Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 7th Nov 2009 14:33 UTC, submitted by J!NX
Debian and its clones Debian GNU/Hurd can now be installed a little easier. "This month Philip Charles created a new installation CD, the L series, for the Hurd, which brings us a big step towards installing the Hurd from the Hurd (without the need of a Linux-based installer). If you enjoy testing stuff, please give it a try."
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New installer but no new kernel
by yahya on Sat 7th Nov 2009 23:48 UTC
yahya
Member since:
2007-03-29

It is amazing that some people still continue to work on it. I first tried out Debian GNU/Hurd was around 2001. Since then, there have been some improvements (very little on the core os, mainly additional Debian packages being ported over to Hurd) But compared to anything else on the OS market, the speed is just so excruciatingly slow, that after following it for some years and occasionally running new builds on my computer, lost interest. I was taken by curiosity when I learned about the l4-hurd initiative to replace the dated mach kernel which its builtin drivers by something more modern, a real and efficient minimalistic microkernel, while drivers and almost anything else would really live in userspace. The design ideas have been fascinating, but the discussion on the mailing list (http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/l4-hurd) went on for years and years. Markus Brinkmann actually wrote some initial code, but it never evolved beyond early embryonic stage, and finally, they decided that they need another microkernel. So back to start. If you look at the recent mailing list, they still seem to be engaged in design discussions, but no actual coding is happening. I guess the list has been around since approximately 2001, or maybe 2002. This is absolutely unique in the computing world.

Unfortunately, I believe that without a new kernel, Debian GNU/Hurd isn't going anywhere. The old kernel hasn't been developed by years, it doesn't even have sound support. Let along Wifi, I think even USB isn't in.

I have had strong sympathies for the project, but they probably never managed to attract sufficient manpower to get anywhere, maybe their style was too Cathedral-like, attempting to have the perfect plan in place before the first line of real code is actually written.

It is a loss, but I think the time for waiting for them is really over now...

Reply Score: 5

Dirge Member since:
2005-07-14

Deciding on a new microkernel is key to the project moving forward. The developers identify this problem on their GNU Hurd Wiki. I wish they could settle on one and get the project moving faster.

I wonder how much of the current development work can be ported over to a new microkernel. My hope is allot of the work can be re-used, or else it will be like starting over again.

Reply Parent Score: 1