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GNU Hurd To Develop SATA, USB, Audio Support

timothy posted about a year ago | from the ear-to-the-ground-gets-you-trampled dept.

GNU is Not Unix 274

An anonymous reader writes "Hurd, the GNU micro-kernel project that was founded by Richard Stallman in 1983, may finally be catching up with Linux on the desktop... Plans were shared by its developers to finally bring in some modern functionality by working on support for Serial ATA drives, USB support, and sound cards. There are also ambitions to provide x86-64 CPU architecture support. GNU Hurd developers will be doing an unofficial Debian GNU/Hurd 'Wheezy' release this year but they hope for the Debian 'Jessie' release their micro-kernel in Debian will make it as part of some official CDs."

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274 comments

Finally! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850091)

Finally, 2013 is the year of Hurd on the desktop!

Re:Finally! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850337)

GNU/Slow down, first we need the year of GNU/Hurd on any GNU/hardware from this GNU/century...

Re:Finally! (2)

Kwpolska (2026252) | about a year ago | (#42850429)

s|GNU/Hurd|GNU Hurd| There should be no / here, as this is a 100% GNU project, not a 0.0000000000000001% GNU project, iike KDE/Python/Haskell/TeX/LibreOffice/Blender/Wine/Linux*. * the biggest packages and package groups on my system, in a random order.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850565)

Really? Haskell is a bigger package group than coreutils+binutils+bash+grep+tar+GRUB+gzip+gcc+gdb+the whole friggin libc? (just some GNU packages off the top of my head, there's probably a lot more) ... and that's assuming you have GTK+ uninstalled (not using GIMP or Firefox).
Depending on the exact metric (lines of code, total size of binaries, total size of package including/excluding image/table/meshing/... data, number of files, number of binaries, etc.) it varies, but in most GNU is easily near to or at the top on any given Debian or Ubuntu or Suse or Arch distro.
Really, these zealots today...

Re:Finally! (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42850685)

Actually, saying GNU Hurd is okay - or redundant, since Hurd is all GNU - GNU Mach plus drivers plus whatever GNU userland they put on it. Only thing - X11 is not GPL in the collection of things they'd want absolutely have to use - unless they were going w/ the configuration that had only Emacs on it. So I wonder what they could use in place of it, which could then have GNOME riding on it. Will there be a GPL version of Wayland?

Re:Finally! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850739)

Do you by any chance use ghc for your Haskell needs? You know, that Haskell compiler that is part of the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), which in turn includes gcc, g++, gfortran, gnat, gjc, ... most of which are substantially more extensive than any Haskell compiler.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850775)

G in GHC stands for "Glasgow". As in "University of Glasgow", where this Haskell compiler is developed.

It has nothing to do with GNU (and is actually BSD licensed).

Re:Finally! (0)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42850647)

Did they finally sort out which microkernel they wanted to use as the basis? They tried all those others before - Viengoos, Coyotos et al - they should have simply forked Minix 3.0 and run w/ that.

Somehow, if this ends up as based on Mach, it's very underwhelming. Every other OS that was based on Mach, except OS-X, has bitten the dust.

And when will Linux on the desktop catch up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850129)

Catching up to the last in the race is no achievement.

Re:And when will Linux on the desktop catch up? (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#42850777)

Catching up to the last in the race is no achievement.

Wrong - catching up with the last in the race is a great achievement - you've just managed to bypass the rules of logic.

Absurd (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850135)

Its fucking absurd that USB support and sound cards and SATA support is news in an operating system today.

Re:Absurd (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850375)

Any user oriented system in development (as HURD clearly is) has to add support for USB, sound cards and SATA at some point. That is no reason for ridicule.
This particular project does development in an openly visible way, so you can see the daily progress. That is still no reason for ridicule.
This particular project progresses ... "very" ... slowly. That may or may not be a reason for ridicule, depending on your character.

Re:Absurd (4, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#42850489)

Yeah, but "some point" is usually fairly promptly. HURD has been in development for decades. USB has been out for over a decade. SATA has been out for about 8 years?

They can't expect people to support/develop/test it if it won't run on anything.

Re:Absurd (3, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#42850527)

Any user oriented system in development (as HURD clearly is) has to add support for USB, sound cards and SATA at some point. That is no reason for ridicule.

Yes, and for a system that's been in development as long as HURD has, that point was over five years ago. The fact that they're only doing it now is very much a reason for ridicule.

Re:Absurd (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42850783)

Not only that, the question is - what is HURD targeted at? OpenBSD is pretty much targeted at routers, FreeBSD is pretty much targeted at servers, Linux is pretty much targeted at servers & embedded devices. While on paper, they've been 'targeted' at the desktop, that's not been the story for a while, although that may change w/ the Windows 8 fiascos. But it leaves the question - who does GNU expect to be the biggest adaptors of HURD? Servers? Desktops? Tablets? Networking gear? What exactly? And please spare us the official answer that it's targeted to be the ultimate platform for liberated software.

Re:Absurd (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850657)

That may <s>or may not</s> be a reason for ridicule or pity, depending on your character.

GNU/Hurd project started: ca. 1990
USB 1.0 spec released: ca. 1995
SATA rev 1.0 released: ca. 2000
First AMD64 CPU: ca. 2005
And only now they plan to build support for 20, 15, and 10 year old technologies into 25 year old project.

It tells me about lack of proper coordination, poor project architecture and complete lack of interest from anyone outside.

I mean, compare with Linux kernel, where every year sees a new architecture or two added by third parties interested in those architectures and new drivers appearing because somebody in the community needed them or wanted to try writing a driver.

Re:Absurd (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42850705)

Well, it is, when the OS in question is made by an organization for whom 'libre' is more important than functionality of the software. Speaking of which, will they have network support for both Ethernet & wi fi, or will there be a new saga here over something or the other not being 'free'? Incidentally, this will be the first GPL 3 or later OS that they'll be coming out w/.

Why should I bother? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850137)

Why should I bother to use this kernel? What benefit would it give me over using just the regular Linux kernel or *BSD?

Re:Why should I bother? (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#42850263)

Why should I bother to use this kernel? What benefit would it give me over using just the regular Linux kernel or *BSD?

Its name is a mutually recursive acronym!

Re:Why should I bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850545)

If a name with geek appeal is all it takes to make an OS attractive, I think I will stick with Darwin.

Re:Why should I bother? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850345)

It's a microkernel, check Wikipedia.
Basically you will get clearly slower performance, but possibly much more reliability/stability, security, and all the benefits that go with modularity.
The point is that
a) computers will get so fast that the performance hit doesn't matter in standard programs
b) people hope to find ways of improving performance somewhat more into the direction of monolithic designs (=all the major platforms in use)
c) some application areas simply put additional stability over performance, so if we had a working microkernel... (no, Minix isn't good enough)

For now, best take it as a research project.

Re:Why should I bother? (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#42850401)

Isn't one of the "benefits that go with modularity" supposed to be that it's easier to write new kinds of modules (say, to support new hardware)?

Re:Why should I bother? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850447)

you will get clearly slower performance, ...

It's interesting that the people most concerned about this seem to Python and Ruby programmers!

Re:Why should I bother? (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a year ago | (#42850769)

Because their programs are so slow to begin with, they can't handle any slowdown. /snarky

Re:Why should I bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850779)

Basically you will get clearly slower performance, but possibly much more reliability/stability, security, and all the benefits that go with modularity.

Unless, of course, you need USB or SATA or sound or 64-bit CPU support or any other bleeding edge feature that they "plan" to implement soon. So if you want to run it on modern hardware, it will not be reliable or stable if it runs at all.

Any the benefits of GNU/Hurd are purely GNU/theoretical for the foreseeable future.

Re:Why should I bother? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42850831)

Microkernels have progressed a lot since Mach 3, but HURD is, from what I understand, still based on Mach 3. OS-X is based on Mach 3, but it is not a microkernel design in that things that are normally in the kernel in monolithic OSs, such as device drivers, are still built into the kernel. There has been a lot of advances in microkernels, but after trying 3 of them, GNU reverted to Mach 3.0 just b'cos development on those alternatives had frozen. But like I mentioned above, they could have tried Minix 3, which started fresh w/ a microkernel approach and is very different from Minix 1 & 2. In fact, since Minix 3 is the basis of Andy Tanenbaum's text book, the GNU guys could have forked it (since it's under a BSD license, not GPL) and made it the basis of HURD.

So the usual advantages of microkernels - particularly speed - won't apply here.

Really, who cares? (2, Insightful)

NReitzel (77941) | about a year ago | (#42850141)

I think Poor Richard has lived in an ivory tower far too long. Ideals are laudable, but the world moves on and reality trumps pedantry every time. Bill Gates didn't get to be, well, Bill Gates - by trumpeting Basic and DOS until people started saying, "Who?" He cut corners and compromised and, ahem, borrowed good ideas. It made him a gazillion dollars. And Richard, for all I agree with your ideals, and for better or worse, Bill Gates influenced the course of development of the personal computer more than you ever will.

-- Norm Reitzel

Real artists ship. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850177)

It's one thing to act all preachy. But real work happens when you start shoveling dirt. Stallman preaches benevolent communism, but he doesn't practice it. He prefers to be the one who talks, while OTHERS do the work. Ill never listen to anyone who chooses their job to be the easy one.

Re:Real artists ship. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850207)

Wow, so in this thread we have one person who personally blames RMS for Hurd being the way it is, and immediately afterwards a reply saying that RMS doesn't do any real work anyway. Which is it?

Re:Real artists ship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850277)

Umm, both? If Stallman actually put some work into in, Hurd would probably be a functioning OS by now.

Re:Real artists ship. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42850349)

Umm, both? If Stallman actually put some work into in, Hurd would probably be a functioning OS by now.

Presuming he has the skills, of course.

Re:Real artists ship. (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42850851)

Actually, he has abandoned HURD, declaring Linux to be the kernel for the FSF, and pushing Libre-Linux lately. The people doing HURD are doing it w/o him. But if they complete it, it will be the first GPL 3 OS ever created, and the FSF would have something to be thankful for. Of course, the fact that it was 20 years in the making is another story.

Re:Real artists ship. (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#42850279)

Wow, so in this thread we have one person who personally blames RMS for Hurd being the way it is, and immediately afterwards a reply saying that RMS doesn't do any real work anyway. Which is it?

They're not mutually exclusive. If a project leader spends all his time bloviating instead of working on the project, that can explain lack of project progress. (Note: I really don't know to what extent this is the case here, just saying...)

Re:Real artists ship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850319)

"bloviating"

I like that.

See, it's good to read comments just for the vocabulary lessons!

And ... thank you for not posting that video of Stallman "eating something from his foot".

It's gotten old.

Re:Real artists ship. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850443)

And ... thank you for not posting that video of Stallman "eating something from his foot".

It's gotten old.

True, but the nausea it induces is forever. When I need to vomit, thinking about that scene works better the a finger down the throat.

I expect that will be the case for years to come.

Re:Real artists ship. (1, Interesting)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#42850293)

Wow, so in this thread we have one person who personally blames RMS for Hurd being the way it is, and immediately afterwards a reply saying that RMS doesn't do any real work anyway. Which is it?

It's both.

"Hurd, the GNU micro-kernel project that was founded by Richard Stallman in 1983

Stallman never had in any interest in doing any real work and that is, at least partially ,why Hurd is what is it.

Re:Real artists ship. (5, Informative)

gpierce11 (726123) | about a year ago | (#42850399)

Not only did Stallman write EMACS, but he also wrote parts of GCC, the debugger, and gmake. These are not negligible contributions.

Re:Real artists ship. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850721)

You'd be surprised how often Stallman's name appears in a Man page for something REALLY useful in Linux. The only reason you don't hear about more recent projects from him is because a lot of the stuff he's written follows the UNIX ideology of giving people a lot of really small tools that can be combined in unique and useful ways.

Granted none of the stuff his name appears on works outside of the terminal, but 50% of my day in Linux is spent in a terminal because I do embedded development. The guy's tools just work, which is great.

Re:Real artists ship. (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#42850611)

Stallman preaches benevolent communism, but he doesn't practice it. He prefers to be the one who talks, while OTHERS do the work. Ill never listen to anyone who chooses their job to be the easy one.

Stallman is an eccentric personality who finds it difficult to relate to people and feels most comfortable around computers. I'd imagine that for him coding would be "the easy job", while taking on the role of public speaker and advocate for Free Software is probably a cross to bear rather than an escape from the hard work.

Re:Really, who cares? (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#42850301)

I think Poor Richard has lived in an ivory tower far too long.

But hey, he may get lauded by Tanenbaum for staying with a microkernel design.

freedom and respect (2, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | about a year ago | (#42850379)

mr reizel: if you've ever sat down and thought out a set of principles, then decided to stick to them no matter what happens, then you will understand. forget that it's about "software freedom" for a moment: just sit down and think, "have i ever actually come up with some principles, and am i prepared to dedicate my life to those principles and ethics"?

if the answer is "no" then for fuck's sake please stop criticising people who *have* decided that their principles are more important to them than any amount of money. because what you are saying is that we should not respect people who stick to their principles if there is money to be made. or obtained. or received. and i'm very alarmed that you clearly do not see that that's what you've said, otherwise you probably wouldn't have said it.

there's a little-known story that the linux kernel was first conceived by a small group of individuals in a military environment. they sat down, just after the "Unix Wars" and when Windows 3.1 came out, and they went [in summary], "shit. if this continues, windows - which we can see is a pile of shit even without the NSA or GCHQ looking at it, because we know about things like virtual memory - is going to be taken up in our secure environments merely because it's $100 not $10,000 and then foreigners will be able to go for a stroll through any of our government files".

[fast-forward btw to a recent complaint a few years back from a U.S. Senator about why the NSA punishes microsoft by not allowing windows to be installed on any of its office machines....]

back to the story: one of the individuals, a norweigan major, was then tasked to go off and "groom" any individual that he could find who had the potential to create a full "Free" operating system. the person he found: Linus Torvalds. you should be able to work out the rest of the picture.

now, i don't know if you're aware of this but many of the fears that that small group had have in fact already come true. i worked at NC3A (NATO Research) a few years ago: i was shocked to find that *every* single desktop system ran Windows NT (XP). which is absolutely insane - and that's in a military research environment. the reason: they were sold on a minor item - $USD 5m and MS "Office" licenses thrown in for free.

and this was just around the time when that Sony BMG "root kit" was doing the rounds. U.S. Military staff, bored of staring at nothing, would put a CD into the computer, and a complete list of classified files on that machine would be shipped over the internet to a server run by Sony.

i'm mentioning "military" because it should have obvious immediate ramifications where money should *not* be a deciding factor in the equation, but you can see clearly that it quite obviously has been, and the consequences of various Military instituations around the world *not* sticking to their principles - out of sheer ignorance or monetary over-ride - are very serious.

but the point being made applies just as equally to everyone else in a *non* military environment: you really really cannot trust proprietary software. you've seen enough dilbert cartoons to know why.

so that's the software freedom aspect dealt with. i'd best do the other bit in another post.

Re:freedom and respect (3, Funny)

turgid (580780) | about a year ago | (#42850619)

back to the story: one of the individuals, a norweigan major, was then tasked to go off and "groom" any individual that he could find who had the potential to create a full "Free" operating system. the person he found: Linus Torvalds. you should be able to work out the rest of the picture.

I used to work there too. This is complete and utter hogwash. We already had operating systems 50+ years ahead of even Solaris that we got from the Aliens in return for mending their crash-landed flying-saucers.

And that was at RAF Fairford in 1980, running on a special secret version of the Motorola 68000. To this day all NATO supercomputers run this hyperkernel on a military-spec 68k emulator on the bare metal.

Re:freedom and respect (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | about a year ago | (#42850653)

O.o so let me get this straight, you're claiming that Linus is a united states military/nsa figurehead and made Linux because both organizations somehow knew. That some time over a decade after the first windows release, that it would be so easy to break into.
. . . .
Please do everyone a favor, step away from the keyboard.

Re:Really, who cares? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850383)

Actually it sounds to me like Richard is on the right path. About once a year I hear about another "basic" part of the Linux kernel moving to userspace. It was just within the last week that someone was moving the console to userspace. At this rate Linux and Hurd will be similar functionality and both be microkernels about the same time, probably 2020 or so.

The argument was over microkernel/monolithic. Linus won the debate in the 90s and ever since about 2000 his kernel has been moving towards being a micorkernel more and more. I also think micorkernels are the better design, but they have a nasty basic problem that made them unusable back then. With MUCH faster computers that issue is no longer as large as it was and Linux is starting to take advantage of the microkernel design. Eventually microkernels will be how every OS works because the advantages are HUGE and the disadvantages are shrinking.

Richard Stallman and Tennaubaum were just ahead of computer hardware of the time.

Re:Really, who cares? (0)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#42850543)

Shipping code beats vapor, no matter the design. Linux won. Mach/OS X won. Hurd is still a steaming pile of shit, about 30 years in.

Re:Really, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850387)

Yes, indeedy, the personal computer with full operating system is certainly the future. GNU/Linux on a server dishing up web pages from Apache is a very rare beast indeed. If only someone would come up with a GNU/Linux influenced free operating system, even if it was only on those scarce mobile phone computer thingies. It's the kind of thing Google should have a go at. Shame Poor Richard never reached his stated goal of becoming Bill Gates, or as least rich as Trey.

Re:Really, who cares? (5, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#42850391)

I think Poor Richard has lived in an ivory tower far too long.

I hate to interrupt your Stallman bashing, but RMS isn't involved in Hurd development. He has been content to use Linux for many years now. Hurd development is driven mainly by other developers who are in it purely as a hobby, a way to play around with microkernel design, and they are not striving to reach a mass market.

Gates influenced PC development more than you too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850845)

read it and wheep. you responded to someone that closed with this line. no not the fact that people vote with their US dollars, but that their vote doesn't mean anything to a currency-eating legal animal. could Bill Gates have been THAT much of influence on PC's without money? I keep hearing of Russian scientists in frozen countries building computers with wood and string, so how did Bill Gates influence PC development? He built MS Windows on top of Dos for nearly 20 years, then released enough MS Windows that it kicked out compatibility, begining with DOS competitors Novel and IBM and Caldera. What about influence as in how Intel (an Israel corporaion) stole (American company) Digital Equipment Company's Alpha patents and stifled the entire world under inferior x86 technology for 15 years whiled count'em 5 other American computer hardware system companies whithered as SGI and MIPS and Sun and Atarii and Commodore... This prior 20 years of computing lost more American jobs, destroyed more industry founders, stole more tech to distant countries having nothing but thievery and murder in their heritage and family backgrounds.

And then there is this dirty filthy fuck writing shit like this. Beam. Me. Up.

Bill Gates influenced the course of development of the personal computer more than you ever will.
-- Norm Reitzel

I think Poor Richard has lived in an ivory tower far too long.
-- Norm Reitzel

Poor Richard everyday wrote in his almanac that he got up and got dressed and went to bed, and did better than everyone else. hello.jpg to you too, Norm Reitzel.

alternatives (2)

lkcl (517947) | about a year ago | (#42850413)

mr reizel: i did a prior post covering the software freedom aspect of what you wrote, but it's just as important to recognise that the linux kernel is a one-man show, effectively. if you don't like what mr linus has to say, then tough shit.

the GNU/Hurd project is therefore a fall-back - a safety net, so to speak. unfortunately it deviates from even what FreeBSD does, in its layout and presentation at userspace level [because it uses RPC message-passing between kernel and userspace], so they've given themselves a bit more to chew than the handful of people involved in it could really handle. fortunately however there is plenty of device driver code kicking around that they can bootstrap themselves up from.

they've achieved a hell of a lot. so please give them some encouragement - and preferably some money.

Re:Really, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850483)

I care! Why?

Because heterogeneous OS environment, despite the current stage of development, is good for the continous technological world we live in. You know, that whole freedom of choice thing... Yes, Hurd is far from modern' when compared to the mainstream OS', but I find it hard to see RMS trying to 1-up Bill Gates on this front, or any other. I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to argue there, other than your satisfaction and appreciation with people who lie, steal, and cheat their way to the top. Kinda sad actually...

I'm sure your also someone who also thinks FreeDOS is probably a waste of time as well. Have you even heard of it? That being said, it's his time, and the Foundations money and effort, so what do you care what they do. You obviously aren't interested in it, so why did you even comment?

Re:Really, who cares? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42850531)

I think Poor Richard has lived in an ivory tower far too long. Ideals are laudable, but the world moves on and reality trumps pedantry every time. Bill Gates didn't get to be, well, Bill Gates - by trumpeting Basic and DOS until people started saying, "Who?" He cut corners and compromised and, ahem, borrowed good ideas. It made him a gazillion dollars. And Richard, for all I agree with your ideals, and for better or worse, Bill Gates influenced the course of development of the personal computer more than you ever will.

Well said. I think it's about finding the right balance between academical correctness and practicality. For example the Linux kernel vows to GPL, but is also rather promiscuous regarding taking patches and new code from people.

What I also have observed lately is that at the end of the day, money makes quality software. Thus I wish also open source projects could find some kind of good funding models to accelerate their progress.

Re:Really, who cares? (3, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#42850539)

Bill Gates didn't get to be, well, Bill Gates - by trumpeting Basic and DOS until people started saying, "Who?" He cut corners and compromised and, ahem, borrowed good ideas. It made him a gazillion dollars. And Richard, for all I agree with your ideals, and for better or worse, Bill Gates influenced the course of development of the personal computer more than you ever will.

What a shallow comparison! There are people whose main motivation does not come from how much money they can make or how much power they can gain over others. RMS's motivation does not even remotely have anything to do with Bill Gates' motives or 'comparing of penis length' type rituals such as 'Who has had most influence on PCs?'

People who are mainly motivated by power and greed tend to ridiculde and diminish the achievements of these people. But in the long run, their rantings doen't count. In two hundred years from now people will very likely still read the novels of Thomas Pynchon, but absolutely nobody will give a fuck about the iPhone 5. (Apple and Microsoft will probably not even exist any longer in 200 years. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that the free software movement will be alive and well in 200 years from now, even if it might have been outlawed by then.)

Re:Really, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850715)

...for better or worse, Bill Gates influenced the course of development of the personal computer more than you ever will.

I disagree. Stallman has influenced the world of personal computer just as much as Gates if not more. Open source software was practically invented by Stallman. He wrote a lot of the tools that we use today. He never caved or rolled over no matter what people said/say about him.

Perhaps you are confusing material wealth with integrity of character?

MINIX (4, Funny)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#42850191)

At this point, they may give Minix 3 a run for their money. Yee haw!

Re:MINIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850365)

Only if HURD changes direction and becomes a project for teaching about operating systems.

Re:MINIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850801)

Actually Minix3 is looking pretty good.
http://www.minix3.org

LaTeX 3 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850199)

Will the documentation be written in LaTeX 3?

Not in Debian (5, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#42850229)

they hope for the Debian 'Jessie' release their micro-kernel in Debian will make it as part of some official CDs.

Sorry, but Hurd is being demoted to a second-class (ie, unofficial) port. The rules [debian.org] say that a port that fails to be included in two subsequent releases, gets moved to the debian-ports [debian-ports.org] ghetto, with shining neighbours like hppa (long dead) or sh4 (never has been).

In some ways, that's a pity -- like, improving other code by forcing removal of buffer overflows/asinine truncations related to PATH_MAX. In others, well, it's Hurd...

Duke Nukem is a Punk (5, Funny)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#42850233)

It is good that Hurd is a live project regardless of how much production use it sees. It explores kernel design theory; valuable work in itself.

Still, I can't help a little ribbing.

founded by Richard Stallman in 1983,

Duke Nukem? Feh. Only took 15 years to go gold. Hurd is 30 and they just started working on sound cards.

Please fix bugs in software people use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850247)

Sorry, but development time is a scarce resource. We have real problems to solve.

Re:Please fix bugs in software people use (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#42850463)

Sorry, but development time is a scarce resource. We have real problems to solve.

I for one find missing support for SATA, USB and sound to be real problems.

Re:Please fix bugs in software people use (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42850581)

Agreed. At least Linux desktop would hugely benefit from bug fixes rather than coming up with new wild concepts.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850249)

"Catching up with Linux on the desktop" by planning to implement USB and audio? I would think those would be bare minimum requirements for a desktop computer of _any_ kind, I doubt people would be impressed by a release of Windows that was lacking either... Even if the choice was Pulseaudio or no sound at all I would think people would still choose the former.

"HURD: Hairy Uncle Richard's Delusion."

Misguided (4, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about a year ago | (#42850255)

I don't believe it's wise to spend scarce resources trying to add support for every new johnny-come-lately PC technology that may or may not pan out in the end.

Instead, it would be better to keep focused squarely on how to more perfectly isolate each functional element of the kernel from the other functional elements. There's always room for improvement in abstraction and isolation of intra-kernel services. This is what the Hurd needs to take the time to make sure they get right before they start adding random features.

Re:Misguided (5, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#42850287)

Being able to run on a somewhat modern computer (they all come with SATA drives and USB ports nowadays - no support for those two basic technologies means your kernel just won't work on any hardware that's not totally obsolete by now), and being able to actually use all the hardware in that computer, is a fairly important feature of a useable OS, imho.

Re:Misguided (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42850605)

We could start with servers. Just throw there a network card driver, AHCI driver, basic stuff like that. A robust micro-kernel OS running a server, a cool idea.

Re:Misguided (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850819)

Wooshed right by the moderators, too.

Re:Misguided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850859)

Not to mention that they'll have something to test it on once their old machines start dying off.

Re:Misguided (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42850355)

This is what the Hurd needs to take the time to make sure they get right before they start adding random features.

I don't think you can accuse the HURD developers of rushing into things!

use (4, Interesting)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | about a year ago | (#42850267)

Why does anything always have to do with practicality or use. Tinkering with new or old operating systems can be compared with learning and messing with new or old math or physics. I guess that when developing some USB drivers for hurd, you learn more than improving a given drivers for linux. The later is like reading and understanding and improving on a paper which is "well known", the former like breaking new grounds.

Re:use (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42850357)

Why does anything always have to do with practicality or use. Tinkering with new or old operating systems can be compared with learning and messing with new or old math or physics. I guess that when developing some USB drivers for hurd, you learn more than improving a given drivers for linux. The later is like reading and understanding and improving on a paper which is "well known", the former like breaking new grounds.

Because software is engineering, not science.

Re:use (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42850679)

Because software is engineering, not science.

Says who? Maybe some purely experimental projects (and I'm not necessarily saying Hurd is one) can be very useful too.

Re:use (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#42850397)

Maybe but Hurd is a lot different than Linux or Mach. While Hurd theoretically is a good design, the practical considerations of a kernel have kept it behind. Just like a good technology to reduce auto pollution is to use hydrogen fuel cells instead of gasoline combustion. Practical limitations of using hydrogen as a fuel have it the use limited.

Inefficiencies matter less over time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850479)

As hardware becomes more and more powerful, the efficiency of an operating system reduces in importance, because its overheads become less visible as a percentage of the work done. If the inefficient design provides some structural benefits (and microkernels have many), then this can be a worthwhile tradeoff.

Re:Inefficiencies matter less over time (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42850659)

I wonder if a nice addition would also be to convert the source to C++? Maybe to help with maintainability without causing much of a performance overhead.

Wheezy? (-1)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | about a year ago | (#42850289)

I wonder why they picked that name since it is already what the Raspberry PI's version of Debian [Raspbian] is called.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads [raspberrypi.org]

From the webpage above
Raspbian “wheezy”

If you’re just starting out, this is the image we recommend you use. It’s a reference root filesystem from Alex and Dom, based on the Raspbian optimised version of Debian, and containing LXDE, Midori, development tools and example source code for multimedia functions.

Re:Wheezy? (2)

Wyzard (110714) | about a year ago | (#42850333)

I wonder why they picked that name since it is already what the Raspberry PI's version of Debian [Raspbian] is called.

Because "wheezy" is the codename for the upcoming Debian release [debian.org] , for all architectures, not just a specific system like the Raspberry Pi.

Re:Wheezy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850437)

For anybody who knows a little bit about Debian (which is what this article is about, after all), your comment sounds terribly uninformed.
Here's a link [wikipedia.org] for you, check the codenames...

Please don't flame this guy, he's just asking :)

Re:Wheezy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850763)

raspberry pi's raspbian code name 'wheezy' COMES FROM DEBIAN. not the other way around. 'wheezy' was announced by debian devs in sept 2010. raspbian 'wheezy' was released last summer, replacing its previous version which was codenamed 'squeeze' -- wonder where *that* came from?

But x86 isn't free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850367)

What, supporting physical hardware that I'm not free to inspect and modify? I would think that GNU/Hurd should be available only on open source hardware. You can get VHDL for a SPARC and all the interfaces. After all where do you draw the line.. binary blobs in drivers? embedded microcode?

Everything open and available to all for cost of copying.

Re:But x86 isn't free... (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year ago | (#42850751)

You draw the line as deeply as you can while still being able to make forward progress moving it downward, and accumulating popularity has some value too. Saying you shouldn't work on free software/hardware unless it achieves 100% free at every level means you'll never get anywhere. GNU tries to advance on multiple development layers when it can, but it can't completely ignore the economics of mass production.

Now, I know that I am old .. (1)

burni2 (1643061) | about a year ago | (#42850595)

having hurd that HURD would catch up now I feel my memory is hurting .. for the 5th ? or so time ..

sorry guys & girls but I think for you not having been on the internet GNU/Hurd is the "ultimate" vaporware or better virtual reality ware,
because it really exists but you virtually can't do anything with it except using it to understand, learn and devellop, and that's what many long bearded people (mostly men) do,

You can do it, it will achieve nothing but your own pleasure, -> masturbation -

So I think it's good that Hurd exists.

Hurd is on a roll... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42850603)

If they continue like this they'll catch up wit ReactOS in less than five years

HURD vs QNX (4, Informative)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about a year ago | (#42850747)

I know that HURD has been the butt of our jokes for a while. Even if you get it to run, it's painfully slow. However, these problems are not inherent to the microkernel architecture, since QNX is lightning fast and is very much microkernel-based. The downfall of HURD was that the processes kept the CPU occupied with message passing rather than actually running programs. QNX figured out how to minimize these overheards. I can be done. RIM (now "Blackberry") bought QNX and closed the source code, which is sad, but it hasn't destroyed the sound rationalle for microkernels.
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