. Because nothing ever gets better. Especially when people start adopting it and taking it apart to see how it works and make it better. I for one, am not building a new computer for it. Nope. Not me.

Hurd has earned a certain amount of derision. (2)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803246)

Its not as fast as linux, and doesn't have hardware support. So, there is no bother kicking it out. Because nothing ever gets better. Especially when people start adopting it and taking it apart to see how it works and make it better. I for one, am not building a new computer for it. Nope. Not me.

Fair point, I guess, it has room to improve...

But it's hard not to be cynical about Hurd. It's been present to some extent for as long as I've been aware of Linux, but it's always been sort of a joke. It was supposedly going to do all these amazing things (and maybe now it can actually do some of them) but for year after year after year it was all talk, combined with a failure to deliver. Hey guys, it's going to have this amazing mount structure that will make /usr/bin and /usr/local/bin obsolete! It's going to have a fantastic microkernel architecture with pluggable modules so you can dynamically adjust the shit out of it! It'll be really, really great - oh, but it's not really usable yet. Maybe next year. This has been going on for a long, long time.

Meanwhile, GNU, lacking a usable kernel of their own (more or less) but wanting to have a full system to call their own, laid their brand on Linux... And, you know, I respect GNU and appreciate everything they've given us over the years, and I think they have a reasonable point that GNU software is pretty central to the typical Linux system. But you see "GNU/Linux" even in GRUB - think about that... GRUB is booting the Linux kernel. It's a safe bet that the system, once it's started up, will run GNU software, but they're not booting GNU software in that case: They're booting Linux. (OK, bit of a rant there, but can you see my point here?)

Can't fault 'em too much for limited hardware support, 'cause limitations like that have generally been an issue for Linux as well. The hardware side is less of an issue now only because Linux has exposure and commercial support driving hardware support (sometimes in a non-free or quasi non-free form). They should be able to adapt some of that code to work in Hurd over time (well, as long as they don't have an issue with the code being licensed GPL v2) and get a lot of what's missing.

But, after all that build-up and all that delay, for the system to still be a bit weak - I feel like it hasn't really earned the right to escape the derision it earned in all those years of being steeped in theoretically good concepts, while failing to deliver the goods.

Brilliant, but... (3, Funny)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802564)

... does it run Linux?

Re:Brilliant, but... (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802600)

It barely runs Hurd, for chrissake.

Re:Brilliant, but... (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802720)

It can run Debian though...

But honestly, is there is a point to this apart from a toy OS. Linux and BSD and even Haiku (which is a microkernel) is way ahead in the race.

Re:Brilliant, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802818)

well its interesting that you mention such things, I mean plenty of folk use OpenBSD even though it doesn't have as good hardware support as Linux, and neither does it support multi-core SMP or other modern functionality..

Re:Brilliant, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36803150)

But honestly, is there is a point to this apart from a toy OS. Linux and BSD and even Haiku (which is a microkernel) is way ahead in the race.

Doe it matter? Look at UNIX vs. DOS. I'm sure most people would call DOS the "toy" OS (although it did have its uses, and nostalgia...), but did that ever make MS-DOS succumb to UNIX? Hell no. It only succumbed to Windows--which was practically a GUI on top and later tried to "hide" the underlying OS completely while allowing complete DOS compatibility in the terminal emulator.

There will always be interested developers, and you can be sure that RMS will try to push as many as he can to HURD (at least as an option). The HURD still has a chance, assuming it can stabilize, increase its performance, and get better driver support. The end user probably won't care if it's Linux or the HURD under the hood if it works well and fast.

Re:Brilliant, but... (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803260)

assuming it can stabilize, increase its performance, and get better driver support.

In other words, it'll be successful, provided it grows to provide the many things it lacks currently, which happen to be table stakes for being taken seriously as a usable operating system in any remotely serious computing task.

That's all?

Re:Brilliant, but... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802894)

does phoronix run hurd? it's slashdotted.

Turd? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802572)

I'm a big fan of a lot of the work that GNU has done... but could you pick a name closer to "Turd"?

Re:Turd? Sounds like fertilizer to me. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802710)

Yeah. What's FSF and GNU done for us lately? Besides gcc and all that other GNU stuff that represents about 15% of code in the typical Linux distribution, vs 1.5% for the Linux kernel.

And then there's all that Free Software propaganda, copyleft and everything else that kicked off the whole movement.

Nope, not a fan at all...

Re:Turd? Sounds like fertilizer to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802924)

"And then there's all that Free Software propaganda, copyleft and everything else that kicked off the whole movement."

I think it did more harm than it helped. I think more pragmatic OSS guys helped more.

Re:Turd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802904)

Durd would be closer.

HURD is a broken project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802578)

Seriously, HURD is really nothing more than a kernel. It's based on the Mach kernel.

Now consider that despite the fact that HURD is based off a kernel that someone else wrote (which means they got a head start) it has still taken decades to just to the current state which is an outdated barely functional system.

Laugh. Out. Loud. FAIL!

How free is free? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802580)

Yes, it's slower, but did they measure how much freedom it achieved?

Re:How free is free? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802636)

Yes. Hurd single handedly liberated Egypt, Bahrain, and Syria. China fears that they will boot HURD again and it may free China as well.

Re:How free is free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802662)

"Freedom, at the speed of snails"

Re:How free is free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802706)

Bet it's faster than the OS you use, Windows-fag.

Re:How free is free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802914)

RMS is that you??

Re:How free is free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36803206)

Yes, it is faster idling at a command prompt. Unlike the 2 HURD users, the rest of us we don't find that very impressive.

Re:How free is free? (2)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803058)

It measured 37 Stallmans hire on the GNU/RMS Freedom benchmark.

Re:How free is free? (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803108)

Yes, it's slower, but did they measure how much freedom it achieved?

It's like slow-food. You have to take time to appreciate it. Slow-boot, gives you the opportunity to make breakfast or something...

A toy for now (3, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802588)

20 years of development and 10 years behind in almost every aspect. Hardware support basically non existing, no X11, but no SMTP support is what really surprised me. I though better multithread was one of advantages of the Mach architecture. Anyways, even on a single core machine Linux is faster, there wasn't a single test in which Hurd did noticeably better.

I wish them luck, but I don't think I would even be capable of installing it on any of my machines any time soon.

Re:A toy for now (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802620)

I think you mean no SMP, SMTP should work just fine since you can probably run sendmail or postfix on HURD.

Re:A toy for now (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802668)

where's an edit button when you need one ?

Re:A toy for now (4, Insightful)

DeBaas (470886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802828)

where's an edit button when you need one ?

Hurd is not the only thing 10 years behind.....

whooosh there goes my karma

Re:A toy for now (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803088)

I noticed (forget how i got there) the other day that Sourceforge is hiring a Slashdot head h4xx0r.

You'd think they'd just open-source it or something...

Re:A toy for now (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803144)

where's an edit button when you need one ?

It's on boards without /.-style moderation.

What's the point in modding a post when the poster can just change it after the fact? I think even if the points are nullified it'd still be a pain. As you were told, if you made a mistake, well, that's what preview is for!

Re:A toy for now (2)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802712)

I for one would like to welcome our floppy-tape-drive-using HURD overlords.

Re:A toy for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802848)

X11 works just fine, actually. Maybe you should actually try using it?

Re:A toy for now (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803122)

Debian GNU/Hurd does not yet have a working graphical desktop environment. GNU Hurd is reported to work with an old XFree86 release, but not yet X.Org nor to mention the only very antiquated hardware support.

So yes, X11 works, just not a version anyone gives a shit about.

Re:A toy for now (1)

Pliny (12671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803258)

If you've got an install with working X11, more power to you. I spent days trying to get it to work.

About that other microkernel OS (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802596)

How's Minix 3 benchmark?

GNU/Linux (3, Funny)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802606)

I remember the days when you said, "Linux", there would be an army of zealots that would swarm you and chant, "IT'S GNU/LINUX! IT'S GNU/LINUX!!"

Re:GNU/Linux (2)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802648)

Well, I guess now we'll have to change it to "GNU/GNU Hurd".

Re:GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802738)

No, just "GNU". :-D

Re:GNU/Linux (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802994)

Whoa, Hurd has twice as much GNU as Linux? I'm going to switch right away!

Re:GNU/Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36803042)

It's actually less, GNU/Linux has one GNU, but GNU/GNU Hurd can be reduced to 1 Hurd so it has no GNU in it at all.

Re:GNU/Linux (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803068)

hmm, that would make it "1 HURD"

Re:GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802900)

The article is comparing Linux and Hurd, two kernels that can be used in conjunction with a GNU userland (or another one). If you were comparing either with a completely different operating system, such as FreeBSD, you'd want to specify the GNU userland used with Linux or Hurd, since it differs from BSD userlands.

Re:GNU/Linux (5, Insightful)

mickwd (196449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803080)

I remember the days when you could come to Slashdot and expect a discussion on the technical merits or demerits of a subject like an alternative operating system, with input from one or two people who really knew their onions.

I remember the days when people were technically curious about stuff which was different, just because it was different, and they wanted to know what it did and how it worked.

Where did all those people go?

./'ed (1)

tuxicg (2291850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802630)

Is this /.'ed already?

Re:./'ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802730)

Yes. Apparently the OS of the webserver is Hurd.

Serious question (3, Interesting)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802658)

Not trying to troll here, but why would one use GNU Hurd? What does it offer over Linux? The only fundamental technical difference of note I see is that it's got a microkernel, and arguing about monolithic kernels vs. microkernels is like arguing about vi vs. Emacs: I haven't seen anyone do it seriously, instead of tongue-in-cheek, in years. I imagine there are "non-free" parts of Linux scattered about, and maybe that's a reason to use GNU Hurd, but pretty much all of those are due to device drivers, and making a new OS won't help with that. Even rms admits it's a waste of time [reddit.com] . Does Debian really have nothing better to do?

Re:Serious question (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802722)

Heck, the "non-free" parts of Linux would just have no support at all in Hurd, so there's not even a win there. You can always setup a Linux distro to avoid all non-free stuff if that's what you care about.

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802782)

Just because it's not very useful right now doesn't mean it couldn't be useful in a couple of years, right? Or do you have proof that it will never be useful for anything?

Re:Serious question (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802892)

its got 20 years of proof that it doesn't do anything useful

Re:Serious question (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803228)

Or do you have proof that it will never be useful for anything?

The fact that it's still in alpha state after 20 years?

Re:Serious question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802832)

One interesting feature I saw on the hurd web site some 10+ years ago was that because it was a microkernel, you could run several different versions of the kernel at the same time, and do kernel updates without rebooting. That got my attention... but 10+ years later it seems to have been forgotten. I did not see those listed as features on the Hurd web site any more.

Re:Serious question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36803018)

You can run multiple kernels on Linux with User Mode Linux or any of the virtualizers. You can load a new kernel without rebooting by using kexec (or ksplice if you want a commercial alternative).

All of that have been available on Linux for many years.

You wouldn't (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802852)

Hurd is useless. It is the Duke Nukem' Forever of OSes: Released way too late and a relic from the past that isn't work getting.

Nothing software related that is "in development" for that long is going to be worthwhile because things change so fast. When something has a cycle that long it tells you that they aren't doing a good job working on it. They keep changing shit, are not working efficiently and so on. It also means that the end result is going to be useless.

Hurd has no reason to exist these days, particularly since if you need a microkernel and some POSIX, well there's FreeBSD. Back when it was started, it was a useful idea. After all there really wasn't any free POSIX, and that is what drove Linus to make Linux. He said if Hurd has been around, Linux probably would not have come to be.

Well that ship has sailed. Linux is out and all over, and as I noted with FreeBSD there are other options too if Linux itself is not appropriate for your needs.

Re:You wouldn't (2)

Ster (556540) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803182)

... if you need a microkernel and some POSIX, well there's FreeBSD. ...

The FreeBSD kernel is not a microkernel - it's a modular monolithic kernel, not unlike the Linux kernel.

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802854)

So you think no one should get involved with things they find interesting? Linux has no point when it started, try learning about it some time. Jeez, kids of today...

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802874)

A couple years ago, I asked RMS about progress on the Hurd. His response was that GNU had a kernel already, and that kernel was Linux.

Personally, I would like to see Hurd continue to develop.

Re:Serious question (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802936)

Not trying to troll here, but why would one use GNU Hurd?

One wouldn't. No more than one would use the memory manager I wrote in university for an operating systems class.

As an academic pursuit however its quite interesting, and as another working fully open source kernel, it its a worthwhile topic in any "comparative operating systems architecture" classes.

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802944)

It might be useful as a teaching tool?

Re:Serious question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802954)

JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK EMACS IS AN OPERATING SYSTEM WANTING A TEXT EDITOR IS NO REASON TO PRETEND THAT MICROKERNELS ARE WORSE THAN MONOKERNELS.

CUNT.

Slashdot is accusing me of YELLING. Slashdot can fuck itself. FUCK slashdot. Yeah. I bet it believes Emacs is an operating system without a word processor and that vi is the wave of the future.

Re:Serious question (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803020)

Mr. Stallman, please try to control yourself!

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36803250)

Pah! Are you telling me you prefer VI to Emacs? HOW COULD YOU?

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802958)

One thing it can conceptually offer much more easily than Linux is in a distributed kernel. With Hurd, all you need to support running your OS on an arbitrary number of machines is extending the IPC mechanism to work over networks. BAM, instant distributed OS.

note: yes..there is significant engineering required to do this well

Re:Serious question (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802966)

You could have said the same about Linux because we had Minix and BSD. The first versions of Linux where pretty useless. That being said HURD has some interesting ideas that may turn out to be useful. I am really fond of the goals of Minix 3. The idea of a self healing system is very cool for servers and embedded devices. Frankly it should pretty easy to do, make the drivers code segment in memory read only and if the driver has a serious error you restart the driver with a fresh data segment. Once the driver is restarted the old data segment could be dumped for debugging and a log of the error made. You would have to put in some kind of protection to prevent the logging and dumping from putting you into a driver restart loop but that should be just some deadlock prevention.
Of course this is all very hard to do in a monolithic kernel.
 

Re:Serious question (2)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803208)

That sort of thing has been done with Linux in various ways - but with substantial disadvantages. Under L4 and Xen there were implementations of running device drivers (for block and network devices) in separate virtual machines from the one running the application. They were restartable and contained only soft state. I worked, in a small way, on the Xen implementation and it was quite enjoyable to sit around restarting the device driver and watching stuff come back. Of course, one advantage of doing things this way is that you can reuse existing drivers.

Another project that was of a similar vintage (around 2003/04) but came slightly earlier (I think) was called "Nooks" and had the advantage of looking more like conventional Linux driver model. You could reuse existing drivers here too but lots of wrappers were needed when interacting with the non-driver portions of the kernel. I was given to understand (admittedly by a Xen developer) that their approach wasn't necessarily very efficient because their kernel-driver switches were still quite expensive and probably fairly frequent.

Anyhow, it's sort of possible to make systems that are more robust to device driver problems with almost-current technology but for various reasons (some subset of needing a hypervisor, cumbersome to set up, memory hungry, performance problems) these mostly don't seem to have taken off yet.

Well, duh... (1)

DryGrian (1775520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802686)

Linux was mostly faster than The Hurd while also having much better hardware support, multi-core SMP support, and other modern functionality.

Um, duh? 20+ years real-world testing and updates and bugfixes from pretty much the entire open-source community vs. something that was released last week? Why don't they benchmark it against Google Plus and Bitcoin while they're at it?

Re:Well, duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802748)

Don't give them any ideas.

I don't understand why this Phoronix crap keeps getting posted to /. Their comparisons are uninteresting and their methodologies incredibly suspect. Their entire website is only an excuse to display advertisements. Why are we supporting them?

I just wish they'd go away.

Re:Well, duh... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802790)

Um, duh? 20+ years real-world testing and updates and bugfixes from pretty much the entire open-source community vs. something that was released last week? Why don't they benchmark it against Google Plus and Bitcoin while they're at it?

HURD is older than Linux, isn't it? I seem to remember Linus saying he wouldn't have bothered developing Linux if HURD had actually been usable at that point.

Re:Well, duh... (2)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803112)

Hurd might beat bitcoin in a "has practical uses" benchmark. :P

i have seen the list of supported hardware (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802694)

and i have to say that i believe i will die of old age before Hurd is ready for the masses, and by then hardware will have changed so much that Hurd will never catch up, (not without an army of developers)

Well at least .... (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802736)

the HURD didn't throw up a blue screen of death.

Actually they didn't mention how many Kernel panic dumps they got, if any.

It's sad, really (1, Funny)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802744)

I see Captain Ahab is still chasing after his whale. Don Quixote is still tilting at his windmills. Years after it's far too late to make any difference in the world, Stallman is still obsessed with taking on Linux. I almost feel sorry for the guy at this point...

Re:It's sad, really (4, Informative)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802798)

Actually, Stallman has nothing to do with pushing this project, he thinks it's a waste of time and effort [reddit.com] (see Q13). I'm not sure who is fronting this thing, but I want some of their stash.

Re:It's sad, really (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803116)

I haven't been following Hurd for a while. I was sure he was involved because he was ranting about how Linux stole all the GNU tools or something like that. It's been so long and my memory has faded. I'll go and read up on it some more before I make such a grievous error again.

Re:It's sad, really (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802856)

Actually Stallman from what I've seen and read isn't particularly interested in Hurd at this point as part of his "Freedom" agenda.

He is quite satisfied with the Linux kernel.

Hurd however is interesting from an academic standpoint, and is entirely worthwhile on that front.

Re:It's sad, really (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803146)

Hurd however is interesting from an academic standpoint, and is entirely worthwhile on that front.

I can certainly agree with this point. It would have been a great thing to have had an open source operating system to study when I was in college. A real, working operating system would be a far better teaching tool (for people like me) than sitting in a classroom hearing lectures about abstract concepts. It took me years to finally understand the real worth of the ideas I was supposed to learn in the classroom. It wasn't until I was able to put them into practice that I really figured it out. Had I been able to dissect an open source operating system in college (with some guidance, of course) I would have had a lot less pain in the real world trying to get things to work.

Re:It's sad, really (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802864)

With the biggest difference was that Stallman won his battle a long time ago. He just can't leave well enough alone.

It's about drivers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803086)

Stallman won his battle a long time ago.

The battle will be won once all computer hardware sold for home use has a free device driver available.

Re:It's about drivers (2)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803170)

The battle will be won once all computer hardware sold has a free device driver available.

Fixed it for you.

Linux vs HURD (4, Interesting)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802776)

At the risk of being lambasted, I don't understand why everyone is kicking so hard at HURD. Sure, it's nowhere close to Linux in any respect, but then it never attracted the throngs of developers that Linux did. OS/X is proof that the idea of building on the mach kernel can result in a sound and performant OS. I for one salute those that have stuck with or picked up development of what many would consider a lost cause. Eschewing a technology because it's not popular does not engender innovation. Personally, I hope the HURD team begins to attract more developers and eventually begins to catch up with Linux because competition, even in the FOSS arena, is always a good thing.

Re:Linux vs HURD (5, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802932)

hurd is an example of how despite being open and free, you can still run the ship with closed minds. it almost seems like a grant money scam.

Re:Linux vs HURD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36803076)

Actually, there have been rumors for years that Apple will be stripping out the microkernel support for future versions of OS X. In fact, Apple has hacked the xnu kernel to run in the same address space as some kernel tasks for the sake of performance.

In short, uKernels were a fun research project, for a while.

Re:Linux vs HURD (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803096)

Yeah, there seems to be a tone change here - "why would anyone use ____" - isn't that different from when we welcomed the Niche stuff? Is the ridicule only because this was in Permanent Development?

I think I see some small benefit in getting this (and Duke Nukem) Out The Door in whatever state they are in. Now that it's Out The Door, can we just turn right around and rip out a couple juicy bits of code and slam them into Linux? Is any of it Prior Art to fight the stupid lawsuits with?

Re:Linux vs HURD (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803172)

OS/X is proof that the idea of building on the mach kernel can result in a sound and performant OS.

OS X is proof that by using the Mach kernel as a provider of process/thread management and VM services, and putting a BSD kernel atop that, you can get a sound and performant OS. It's not as if OS X is a true microkernel OS; if that's the goal of the Hurd, as I have the impression it is, that's a different matter.

Shouldnt the race be between Hurd and Minix? (1)

Marrow (195242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802822)

Wouldnt that be a closer comparison to Hurd than Linux?

Phoronix fluff (2)

liquidhokie (2044274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36802930)

Phoronix has a history of questionable choices for their benchmark setups. Hardware, versions, and tuning are... cleverly chosen, almost as if there was a preconceived agenda with inevitable results. Not that there is one-- just like it seems like there is. And so colorfully presented! I remember when they tested ZFS on an i386 version of FreeBSD on a 1G laptop! Others have also noticed this Phoronix phenomenon:

http://forums.freebsd.org/archive/index.php/t-16396.html [freebsd.org]
http://www.kev009.com/wp/2008/12/phoronix-benchmarking-statistically-significant-and-other-performance-concerns/ [kev009.com]

The whole point of Hurd, at least right now, is tangential to benchmarks. Nothing wrong with testing, of course, but I think the results should not be used for any long term planning. Nobody is planning on launching a business running on Hurd servers... yet.

Current vs Potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36802986)

What it does TODAY isn't the point.
What the future potential is.

There was a time when Linux was a hobby toy, not taken seriously by anyone.
Now it's a leading OS, not necessarily because of a great technical outline, but because of the open source nature, and a lot of smart people working on it.

If the HURD architecture is more efficient, it might someday offer absolute performance advantages.

As it is, for most purposes the actual OS is becoming more and more irrelevant to end users, and with projects like Debian/[Linux/HURD/BSD] ideally one could switch between different OSs nearly transparently.

Then it doesn't matter where HURD is today, or where it goes in the future, at best it puts another path forward when we hit the limits of the Linux design. At worst, it's a distraction that may suck away some resources for a few years (decades, or longer)

Finally the real benefit to a project like Debian is that it helps make the nonkernel portions more portable and less kernel specific. Think about that, thousands of packages that aren't dependent on a certain processor/hardware platform, 32 or 64 bit, or even the same kernel.

Success dependant on others? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36803014)

The word "Hurd," like so many other words used in the free software community, has it's roots in left wing idealistic (but not realistic) thinking. The project is a fail before it can ever get off the ground because the project was expected to finish itself or be finished on the backs of someone else. What does ubuntu mean again? Oh... that's right. "Go hug a tree, or else I'm going to go get my bazooka?"

gnu.org server? (2)

trb (8509) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803186)

I don't mean to be flippant, but I think we'll know that Hurd is growing up when http://gnu.org/ [gnu.org] runs on it.

Hurd has already had an impact (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36803222)

For one, I have to question anyone who criticizes what basically amounts to a long-term research project in how to design an operating system. Of course it's going to take too long and of course nobody from the mainstream is interested enough to help.

For another it should really be pointed out that SELinux and FUSE are really just bolted-on, inferior implementations of things that are key embedded concepts in the hurd. You probably would not have these things on your linux system today if it had not been for the hurd.

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