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First Program Executed on L4 Port of GNU/HURD

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the downhill-battles dept.

GNU is Not Unix 596

wikinerd writes "The GNU Project was working on a new OS kernel called HURD from 1990, using the GNU Mach microkernel. However, when HURD-Mach was able to run a GUI and a browser, the developers decided to start from scratch and port the project to the high-performance L4 microkernel. As a result development was slowed by years, but now HURD developer Marcus Brinkmann made a historic step and finished the process initialization code, which enabled him to execute the first software on HURD-L4. He says: 'We can now easily explore and develop the system in any way we want. The dinner is prepared!'"

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first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570156)

haha yeah right like hurd will ever be completed.

Re:first post (-1, Redundant)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570243)

I hope it'll be done before Duke Nukem Forever comes out. I been waiting for that game forever now. :)

asdfasd (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570157)

LAWLASLSALASLSL

Benchmarks? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570161)

How fast is GNU/HURD compared to GNU/Linux? How about non-GNU/Linux?

Re:Benchmarks? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570313)

How fast is GNU/HURD compared to GNU/Linux? How about non-GNU/Linux?

Microkernel systems are always slightly slower because of the message passing overhead but they can be much more secure and stable because all of the device drivers are run in user space. Contrast it with systems such as Windows and Linux where drivers are in kernel space and it is impossible to have a stable or secure system with poor drivers, and in fact most of the problems with Windows and Linux crashing is caused by buggy drivers running in kernel space. When the drivers are just user processes like in HURD then a faulty driver can't crash the system and if it goes berserk it'll just get terminated just like a buggy browser or text editor without affecting the stability of th entire system.

Re:Benchmarks? (3, Interesting)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570376)

Neat concept, but what if your graphics driver goes out?? Will it respawn automagically? Whaty if the hard drive controller's driver dies? Sometimes a neat concept ends up not being very practical. I would rather have the OS die if the hard drive controller's driver kicks off as there's less of a probablility of hard drive corruption. If the driver code for the hard drive dies and the kernel keeps running, would you not have lost alot data?

i just saw adam sandler (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570162)

I just saw adam sandler partying at the atlantic in jacksonville beach. cool shit. and I just got FP. that rocks

Re:i just saw adam sandler [bah] (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570175)

well, i still saw adam sandler motherfuckers.

Re:i just saw adam sandler [bah] (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570196)

I saw Adam Sandler once.

But since I'm not an Adam Sandler fan I just didn't give a shit.

It hurds (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570163)

To me HURD is like, well, like a missed opportunity.

Like OS/2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570194)

ya know, "fast pane relief for Windows" ... with marketing like that no wonder...

Re:It hurds (5, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570212)

The Hurd Project was started in 1983 [gnuart.net] (it's an instrumental featuring the speech where Stallman explained the origin of the GNU project).
Now, 22 years later, a definitve breakthrough has been performed.
I see this as an excitement :
  1. They kept working on it THAT long despite slandering and scepticism such as yours
  2. The rest of the software library (glib, bash, etc.) is already ready
  3. With Linux, Hurd and BSD amongst others, we are slowly getting back to the same variety we had 20 years ago, when we had to exchange basic listings and to port these onto various platforms (Sinclair, Commodore, Amstrad, Sharp...)


Now, we will see it emerge and, why not, get sufficient audience to become unavoidable. In 20 years from now, it'll be like it's an opportunity as weel as any other so it's not missed, it just took time to emerge, like my favourite whisky [scotchwhisky.com] .

Re:It hurds (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570220)

Or they could decide to restart it.

Re:It hurds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570255)

it just took time to emerge

Cue the jokes about Gentoo GNU/Hurd...

Re:It hurds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570228)

To me HURD is like, well, like a missed opportunity.
Do you mean something like "if you never tried, you'll regret it for the rest of your life?"
Good job HURD people!

Re:It hurds (1)

pchan- (118053) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570236)

To me HURD is like, well, like a missed opportunity

I see HURD more like a bad simile.

Re:It hurds (1)

DenDave (700621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570365)

Hurd may still present a good opportunity. It actually reminds me a little of Rhapsody's beginnings at Apple. The concept is very sound and as Linux with it's growing boy of a kernel steams headlong onto the desktop and "rich" platforms, hurd may possibly be next high performance open source platform.

Mods... (3, Funny)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570165)

Please mod down any posts that mention Duke Nukem: Forever.

Except this one, of course.

Re:Mods... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570181)

I'm guessing it will be more Daikatana than DNF.

Re:Mods... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570364)

Ya

My guess is Jimmy Buffet will be the Hurd spokesperson demonstrating DNF on the OS.

Re:Mods... (0, Redundant)

heydonms (734951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570274)

Oh come on DNF is comedy gold! In soviet russia gold is... ok, nah your right, forget it

Re:Mods... (4, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570354)

I actually started the lame Duke Nukem posts as a joke, but oddly I had Mozilla mentioned as well. The netscape code finally after 2 years had to be deleted and rewritten.

After a slow start Mozilla is finally ready and moving fast.

Hopefully the same fate will happen with Hurd as soon as developers come and take it seriously. Its a selfulling prophesy in free software.

DNF? Well its proprietary so who knows

Re:Mods... (1)

DenDave (700621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570368)

DNF is a myth, a rumour, a faecetious joke.. it never existed and no-one has ever seen it.. It's software for the x-files... it brings a tear to my eyes.. *sniff*

Re:Mods... (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570396)

Damn you! I was just going to mention it! Now I guess I cannot. Curse you and your quick thinking and infinite wisdom!

Dyu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (5, Funny)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570166)

... if GNU/HURD comes out before Longhorn?

Re:Dyu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570183)

oh man i wish i had mod points LOL!

Re:D'yu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570232)

... if GNU/HURD comes out before Longhorn?
...or if GNU/HURD supports more hardware than Longhorn

Re:Dyu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570233)

It's already out now and it's actually somewhat useable. But then again, it's lacking various features you might want and it doesn't do anything special that might make you want to use it.

Re:Dyu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (1)

kubrick (27291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570262)

It's already out now and it's actually somewhat useable. But then again, it's lacking various features you might want and it doesn't do anything special that might make you want to use it.

By this, do you mean GNU/HURD or Longhorn? :)

Re:Dyu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (1)

Scaz7 (179078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570253)

You beat me to that comment..

I guess it's back to lurking in the shadows of the ee-ter-net waiting for another slashdot story the come out in which I have some cunning or slightly witty comment to comment about...

Re:Dyu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (4, Funny)

typhoonius (611834) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570279)

Mark my words, 2005 will be the year of HURD on the desktop.

Re:Dyu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570294)

I don't care what the critics are "saying", Hurd is ready for the desktop already. They've got a solid kernel, the GNU system, and can run applications to main().

All this ballyhoo about Hurd not being ready for the desktop is FUD from M$FT. You guys can stay with your buggy OS, I'll be happily hacking away on my *modern* operating system.

Re:Dyu think Microsoft will ever live it down ... (5, Funny)

njvic (614279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570391)

Come on... Microsoft will never live up to HURD. Everybody knows it takes many Longhorns to make one HURD.

*ducks*

This story is under the wrong section, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570167)

which enabled him to execute the first software on HURD-L4. He says: 'We can now easily explore and develop the system in any way we want. The dinner is prepared!'"

this needs to be file under "Its funny, laugh"

It can be molded in any way we want! (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570168)

Just like a computer with nothing on it, it's a blank slate.

Perhaps a blank slate would be better because it's only a matter of hours to get a working Linux system on one.

what about second? (3, Funny)

nocomment (239368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570169)

Maybe the second program should be a better web server.

Re:what about second? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570237)

..or duke nukem forever ;)

Linux = The GNU Kernel (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570171)

HURD is deader than *BSD.

OMFG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570172)

This is a joke, right? Please tell me there isn't anybody out there who still believes that the Hurd will ever be anything more than the wet dream that everyone snickers up their sleeve at Stallman about.

what 1st program? (2, Funny)

spongman (182339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570173)

that 1st program wasn't a web server by any chance, was it?

Mach Microkernel vs L4 (4, Interesting)

TangoCharlie (113383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570174)

What are the relative benefits of L4 vs the Mach Microkernel? Better performance? As I understand it, MacOS X's microkernel is also based on the Mach microkernel... would it make any sense for Apple to look at L4?

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570209)

The L4 kernel is built around the x86 (really all modern CPUs) concept of processor "rings". The kernel itself resides at ring0, drivers at ring1, and so on.

The big thing is that in ring0, no one can interrupt you. So a kernel can run many cycles uninterrupted by applications. Mainly, this is used for scheduling and precise timing.

What L4 seeks to do is bring all levels of processing out to ring4. By doing this, they minimize the amount of code that cannot be preempted. (I'm sure you've heard about the pre-empted Linux kernel) So with everything running with near-identical process traits, problems like resource starvation and priority inversion simple do not happen. They can't happen, in fact, and that makes the L4 system especially well-suited for embedded systems as well as hard real-time systems.

But this comes at a tradeoff. Since the kernel is no longer running in ring0, the speed of system calls is dramatically reduced. However, because interrupts are handled in a logical manner, system responsiveness is much faster. It's a tradeoff, like most things in computer software.

It will be interesting to see, as this kernel matures, how well the operating system stacks up against Linux.

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570249)

It will be interesting to see, as this kernel matures, how well the operating system stacks up against Linux.

Well since an Ethiopian's bowel movements are more reliable than Linux, I really don't see any contest here.

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570316)

Parent sounds like a bad troll to me ... sometimes it's just scary at the amount of misinformation you get from comments in Slashdot.

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570392)

Well, this is fairly wrong but some of the truth is there.

The x86 uses rings but everything else just uses the supervisor vs user state (since that is all anyone uses the x86 for: rings 0 (supervisor) and 3 (user)).

You can be interrupted in ring 0 (on x86) or other architectures' kernel privilege level. They usually have an interrupt state flag that needs to be set but, as far as I know, this never has to do with privilege level (except that most interrupts turn it off so that you can clear the interrupt).

There is no "ring 4". On x86 it is "ring 3" (there are 2 bits for the ring level) and other chips just have "user mode" (hence, this is the generic term for this state).

Resource starvation and priority inversion have nothing to do with the notion of CPU privilege levels and can both occur on L4.

The real power to a microkernel comes from the modularity. It is much easier to maintain several small programs than one large one. Plus, it means that any problem in one of them harms nobody else (and that process can later be restarted instead of bringing the whole system down like Linux would with a bug or faulty driver). Additionally, a lean microkernel can stay resident in CPU cache so all kernel code can be run without memory latency overhead (only memory access and device access causes a problem).

The disadvantage is that the additional level of indirection in the message-passing between processes takes longer than just jumping to the kernel to execute a function and then returning (it isn't quite that simple but you get the idea).

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570234)

Probably not. The Darwin kernel is really a monolithic layer over the top of a microkernel, not a proper microkernel system. Historically, at least, you gave up too much speed to do a proper microkernel, so monolithic kernels were de rigeur in any application outside the OS laboratory. Just because Darwin is written atop of Mach, it doesn't necessarily follow that Darwin uses a microkernel; and the design of Darwin is that of a monolithic kernel, not a microkernel.

The Hurd is an interesting design. With luck, it will demonstrate both that the performance hit is no longer of major importance, and that a true microkernel has advantages over monolithic kernels. Only time will tell, of course, if those advantages are going to be properly exploited; but I must admit to curiosity as to what might be implemented above the Hurd that would not be possible (or would be significantly harder) with Linux.

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (5, Interesting)

js7a (579872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570251)

L4 has only seven system calls, compared to several dozen in Mach. It fits in about 32KB, too, which is very much smaller than Mach.

But the small size doesn't make most systems faster. Running the same Unix API, L4 adds execution time overhead beyond the default monolithic Linux kernel, about 5% [psu.edu] . (Does anyone know the figure for Linux-on-Mach? I know it's much greater than 5%....) However, there are some significant advantages having to do with debugging, maintainability, SMP, real time gaurentees, memory management, configurability, robustness, etc. Detailed discussion here [cbbrowne.com] .

From the overview: [tu-dresden.de]

Kernels based on the L4 API are second-generation -kernels. They are very lean and feature fast, message-based, synchronous IPC, simple-to-use external paging mechanisms, and a security mechanism based on secure domains (tasks, clans and chiefs). The kernels try to implement only a minimal set of abstractions on which operating systems can be built flexibly.

Other links: L4KA homepage [l4ka.org] , background info [unsw.edu.au] , more info with some historical L3 links [tu-dresden.de] .

Frankly, I think L4 is very much the right way to do things. I wish I could say the same for other parts of HURD.

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (1)

CptChipJew (301983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570272)

Mach is 3mb...I think

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570289)

Does anyone know the figure for Linux-on-Mach? I know it's much greater than 5%....

MkLinux (Linux running on the original series of PowerMacs) was a Linux-on-Mach system. In comparison to the monolithic PPCLinux, it had a performance penalty of around 15-20%.

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570339)

In this latest pistachio, there are more than 7 systemcalls, I believe.

In any case, I think 5% is a very reasonable bottom line figure that you can expect for the current implementation.

Let's see here (3, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570254)

would it make any sense for Apple to look at L4?

Given the fact that some features in OS X took Apple over 12 years to get into a shipping product (development on Copland started in 89), and given the fact that for years Apple had suffered with a horribly buggy, non standards compliant, limited system that was the Classic Mac OS, and given the fact that Darwin with the Mach kernel is an excellent open source unix system, and given the fact that huge amounts of time and money were spent getting OS 9 and Carbon libraries to run on it, and given the fact that OS X is now arguably the best OS out there and is earning heaps of praise from geeks, luddites, and just about every other type of user, and given the fact that OS X represents the most compelling reason to switch to Apple computers in years, and given the fact that in just a few years the OS has amassed a compartively huge following of developers and applications...

Given all those facts...

Whould it make sense for Apple to now completely rewrite it DOWN TO THE KERNEL LEVEL!!!

I really hope I don't have to answer that.

Re:Let's see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570285)

Whould you ever reconsider you're spelling of 'would'?

Re:Let's see here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570290)

You are out of your fucking mind if you actually believe that OS X is "the best OS out there!" Really, really, really out of your fucking mind!

Re:Let's see here (1)

jeif1k (809151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570371)

Your enthusiasm is admirable, but let's get back to the facts. Where is the evidence for your assertions of mass-conversions to OS X, for demonstrable superiority of its kernel?

The way it looks to me, Apple has a few percent market share at this point and I haven't seen any evidence that people are switching to it in droves, least of all Linux or UNIX users. And I don't know of anybody who switches to OS X because of the kernel, and it is hard to see what kind of compelling, tangible advantages it has over the Linux kernel.

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (4, Informative)

joib (70841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570278)

This article [l4ka.org] explains the philosphy behind L4, and how it's different from Mach.

Re:Mach Microkernel vs L4 (1)

jeif1k (809151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570362)

As I understand it, MacOS X's microkernel is also based on the Mach microkernel...

It is, but it's unclear whether OS X's version of Mach is still much of a microkernel.

would it make any sense for Apple to look at L4?

Well, ask yourself this question: given Apple's limited resources, where do they get the most return on their investment of time and effort? Probably the UI and consumer products (eg iPod).

OSS can afford to explore those kinds of technologies because there are so many OSS developers, but Apple has to focus.

Dilbert (4, Funny)

john-gal (823997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570178)

Reminds me of the Dilbert comic strip where an old man waves a piece of paper around and says "At last, I have formed a strategy that is acceptable to all departments. Now if only there were a way to reproduce text from one piece of paper to many."

Dilbert == BSA whore (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570332)

Reminds me of the Dilbert comic strip ...

I've been boycotting Dilbert since its authors became BSA propaganda whores [bsaengineers.com] .

Re:Dilbert == BSA whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570352)

Ouch, that's really disappointing. That should be more widely publicized; perhaps a slashdot story?

Ha ha ha! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570187)

I don't have anything to say, nor did I even bother to read the FA. Ha ha ha.

Oh you Unix guys.

GNU-Mach was just plain Mach in 1990 (2, Funny)

avidday (671814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570190)

Mach was still an active CMU project when the Hurd glacier began its very slow creep from the peaks of lofty idealism towards the throng of onlookers waiting patiently for the free unix kernel they always craved to reach them. I understand there are actually a few brave souls still standing there waiting.....

A Major Hurdle is Past! (1)

VisualPolitics (843083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570195)

Viva la GNU HURD!

nothing to see here (0, Offtopic)

xbmodder (805757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570200)

hey all, sorry for my grammer. I am usiing my treo. gnu hurd is done. is the apocalypse on us? this is great. where do I get it? is this a nothing to see here just some never-going-to-be released insane code. please move along. I hope not!

mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570242)

i agree with the parent poster

Competition is a Good Thing (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570203)

The HURD kernel is often joked about, but I for one does hope that it will eventually become a viable alternative to the Linux kernel. Competition is seldom a bad thing, especially not among free software projects.

AGREECE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570231)

EN TEE

Re:Competition is a Good Thing (2, Interesting)

ghoti (60903) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570264)

Not sure I agree. It took Linux a long time to be recognized as a viable alternative to other Unices. I don't think this can be easily done again. And I doubt that Hurd would have any noticeable advantages over Linux. It's also free, it runs the same software (99.9% or so ...), and it's a Unix (or, well, Not Unix).

So why not have the people working on Hurd work on something new instead, or work on improving Linux? Competition can also hurt, by splitting up the resources into many small parts ...

Re:Competition is a Good Thing (1)

roxtar (795844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570374)

So why not have the people working on Hurd work on something new instead, or work on improving Linux? Competition can also hurt, by splitting up the resources into many small parts ...

No, that would be bad. The amount of research going into OS research these days is already very less. The linux kernel itself has a very old monolithic kernel design unlike the mach or L4 which are multilithic. And AFAIK the Linux developers would not be too keen to work with the HURD developers.

Re:Competition is a Good Thing (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570296)

For a viable alternative to Linux systems, there is already BSD.

They are both open-source, support many of the same applications, and share some of the same concepts. In fact, for most servers, BSD is a better choice.

Linux (3, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570206)

Linus provided them a better, simpler kernel so they basicly scrapped HURD for linux, if I remember correctly from "Revolution OS"

BTW, Revolution OS is a great movie, even my non-nerd friends loved it. You can pick it up here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000A9GLO/ revolutionos-20/103-9235316-0475036 [amazon.com]

Re:Linux (1)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570227)

I think the Linux Kernel is actually very complex. If it were a simple Kernel, then my laptop would be able to boot the 2.4 kernel without having to send it -noscsi as a switch to prevent my old laptop from halting during system boot. A lot of device dependent stuff is compiled INTO the kernel for linux. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Cell chips come out.

Re:Linux (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570327)

Linux was far simpler to get started with because it was an old and proven kernel architecture. So while Linux got to run away with the lion's share of development effort, microkernels have taken a good long time getting their ins and outs fully researched and prototyped. And so now we've ended up with Linux being the far more complex project, with gobs of code for special cases and hardware and whatnot.

It's still entirely possible that with further development L4-Hurd will become the choice for the long run, especially if a lot of the best stuff of the work on Linux - namely device drivers - can be ported over. But it definitely has hefty shoes to fill.

Re:Linux (2, Informative)

angelfly (746018) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570239)

yeah, I saw Rev OS, it wasn't scrapped. They just designed their kernel in a way which is which makes debugging hard, and thus really long development time. Lately it's looking good though from what I've seen in debian hurd

I eagerly await ... (1)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570208)

.. the GNU/HERD L4 Live CD so I can see if I like this OS>

Slashdotted ? (0, Redundant)

Ray Alloc (835739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570210)

I hope the server is not running on GNU/Hurd, that would not be good for its public image.

Well, it's not that much :) (5, Informative)

Leffe (686621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570247)

Let me quote from the l4-hurd mailing list (posted 02 feb):

At Wed, 02 Feb 2005 01:12:44 -0500,
"B. Douglas Hilton" wrote:
> So, how much longer before Python will build on L4-Hurd? :-)

If you mean "building" as in "compiling it", that should be possible as soon as we ported the dynamic linker, or at least made sure the dynamic linker "builds" (ie, "compiles"), if python can be cross-build.

If you mean "building" as in "compiles _and runs_", then we are talking about a much longer time-frame :)

With my glibc port, I can already build simple applications, but most won't run because they need a filesystem or other gimmicks (like, uhm,
fork and exec), and I only have stubs (dummy functions which always return an error) for that now.

So, for the time being, a measure of progress is what functionality is implemented: drivers, filesystem, signal processing, process
management, etc. Luckily, we have so much existing knowledge to draw from (the Hurd on Mach source code, for example), that I am carefully
optimistic that progress can kick in very quickly once we have sorted out some fundamental (low-level) design issues and got a sufficient
understanding of the details of the system.

Thanks,
Marcus


I might as well quote this too, which I think this story most likely refers to (posted on 27 jan~):


Hi,

with the changes of today, the glibc patch set in CVS supports startup and initialization up to the invocation of the main() function - this means important things like malloc() work.

Of course, there is a lot of cheating going on, and the implementation is full of gaps and stubs. But this step forward means that we can do
easy testing by just writing a program and linking it to glibc, and run it as the "bootstrap filesystem" server.

TLS/TSD seems to work without any problems - important things like the default locale are set up correctly, and thus strerror() works. __thread variables are supported, glibc uses them itself.

There were a couple of fixes and extensions needed in wortel and the startup code, but it wasn't so much. My understanding of the glibc code has reached an all-time high (not that this required much ;)

If you want to reproduce all this, you need to configure, make and install the software as usual. It is important that your compiler can find the installed header files afterwards! Only then you can reconfigure your source with "--enable-libc" and try to build the C library according to the README.

Static linking against this new libc should be possible after (manual) installation, I guess, but I always use a very hackisch and long gcc
command line to cheat myself into a binary that I can then use as "filesystem server" (the last one in the list) in the GRUB configuration. See the README for details.

I think that this basically concludes the first step of the initial bootstrap phase. By being able to link a program against glibc, and
by booting all the way up to that programs main() function, we can now easily explore and develop the system in any way we want.

The dinner is prepared! :)

Thanks,
Marcus


This uses a lot of advanced words I have no idea what they could mean though, but I don't mind as long as someone does and writes an article :)

Still a long way to go. Not much one can do except wait... or send in patches if you have kernel hacking experience!

Re:Well, it's not that much :) (4, Informative)

The_Dougster (308194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570366)

Wow, something I wrote actually trickled back into /. Amazing. I was just joking about Python, of course.

L4-Hurd is pretty nifty, I think. Of course I run Gentoo and whatnot personally for the usability aspects, but I've been following the L4-Hurd port for a while now and this is an amazing little bit of news.

I can't wait to start experimenting with the new features. This is really cool.

Here's a coral cache link to the HurdOnL4 [nyud.net] Wiki page which I set up last summer. It's slightly out of date, but provides a lot of background behind whats going on and some basic information about the build and boot process.

When you retrieve the CVS sources, read the README and all the docs because they contain the most up-to-date information available about building the system.

Porting applications (1)

gtoomey (528943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570267)

When I see X, KDE, & Postgres ported to Hurd then I'll believe it.

Great (5, Interesting)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570277)

When the first programs run, it is just a matter of time before there is a functional L4 port of Debian GNU/Hurd [debian.org] (or just Debian GNU?). I really like the design of the Hurd, but what I'd like to see the most are not the "POSIX capabilities" but the real capabilities [cap-lore.com] as described in the 1975 paper by Jerome Saltzer and Michael Schroeder, The Protection of Information in Computer Systems [cap-lore.com] . (For those who don't know what am I talking about, I recommend starting from the excellent essay What is a Capability, Anyway? [eros-os.org] by Jonathan Shapiro, and then reading the capability theory essays [cap-lore.com] by Norman Hardy. As a sidenone I might add that I find it amusing that people who say that there are other advantages than only Digital Restrictions Management of using TCPA/Palladium-like platforms usually quote security features, which have already been implemented in the 1970s, only better and with no strings attached. Those TCPA zealots are usually completely ignorant of the existance of such operating systems as KeyKOS [upenn.edu] or EROS [eros-os.org] with formal proofs of correctness [psu.edu] without all of the silliness [cam.ac.uk] .) Are there any plans to have a real capability-based security model available in the Hurd?

"hello, world" anytime soon ? (3, Funny)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570286)

How much time would it take to port it over ?

And the first game running in Hurd is.... (-1, Redundant)

notany (528696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570288)

... Duke Nukem Forever!

Ok, I know you're only allowed one joke, but ... (1)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570291)

FIRST CODE! :D

(kudos to everybody working on this. think of how long mozilla took to "come out" - and the impact it had!)

In the words of Linus... (2, Interesting)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570297)

I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves "why?". Hurd will be out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows)

Courtesy of Gooooooogle [google.com]

The thing is, GNU/HURD will still be... Linux. Don't shout, yes I know, the thing is, people call Linux, Linux.

Then people say, aaahaaaa Mr Bond... it is really GNU/Linux.

Well I am not so sure anymore. Debian think so, but why not call it GNU/Gimp/OOo/Java/Perl/apache/*all other installed apps*/Linux.

Is GNU software is great, and calling Linux+GNU 'Linux' is wrong, but calling any installation of the Linux kernel 'Linux' is correct regardless of other software.

If I call my OS Linux, I do so without reffering to the installed user space apps, however necessary they might be.

I think the person who is most keen to see HURD is Linus himself! After all, he has been waiting since 1990!

I do hope that /. in 2006 doesn't have a new flame topic:

HURD v Linux (and HURD will never sell with that name - IMHO)

HURD running on top of the GNU Mach microkernel first booted in 1994 and became GNU's official kernel

The development of the GNU/Hurd has important emotional and practical value to GNU fans because in 1990s GNU had not completed any kernel and used the Linux kernel out of necessity. Thus, a number of GNU fans feel that they will have "pure GNU" only with the Hurd kernel.

I do think that some of the GNU ramblings are a bit ungrateful to Linux kernel. Without Linux it would be in 5 years that people would wake up to *nix OS's types, and in 5 years we would be where we were in 1994.

I see one thing, with the FUD over linux, will the same FUD establish itself over the huge sprawling software base of GNU?

Will GNUimp get sued by Adobe? How will this GNUism evolve?

And the final question on every /. lips is, in regard to anything, when will HURD run Linux? ;-)

Re:In the words of Linus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570361)

That post is a joke, right?

Re:In the words of Linus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570369)

Who modded this insightful? Report to the nearest editor and turn in you modding license.

I walked to my system... (0, Flamebait)

CliffH (64518) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570303)

... to see what headline was up and I see that Hurd has ran its first app. What's the next headline going to be, "Duke Nukem Forever Net Test released to public"? :) Yes, it's flamebait. Yes, it's a troll. Like most people on here though, I wish them all very good luck and I look forward to the day I actually do get to run Hurd on a few systems.

Linux is dying... (1, Funny)

tabkey12 (851759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570305)

Netcraft confirms

I, for one, welcome our new L4 overlords!

hurd/linux ? (1)

kentaromiura (780793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570312)

the GNU project want to provide a free OS, for this they build GCC and emacs to write a kernel(Hurd) i think that software, that can be compiled with GNU Gcc compiler would run on this kernel (on the contrary i must laught) so now we can a "Linux Software Gcc"-based O.S. with Gnu/Hurd-L4 kernel.. this sounds good..

Well worth the wait ... (0, Flamebait)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570319)

... Maybe now Stallman will leave linux alone!!

I mean the whole useing linux thing was only temporary ... right?

Wait, why are we wanting to call it GNU/Linux still?

Don't like it, go play with your own OS!!

The entire idea of HURD, while wonderful in theory is a waste of time, and the project hasn't been set back by years because of anything other than LINUX ALREADY WORKS.

I mean I am not one to stifle innovation, but HURD will never ever be where Linux is, because no one except slashdot and Stallman care.

I guess I'm just a flamebaiting troll, but as if you'd expect anything less from a story about HURD.

Re:Well worth the wait ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570357)

Ignore the "p2p isn't theft" trolls, they are misinformed [copyright.gov] .

Re:Well worth the wait ... (4, Interesting)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570363)

HURD will never ever be where Linux is...
By that logic, no one should ever start a new software project that isn't already being met (however inadequately) by some other piece of software. Why did Linus start writing Gnu/Linux, when there were already great operating systems like Windows/Dos, and Unix/Unix?

Fankly, I think it's a great thing that BSD and HURD will be putting some pressure on Linux to be the best. Competition makes them strong, and the cross-fertilization of ideas makes them stronger still.

Besides, HURD may end up being superior to Linux in some domains, such as high-reliability systems (think banking servers), driver development, OS research, shared systems, and the like.

I'm assuming RMS will switch (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570320)

HURD will always be Stallman's baby. So after it is birthed, I expect he will switch back to it from Linux.

But what Free OS did he use before Linux? Was he always so adamant about using the Free software that he forewent the use of an Unfree OS in the design and implementation of his GNU system?

choose a new name for a new kernel (2, Insightful)

jeif1k (809151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570323)

A commercial company might take old code, given it a new name, and shipped it as a brand new thing. But GNU starts a brand-new, hot project based on better microkernel architecture and they use for it a name that people already associate with failure.

The L4Ka-based kernel is a new project that sounds like it has a lot of promise and may address problems that both Linux and commercial kernels have with modularity and extensibility. This new kernel should get a snazzy new name to get that message across.

First program (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570324)

"Hello Wurld!"

Doh!

yeah but does it run linux? (-1)

zonker (1158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570349)

imagine a beowulf cluster of these?

in soviet russia gnu/hurds you!

god, i think i've been here too long. i would have mentioned a hot grits thing but it just hurds too much. i kill me.

HURD + Linux ports for modules + Gentoo (1)

michalf (849657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570356)

The way I see it is:

1. Hurd enables the port for Linux kernel modules (it was the case in the Mach series as I believe but the port was quite old 2.0.xx modules or so)

2. Port Gentoo to Hurd

I really hope Hurd developers can create better kernel than the Linux one. With all the woooo for Linux it is still not a perfect solution - buffer overflows etc. Such things should not happen in a good designed kernel.

If you add kernel hotplug and scalability (native clusters) there would be NO competition for Hurd. I hope ;-)

best regards - Michal

Oma desala (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11570375)

He says: 'We can now easily explore and develop the system in any way we want. The dinner is prepared!'"

If you immediately know the candlelight is fire, then the meal was cooked a long time ago.

Or...

flame of the day (2, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11570401)

Look, congrats and all, but if I'm going to run a pointless operating system, it's going to be one that's actually impressive, like MenuetOS [menuetos.org] .
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