GNU Hurd Is Working On Sound Support, Still Lacks 64-bit & Good USB Support
Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 31 January 2016 at 03:54 AM EST. 8 Comments
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One year ago was a status update on GNU Hurd where it was mentioned that GNU Hurd lacks 64-bit, audio, and USB support among other features for this micro-kernel free software project alternative to the Linux kernel. Sound support for Hurd is now in the works, but other features remain missing.

Samuel Thibault presented Saturday at FOSDEM 2016 on the state of GNU Hurd, similar to talk from FOSDEM 2015 as linked above. Progress made to Hurd in the past year includes experimental sound work using the Rump kernel embedded in a library and then directly linked from the multimedia program like MPlayer. USB support for GNU Hurd is being pursued in a similar manner.

Other recent work on GNU Hurd includes initial work on porting the GNU Guix package management system, fixed native fakeroot, SCM_CREDS support, various optimizations, and a new rpcscan tool.

Thibault's current state of GNU Hurd says that 64-bit support has been started, i686 support is in good shape, the DDE Linux 2.6.32 driver layer is working for networking support, IDE and Xorg still work with Hurd, there is an AHCI driver for SATA, Xen PV DomU support is available, and there is the new experimental sound support with the userland Rump.

Future work on GNU Hurd includes 64-bit support, read-ahead, sound and USB rump drivers, startup being done potentially in Scheme, and the potential for a full GNU system when pairing Hurd with Guix.

Find out more via the PDF slides from Samuel Thibault's FOSDEM 2016 presentation.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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