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GNU is Not Unix

RMS Says Hurd Could Be Loosed in 2002 582

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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  • by anandsr ( 148302 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:05AM (#3148211) Homepage
    I used to follow HURD till about 3-4 years back than
    lost all interest. There are some very special
    features that you get with HURD, but now with UML
    some of them are being fulfilled by Linux. I hope
    the best for HURD, but I don't see it gaining much
    mindshare in the near future.
  • by Jobe_br ( 27348 ) <bdruth@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:05AM (#3148213)

    As we all know, by now, Apple's OS X [apple.com] is also based on the Mach microkernel. The foundation of OS X is Darwin [apple.com]. Darwin is Open Source and it runs under x86 PCs and of course Apple hardware. So my question is quite simply, how is Hurd different? Is the Darwin kernel architecture not OO-based? Does Hurd bring other advantages to it that Darwin doesn't already have?

  • by Constrain_Me ( 551193 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:08AM (#3148223) Homepage Journal
    "One of the reasons we are looking forward to having the GNU system finally available from the GNU Project is that it will be only free software," Stallman added.

    Doesn't Debian only include Free (as in speech) software???
  • Re:Linux alone (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:22AM (#3148292)
    But then it would have most likely been built using GNU tools.
  • by anandsr ( 148302 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:22AM (#3148296) Homepage
    If you think why MS is so ubiquitous, it is because
    of their persistence. They will do whatever
    possible to sell a software. If still they fail
    they try again again and again. If they fail they
    will find a way to force it down your throat.

    That is what RMS is. He is persistence. If it
    wasn't for his persistence, there wouldn't be a GNU
    project. And detractors may say what they like but
    Linux wouldn't exist without GNU (I don't agree to
    GNU/Linux). People who can't see the benefit of
    GNOME, must understand that it was GNOME which
    forced QT to reduce restrictions in their license
    so that you can trust that QT won't be taken away
    in the future.

    HURD is a unique product, although I don't agree
    with the cathedral like way they produce it but
    still will be one product which can compete with
    Linux in the future. Its only a matter of time,
    when the system is made more efficient.
  • The Hurd and Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ukryule ( 186826 ) <slashdot&yule,org> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:23AM (#3148297) Homepage
    In an attempt to answer all the 'why not just use Linux?' questions, have a look at the man's explanation [gnu.org] of it.

    Basically, Linux wasn't around when Hurd was started, and they believe it is different enough to complete/compete despite the grand rise of Linux. (Remarkably honest & non-political notes by RMS)

    Good luck to them - i hope it succeeds (we can't have Linux becoming a monopoly ... :-)
  • Re:Hurd-GNU/Linux (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:24AM (#3148305)
    That's GNU/Hurd.

    - RMS
  • Re:Hurd-GNU/Linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kilobug ( 213978 ) <le-mig_g.epita@fr> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:29AM (#3148327)
    Pay attention to vocabulary:

    "The Hurd" (with the article) or "the GNU Hurd" is the set of servers that run on the top of a micro-kernel (GNU Mach for now, OSKit Mach soon, maybe L4 latter). The pair: The Hurd + -kernel can be used as a remplacement of the Linux kernl

    GNU is the full operating system created by the GNU project. It contains The Hurd and many other things. It can be called GNU/Hurd to avoid confusions.

    The Hurd is not a system, it's not a micro-kernel, it's not a kernel, it's a set of servers that run on top of a -kernel to replace a standard kernel.
  • by phaze3000 ( 204500 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:33AM (#3148345) Homepage
    Does Hurd bring other advantages to it that Darwin doesn't already have?

    Yes, unlike Darwin [gnu.org], Hurd is Free, not just source-avaliable.

    It'll be interesting to see how Hurd performs against Linux once it's more mature. I strongly suspect that Linux will kick Hurd's arse performance wise, but that remains to be seen. Another Free operating system is of course always welcome.. :)

  • by sfraggle ( 212671 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:35AM (#3148361)
    > it's based on the Linux kernel which refused to call it GNU/Linux.

    No, the kernel is called linux, RMS's dispute is that what is called "linux the operating system" is actually a modified version of GNU using the linux kernel, hence GNU/Linux.

    > If they won't have GNU someplace in the name, and refuse to ad those 3 little letters somewhere, then Stallman's little group will start up their own competing, less mature, and less feature rich proejct because the free software must be GNU.

    Um, no, not even the FSF are _that_ pedantic. GNU uses Xfree86 which is non-GNU free software.

    > HURD, well.. still seems like a revenge type thing to me.

    Revenge for what? Hurd has been under development for longer than Linux has. Check your facts.
  • by modipodio ( 556587 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:43AM (#3148393)
    I think the point of this excersise is,(and was), to build a 100% free,(as in speech), os.

    "Welcome to the GNU Project web server, www.gnu.org. The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software: the GNU system. (GNU is a recursive acronym for ``GNU's Not Unix''; it is pronounced "guh-NEW".) Variants of the GNU operating system, which use the kernel Linux, are now widely used; though these systems are often referred to as ``Linux'', they are more accurately called GNU/Linux systems. "

    This was stallman's intention right from the begining ,When the linux kernel came along this got side tracked.I am glad Hurd is near completion as I will soon be able to work and play on a completely free os.

    This is not about revenge.I will be very happy to use a ,"..less mature, and less feature rich proejct ..",which is free,(as in speech),than a feature filled os which is not 100% free.
  • Re:Repent! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:47AM (#3148414)
    Markus Brinkmann did all the hard work. For years. RMS did nothing. RMS get the press. I hate RMS. I hate GNU. Sometimes I hate Open Source.
  • by BadlandZ ( 1725 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:53AM (#3148434) Journal
    Many may disagree, but there are a lot of people out there that prefer the BSD licence to the GNU/GPL license scheme.

    So, they built a (arguably) better OS based on BSD license, and called it FreeBSD. Then it forked and we have NetBSD, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD.

    Despite the great beauty of FreeBSD, and the vastly developed environment (countless ports that work flawlessly, providing users with easy to install and run applications), FreeBSD is not doing as well as Linux.

    Why? Buzzword Bingo. It's hard enough to compete with Microsoft to get a persons attention, and convince them to try a new OS. And, when the average person looks for a "alternative" Linux is the most obvious choice. FreeBSD gets only a small fraction of that attention, even if it is technically equivalent (or better in some people's opinion).

    IMHO, this is why HURD may fail. It's not because it won't be a good alternative, or because it will be technically inferior, because those will likely be untrue. Hurd will probably be competitive, but how will it get a market share?

    Linux will make vast roads to having a real-time kernel, embedded, etc... (QNX like), long before Hurd is ready. So, add the lack of press, lack of interest, and slow development, I can't help but think it will not see much success. How can you not see it in a similar light to the BSDs, even if the licensing is different?

  • Re:Linux alone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hawk ( 1151 ) <hawk@eyry.org> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @09:57AM (#3148462) Journal
    >Linux alone actually runs quite well, though not
    >doing much of interest.

    Yes, but linux+GNU tools doesn't do all that much of interest, either, untill you add the other things we take for granted . . .

    Which, of course, is why when most people say "linux", they *don't* mean "linux kernel and GNU tools," but also perl, sendmail, X, and a gaggle of others . . .


  • by ronys ( 166557 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @10:12AM (#3148561) Journal
    Assuming that RMS is interested in people (lots of people) using Hurd. This means hackers and users.

    Most hackers have their plate full with Linux. A few use *BSD instead. Even fewer have experience with BOTH. Guess how many hackers will install Hurd?

    Linux has filled the ecological niche of "an OS for the hacker". *BSD are the "also ran". Hurd will be the "also also ran".

    Now let's look at the users. Users don't really care about the OS. They want (need) (1) useful applications (2) ease of installation (distros).

    Nobody's going to port apps (or make a distribution) of Hurd just because it's "freer than Linux".

    Unless the micro-kernel architecture provides a huge advantage to the end-user, either in terms of performance, scalability, reliability (*), or making a whole new something possible which no-one thought of before, I don't see the apps. Anyone care to port OpenOffice to Hurd? How about KDE?

    As to installation, are the drivers there for all the peripherals that Linux/*BSD have?

    My guess is that, with luck, Hurd will be taught in CS operating system courses as an example micro-kernel architecture (but Mach is available for that...).

    I'd be glad to be corrected by someone who's actually played with Hurd.

    (*) Although reliability for Linux is pretty good, judging by the uptimes of my boxes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @11:40AM (#3149141)
    "Nobody's going to port apps to it..."

    There's no (or very very little) work in porting apps to Hurd. It's a different KERNEL, not an entirely different operating system. It runs THE SAME GNU tools that linux runs -- the only difference is that the kernel is not the same.

    Switching between hurd and linux should be as simple as changing between a 2.0 kernel and a 2.5 kernel. It's not an entirely new system.

    All this ranting about how it's "too little too late..." What's wrong? Can't take the competition? We tolerate 2^n window managers and 3x^2 irc clients. What's wrong with Yet Another Kernel? Choice is a GOOD thing.

    Pay attention to what's happening. Before five years have passed I'll bet you that we have "Linux" distributions that let you choose BSD/Linux/Hurd as your kernel as you install them. DebianHurd and DebianBSD are just the first steps towards this...
  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <<charleshixsn> <at> <earthlink.net>> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @12:30PM (#3149508)
    Businesses that use the software don't have any trouble making money from GPL software. It saves spending on other things. They hire programmers to build applications for internal use. Some of these will also be distributed, but most won't be. And most of the one's that are won't be of much interest to anyone except the business partners of the original business.

    Don't think of the "software house business". That is one that isn't well supported by the GPL. But software consultants are. And the consultants can do a sort of "software house business" on the side, largely as advertising. And non-computer businesses (both small and large) are. A part of the problem is that much of the way that we look at how things should operate is based on how they operated under a monopoly system, i.e., "I'm the only one who has the right to distribute this program which does this wonderful thing! So buy it from me now! (see attached list of resellers with attractive markups)". But that's not the kind of model that the GPL supports. Perhaps you can make it work. Red Hat seems to be able to, even all they can sell is the right to use their name. But not many will. It's the wrong model.

    The GPL systems work best with the assumption that people (and businesses) do things largely for their own use, and that software can then be shared without much cost, so why not do so? You've already built it, your costs are sunk. And then you don't need to start your next project from ground zero. You have access to free compilers, editors, etc., and there's lots of code lying around, some of which you may be able to adapt to your own ends. And then you can share that back. If you are a consultant, this lets you work more cheaply at the cost of not being able to effectivly mass-market your result. (Or you can avoid using the pre-built code and just use the tools. Then with a bit of care you can even mass-market your work, but someone else will probably be able to create something roughly equivalent for a lot less work, so don't expect to make too much that way.)

    The GPL system is really the antithesis of the star system. Most of the real stuff is done by small groups without the need for a lot of capital. Not only small companies can contribute, but even lone individuals can. Or they can join together into loosely structured teams. True, really large projects, like Mozilla, tend to need full time support staff. I understand that most of the work on Mozilla was by paid employees .. I admit I'm not sure about this. And I'm also not sure of the significance. KDE seems to have organized itself around the projects first, and not gotten support until after they had a working version, and Debian is still independant, then there's Linus...
  • Re:Yeah and No... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BasharTeg ( 71923 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @12:44PM (#3149684) Homepage
    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.

    No, American programmers are getting shafted by the US Immigration and Naturalization's failure to make sure that immigrant professional wages don't crush citizens' professional wages, by limiting the number of foriegn professionals are allowed to enter our market. The flood of Indian programmers has hit the American programmer's paycheck, and we now have CCNA and MCSE NetAdmins making more money than programmers with a B.S. or M.S. in Comp Sci. I do agree with you though, force the employers to pay the Indians reasonable wages, so the rest of us can compete with them. If you can get an Indian Java programmer for 20,000 or less, and an American programmer is looking for something in the 50-70k range, there's no competition. If everyone was paid in the same range, then you could decide between an American with a B.S. in CompSci, or the Indian programmer. I'm not a racist, and I don't hate Indian programmers, but it's a fact that they ARE flooding our market. The same way laws work to protect American companies from 'dumping', and tariffs are applied to imports (like the steel issues recently), the INS is supposed to protect the economy from a flood skilled laborers that dilute our labor market.

    Before anyone flames me about immigrants' rights, no one had a RIGHT to immigrate here. Most of these programmers aren't immigrants anyway, they just get granted work rights because they're professionals and companies will sponsor them.

  • ok (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @12:55PM (#3149803)
    if the GPL says something is freely redistributable to use for whatever you can possibly want, then why is RMS running down the street chasing after linux screaming "It's GNU/Linux!", i don't see anywhere in the GPL where it says that you can't change the name . I think RMS acts very hypocritical when he demands linux be called gnu linux. Sure it uses the gnu tools, but there is no part of the gpl that says anything using gnu code must be called gnu something. Either put that in the gpl or stop your sad yapping. If it's supposed to be freely redistributable then let it go and be called whatever they want. sheesh.
  • by JoeBuck ( 7947 ) on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @01:53PM (#3150390) Homepage

    So here's a guy who's been to about a hundred countries, lectures in French when he goes to France, regularly talks in person with influential people all over the world, and I'll bet that there are a significant group of people who not only have never been out of their own country but don't even have a passport, but find this joke funny.

  • *Sniff* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brooks_talley ( 86840 ) <brooks@f[ ].com ['rnk' in gap]> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @02:13PM (#3150587) Journal
    "It is really devastating for us when people write about our work and they don't call it by our name, and we get forgotten."

    Am I the only one who got all teary-eyed reading that? I mean, we get wrapped up in September 11, the Israel / Palestine thing, AIDS, and all our own personal tragedies. And we forget that somewhere, there are forgotten developers toiling away, emotionally devastated and relegated to obscurity because people unfairly call their work by the wrong name.

    Oh, the humanity.


  • Re:Linux alone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fonebone ( 192290 ) <jessephrenic@ninjagu[ ]rg ['y.o' in gap]> on Tuesday March 12, 2002 @02:49PM (#3150908) Homepage
    Which, of course, is why when most people say "linux", they *don't* mean "linux kernel and GNU tools," but also perl, sendmail, X, and a gaggle of others . . .

    RMS needs to realise that people just say "Linux" because its the closest replacement to "Unix". but people always refer to "Unix" to mean a whole collection of tools and libraries, the same as GNU/Linux. so it's an understandable (mis)use of language.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.