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GNU Hurd Is Enjoying User-Space Device Drivers

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  • GNU Hurd Is Enjoying User-Space Device Drivers

    Phoronix: GNU Hurd Is Enjoying User-Space Device Drivers

    In the name of freedom, GNU Hurd has the ability to run device drivers from user-space via the project's DDE layer. DDE is an interesting feature and does allow for some interesting possibilities although conventional wisdom advises against accessing and controlling your GPU, network, and disk drivers, along with other components, from user-space. This also includes running Linux kernel drivers in Hurd's user-space...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTU5OTI

  • #2
    Good news.
    Is it able to restart them automatically, if they crash?

    Comment


    • #3
      these are really great news, it would be nice to have a independent from HURD/Mach DDE so more systems to be able to use linux drivers in userspace

      Originally posted by LightBit View Post
      Good news.
      Is it able to restart them automatically, if they crash?
      offtopic: I do not know about HURD but MINIX 3 has that

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      • #4
        although conventional wisdom advises against accessing and controlling your GPU, [...] along with other components, from user-space
        Xorg and Mesa on Linux do that already.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by peppepz View Post
          Xorg and Mesa on Linux do that already.
          funny enough you can run the xserver as a user
          but that would be even worse since you'd have to make evdev user readable thus making cat a good keyloger

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          • #6
            This is really impressive.
            Only a couple of years ago HURD still looked like a useless, VM-only toy project; the rapid increase in hardware and software support since then could make it a useable (if not competitive) OS within a few years.

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            • #7
              Its possible

              Originally posted by FLHerne View Post
              This is really impressive.
              Only a couple of years ago HURD still looked like a useless, VM-only toy project; the rapid increase in hardware and software support since then could make it a useable (if not competitive) OS within a few years.
              It's definitely possible, but it has a few significant core architectural concerns. I guess you could say it like this, the HURD part is great actually, it's MACH that is garbage. Basically they want a pure microkernel, not an XNU (DARWIN) style situation, where the UNIX calls are largely monolithic. MACH has too much IPC routine overhead, and the more micro you go the more damage this creates. I'm not alone on this opinion, the HURD project themselves did a full review on what it would take to replace MACH. Unfortunately it would require a lot of rewrite, so they put L4-HURD on hiatus.

              On a much brighter note, the Genode OS Framework uses a pure microkernel approach. It's also getting very close to general usability, if they prioritize correctly they could break the barrier.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by techzilla View Post
                It's definitely possible, but it has a few significant core architectural concerns. I guess you could say it like this, the HURD part is great actually, it's MACH that is garbage. Basically they want a pure microkernel, not an XNU (DARWIN) style situation, where the UNIX calls are largely monolithic. MACH has too much IPC routine overhead, and the more micro you go the more damage this creates. I'm not alone on this opinion, the HURD project themselves did a full review on what it would take to replace MACH. Unfortunately it would require a lot of rewrite, so they put L4-HURD on hiatus.

                On a much brighter note, the Genode OS Framework uses a pure microkernel approach. It's also getting very close to general usability, if they prioritize correctly they could break the barrier.
                Actually you are wrong, the Hurd part is the garbage, Mach is awesome

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gens View Post
                  funny enough you can run the xserver as a user
                  but that would be even worse since you'd have to make evdev user readable thus making cat a good keyloger
                  Since 1.16 X.Org can run as a regular user on Linux without any hacks thanks to logind. Wayland takes this further and isolates input and buffers between applications instead of letting them grab all of the events or look at the screen - which makes meaningful external sandboxing GUI applications possible without many an X server for each.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by peppepz View Post
                    Xorg and Mesa on Linux do that already.
                    Direct hardware access mostly in kernel accessible through libdrm and ioctl's. X and Mesa just have higher-level driver implementation. Allowing hardware access from user space like Hurd means a) drivers as root and more exploit surface b) drivers as luser and unlimited exploit surface. Sounded like Hurd is going for b for Freedom

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