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GNU is Not Unix

RMS Says Hurd Could Be Loosed in 2002 582

Posted by Hemos
from the let-slip-the-dogs-of-code dept.
Mark Cappel writes "According to PCWorld, RMS said in an interview in India that Hurd will see the light of day this year."
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RMS Says Hurd Could Be Loosed in 2002

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  • Re:Repent! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NTSwerver (92128) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @08:06AM (#3148214) Journal
    `Hurd' stands for `Hird of Unix-Replacing Daemons'. And, then, `Hird' stands for `Hurd of Interfaces Representing Depth'. We have here, to my knowledge, the first software to be named by a pair of mutually recursive acronyms.
  • Mac OS X (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @08:06AM (#3148218)
    Random Question:

    Since the Hurd runs on top of Mach, and so does MacOSX, would it be possible to run the Hurd alongside OSX at the same time?
  • Linux alone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anders (395) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @08:09AM (#3148232)

    Quoting the article: "Linux is a kernel, and now we have our kernel, which is an alternative to Linux, and they both work in the context of the overall GNU system, as the kernel alone won't run without the rest of the system ," he said.

    Linux alone actually runs quite well, though not doing much of interest. But by adding only a few (non-GNU, I believe) tools to the kernel, it is quite capable as, for example, a router.

  • Yeah and No... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross AT yahoo DOT ca> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @08:10AM (#3148236)
    I read the following in the article:

    "In India there are a number of people who are capable of seeing free software as an ethical and social issue, whereas in many parts of the world very few people recognize the ethical and social issues, and they are more interested in the practical benefits of today's free software," Stallman said.

    I think it has nothing to do with India in specific. It has more to do with that getting people to pay software when they do not have the money is the issue.

    Last time I checked Indian programmers want to be paid just as much as everyone else on this planet. It is just right now that Indian programmers are getting shafted and paid less than they rightfully deserve.

    While the FSF does not preclude getting paid, it makes it DAMM difficult. If you look at the past Slashdot arcticles you can see a good business model is what makes sense. I would like the FSF to consider the fact that people have mortgages, children and college.

    Sure there are companies that are doing ok. IE Redhat, but Redhat is one of the few. The rest are having problems as witnessed by the slashdot articles. Philosphical arguments are easy when you are feed, clothed and have a roof over your head.
  • by mark_lybarger (199098) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @08:13AM (#3148246)
    these guys will never realize when it just doesn't make sense to do a project. aren't they the ones who started that gnome desktop years after the kde desktop because they didn't like the licensing terms? now that gnome (or some of it anyway) will be heavily using the M$ .NET technologies. i guess as long as their code can be licensed GPL, it's ok. really guys, this HURD thing, i've been reading about it here on /. for a few years now, and i just looks like a the little project that wouldn't die. yeah, fresh ideas are a good thing and all, but my question to those HURD people would be, what exactly are the new/interesting features (stability , robustness, smp) that you'll be providing the "community"? and how do you plan to over come the challenges the "other" kernel guys have gone through in the last 10+ years?
    to throw a little sarcasm in: who knows, maybe _they'll_ accept that pre-emptable kernel patch someone submits. and maybe _they'll_ never have a release 1.15.dont_use_this_tar_ball release. maybe they just won't use virtual memory at all. (did you see what happened to the 2.4 linux series with that one?)
  • by joe_fish (6037) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @08:20AM (#3148284) Homepage Journal
    Linus interprets the GPL for Linux as allowing non-GPL apps and device drivers, and there are a lot of non-GPL apps for Linux.

    <speculation>
    RMS will interpret the GPL for Hurd as allowing only GPL apps and device drivers. So even if Hurd gets to be big there would never be an Oracle/Hurd etc.

    Or in other words Hurd will never be as big a Linux
    </speculation>

  • Re:It's Ahead (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pinkUZI (515787) <slashdot@7@jmasker.spamgourmet@com> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @08:23AM (#3148299) Homepage Journal
    I'd say eleven years and counting is "ahead".

    It really makes you wonder why the project hasn't died. From the article I really can't see anything that the hurd will offer that the linux kernel does not already offer. And with linux already as widespread as it is, it doesn't seem like the Hurd has much of a market.
  • by samjam (256347) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @08:36AM (#3148366) Homepage Journal
    As a programmer making fair wages with fair outgoings and a family I can't (or won't?) afford windows + office.

    I do contribute to OS software and am happy to use Linux and Open Office along with Lilypond etc etc and all my other favourites.

    So OS helps me, the guy with family to put through school.

    Sam
  • Re:Get a clue (Score:1, Interesting)

    by boltar (263391) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:11AM (#3148551)
    1) Intel compiler
    2) LILO
    3) pdksh
    4) Why would anyone running a router give a fsck
    about a desktop?

    Perhaps YOU need to get a clue.
  • by PigleT (28894) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:16AM (#3148595) Homepage
    "FreeBSD is not doing as well as Linux. Why? Buzzword Bingo."

    No, it's down to hardware driver lack of support.
    When I can't install FreeBSD on my Vaio but NetBSD works, I don't use FreeBSD.
    When the Linux kernel recognises my dodgy eetherpro/100B("Sony") NIC, but the Hurd doesn't, I run Linux.

    The fun question is: if the source is openly available for linux to support a given bit of kit, would someone want to take the code and use it gratuitously (munging licensing arrangements as need be) or do they want to preserve independence and duplicate effort? The latter has the advantage of providing alternatives but doubles the creating and debugging effort. Not to mention, I'm a lazy fellow as well.

    More and more I think we're heading for a different singularity: modularity. "Kernel by Hurd, userspace by netbsd, hardware.networking by linux", you name it.
    Now the Openness of Source more or less allows this, how about some cross-OS distributions? ;)
  • by Make (95577) <max@due[ ]l.org ['mpe' in gap]> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:56AM (#3148871) Homepage
    Nobody's going to port apps (or make a distribution) of Hurd just because it's "freer than Linux".

    Wrong, the best Linux distribution (IMHO) is available with Hurd kernel [debian.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @10:28AM (#3149068)
    The most important difference between the Hurd and Linux/*BSD is of course the design philosophy using a microkernel and making everything a userland task. But who benefits from that? Any fixed set of features (which is the case with usual Desktop systems and Servers) may also be implemented using a monolithic arcitecture, and would in fact be a bit more performant and would have a smaller memory footprint. (For example mounting ftp.)
    The advantages of the Hurd's flexible design will make it the perfect OS for experimentation as well as for unsual needs. It's hard to add new features to Linux if you are the only one who uses it, and if you want to try a completely new concept Unix has never seen, the Hurd is the perfect place to try it out, as even the concept of a file system for example is implemented in userland and its easy to add a different way of doing things to a running system. If a specific feature turns out to be useful for a larger number of people, monolithic kernels will follow and implement it themselves if it is well research in an OS like the Hurd.
    So I hope the Hurd will be a major factor of progress and innovation in the Unix world, even though it may not be used by the masses.
  • by praedor (218403) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @12:12PM (#3149975) Homepage

    So, since binary-only drivers and such are not allowed with HURD (that is what I take from the above, informative posting), there will be much less supported hardware, to say the least, then is possible with linux. If the HURD just MUST stick to some politically correct position no matter what, then kiss your nvidia cards goodbye on it. Kiss a lot of very desireable products and services goodbye.


    If the whole HURD thing will have some leeway for non-GPL stuff in certain circumstances, then maybe no problem but right now, from where I sit, you get a largely crippled system and you will simply NOT get all the makers of the truly DESIRED hardware to release their drivers to GPL.

  • by karlm (158591) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @05:51PM (#3152801) Homepage
    I had went and dug up some links, but Netscape caught a bus error (Netscape for Solaris is especially buggy) and I lost the entire post. Here's most of the post without the links.

    One thing I forgot to mention about microkernels is that almost all of them communicate with the kernel and other processes via message passing. Messages encapsulate in network packets much more transparently than direct function calls or system interupts. This means that network transparency is much easier for microkernel architectures.

    Check out L4Ka.org. Some of the L4 design papers, as well as "Hazelnut" L4 that I play with. They also have links to Linux 2.2.20 ported to run as an L4 task. I tried runnin L4Linux as my OS for a day. It locked up twice in 12 hours. However, it was an old version of Hazelnut and an old version of the glinux server. The "fiasco" L4 implementation is also pretty famous and is linked to from the l4ka site. Newer L4 implementations use something called lazy context switching to dramatically speed context switches between tasks that don't have large virtual memory requirements. (By default, Hazelnut uses lazy context switching if the two processes use fewer than 128 MB.) The GNU website has a pgae on L4-HURD, but the new L4 API hasn't been finalized, and the API for the Virtual Kernel isn't set, so it'll be a while before you see much HURD code ported to the Virtual Kernel or see a trnslation layer between teh Virtual Kernel and L4. Basically, the L4 people don't want it to be such a pain to port HURD to other kernels, so they decided to port it to some reasonable "Virtual Kernel" and make translation layers for all of the kernels the hURD will run on.

    I like EROS [upenn.edu], an OS that uses a microkernel design to complement it's capability-based security model.

    GNU mach, like other Mach implementations, suffers from feature bloat. Unless you have a really good reason, you shouldn't add a feature whose functionality can be achieved through using the features you already have. Mach basically tries to be a swiss army knife of a microkernel and ends up being very large.

    RTLinux uses a realtime microkernel and runs something like UserMode Linux (UML) on the side. The realtime kernel doesn't provide any of the services provided by the Linux kernel (at least that's what the design whitepaper says).

    AtheOS is a microkernel architecture with the networking stack merged into the kernel. The AtheOS kernel is written by a former Be engineer. I believe I read somewhere that BlueOS (or was it another free BeOS clone?) was going to use the AtheOS kernel.

    The QNX website used to have a good overview of their microkernel architecture. QNX is marketed as a very reliable embedded microkernel that is suitable for sattelites and other mission-critical applications. On the desktop, it shows some nice network transparency. (Ever seen part of your window displayed on one machine's monitor and part on another machine's monitor while the app is actaully executing on a third? It's X-windows on steroids.)

    There are many other microkernel OSes. VSTa is a copyleft microkernel OS that sometimes gets press. I believe the embedded realtime OS VXworks uses a microkernel.

    V2OS is supposedly based on the "exokernel" idea. Right now I don't think it multitasks or provides any memory protection. It's pretty much a toy OS that they try to write entirely in x86 assembly. It uses self-writing object code, so I couldn't get VMware 2.0.4 to boot it. They appearently have implemented some basic C libraries since I last played with V2OS.

    Then there's the XBox megakernel where the entire game is the kernel so that you get zero context switches durring gameplay. I think that you even need to statically link all the game libraries. This is completely the oposite approach from microkernels.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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