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GNU is Not Unix Debian Operating Systems Upgrades

GNU Hurd Gets Improvements: User-Space Driver Support and More 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the now-even-better dept.
jones_supa writes "At FOSDEM 2014 some recent developments of GNU Hurd were discussed (PDF slides). In the name of freedom, GNU Hurd has now the ability to run device drivers from user-space via the project's DDE layer. Among the mentioned use-cases for the GNU Hurd DDE are allowing VPN traffic to just one application, mounting one's own files, redirecting a user's audio, and more flexible hardware support. You can also run Linux kernel drivers in Hurd's user-space. Hurd developers also have working IDE support, X.Org / graphics support, an AHCI driver for Serial ATA, and a Xen PV DomU. Besides the 64-bit support not being in a usable state, USB and sound support is still missing. As some other good news for GNU Hurd, around 79% of the Debian archive is now building for GNU Hurd, including the Xfce desktop (GNOME and KDE soon) and Firefox web browser."
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GNU Hurd Gets Improvements: User-Space Driver Support and More

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 10, 2014 @02:03PM (#46211015)

    I have been working on Hurd for quite a long while (made contributions to the kernel years ago), and I would like to bring up the pertinent point that Beta sucks!

  • Linux vs. Hurd/xBSD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Monday February 10, 2014 @02:24PM (#46211169)

    As a rule, I support the idea of making a new OS just for the sake of it. But the important thing to realize most of these will never really get too far as in terms of market share.

    Linux success was by luck. It came out when BSD had a lot of serious licencing issues and a big demand for something free, it was developed to a point of being useful fairly rapidly and got a lot of attention. At the same time the 32bit computers for home users were available, and people were jumping on getting a Real OS to do real work on. MS/DOS and Windows 3.1 wasn't a good option, for real work, other solutions just costed way too much money.

    Hurd which was made during the same time BSD was having their issues, however it was more of am ambitious project, and couldn't get in during that opening which Linux did.

    Now BSD with Free/Open/Net being based on original Unix code, came out of the Licencing mess as an open solution, with some still bad taste in peoples mouth. However they came out a bit more stable than Linux at that time. Where xBSD was being used in a business production settings, for a long time, while Linux matured and took over.

    There is a lot of flamewars about GNU being superior then the new BSD license. Saying Linux is proof of this. I would disagree GNU and BSD are both Open Enough standards for general adoption, and Linux success was based on getting in at the right time. Otherwise you would expect HURD to be nearly as possible as BSD is now.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday February 10, 2014 @03:41PM (#46211723) Journal

    "Your signature project has been in development hell for over 20 years, how do you respond?"

    You're making stuff up. Making up things is generally known as lieing. I'll be generous and assume that you're merely staggeringly ignorant and perfer to regurgitate anti-GNU talking points you've culled from various message boards and have never bothered to actually find out much about the GNU project yourself.

    The HURD kernel is not and has never been the "signature" project. The project is the GNU project (est. 1983) and has been progressing quite nicely. The kernel was not worked on until about 1990. When Linux came along in '91, it was rapidly adopted as the GNU kernel of choice, since it is under an appropriate license.

    The goal is to be able to run computers entirely from copyleft software. The fact that some of these were achieved externally is neither here nor there. The GNU project has in fact achieved its major goal: you can now run a computer on completely copyleft software.

  • Re:Does it run Beta? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 10, 2014 @04:03PM (#46211945)

    Oh, shut up.

    Windows Vista/7 still haven't even completely separated GUI from ring 0.

    Last year had like 5 or 6 vulnerabilities messing with kernel mode to varying degrees simply by trying to display malformed images (and those vulnerabilities were all there at least since WinXP).

    My favorite, for sheer WTF-ness, was "display an iframe of a very specific height - get a BSOD [stackoverflow.com]". You can find a bunch more by searching for "win32k.sys+(vulnerability|cve)"

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Monday February 10, 2014 @04:08PM (#46211987)

    I agree it's basically a confluence of circumstances. Fwiw, while GNU's kernel project was pretty unsuccessful, I do think their more general project of trying to put together all the parts of a free Unix-like was quite useful, and one part of the circumstantial confluence. With BSD tied up in licensing issues at the time, Linus was able to basically grab the GNU compiler, libc, userland, etc. and make a working system. GNU's efforts were less essential to the BSDs after the lawsuit was resolved, but still fairly important in the early years to get something up and running: the lawsuit resolution resulted in ripping out the AT&T-licensed code from BSD, a bunch of which was replaced by GNU utilities as drop-in replacements. These have since been re-replaced in most of the BSDs ('grep' was one of the last GNU utilities to be phased out), but served as a pretty useful 20-year stopgap. And of course GCC had replaced the traditional CC much earlier (GCC appears in 4.3BSD).

    One missing bit of this soup that's a real shame, imo: The very late open-sourcing of Plan9 led to a bunch of good stuff that could've been pulled in being ignored. If at least parts of Plan9 had been available in the early '90s when this GNU/BSD/Linux code was coalescing into free operating systems, Plan9's code could've contributed usefully.

  • Re:Does it run Beta? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smash (1351) on Monday February 10, 2014 @08:59PM (#46214135) Homepage Journal
    NT itself is designed pretty well. It's the Win32 layer which is garbage.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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