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GNU Hurd Is Still Moving, Albeit Slowly

Free Software

Published on 20 January 2013 04:29 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
10 Comments

Since last week when writing about the LLVM/Clang compiler being ported to GNU Hurd, readers have asked via the forums, email, etc about the state of this open-source kernel backed by the Free Software Foundation. GNU Hurd and its Mach micro-kernel continue to be developed, just not at a rapid pace like the Linux kernel.

Last week's writing about LLVM/Clang being worked on for GNU Hurd was the last time since May when mentioning the often ignored kernel -- the previous announcements were PulseAudio support for Hurd. A year earlier the Phoronix Test Suite was ported to GNU Hurd and thus from the summer of 2011 are some GNU Hurd benchmarks against Linux. (New Hurd benchmarks are coming soon.)

For those curious about the current state of GNU Hurd, here's some references:

- The commit-hurd list shows the commit activity for GNU Hurd. For month to date, there's been committed development activity nearly every day. Activity happened on the Hurd branch itself, the GNU March micro-kernel, and Debian GNU Hurd packaging.

- Over on the bug-hurd list, which is about open bugs, suggestions, patches, and other development-related matters, there's been just a handful of messages in January.

- On l4-hurd, the list that's about discussing the future direction of Hurd, there hasn't been any messages since December of 2011 (yes, more than one year).

- When it comes to the Hurd news page, the last activity was for covering work from Q1 and Q2 2012 (there hasn't been any H2'2013 coverage yet). The news covered at that point was working on Java support for Hurd as part of Google Summer of Code, improved POSIX compliance for Hurd, work on lowering the barrier of entry into Hurd, Hurd porting, and more.

- Back in 2011 there were plans announced that the "Wheezy" release of Debian would have a proper Debian GNU/Hurd release, similar to Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Debian Wheezy is due out soon but I haven't heard anything recently whether a Debian GNU/Hurd release is still coming at that time, but it doesn't look that way at least in any substantive way.

- The GNU Hurd web-site remains quite dated and the "latest news" is from 2009.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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