1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

GNU Hurd Is Enjoying User-Space Device Drivers

GNU

Published on 10 February 2014 10:42 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in GNU
7 Comments

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.

At FOSDEM was a presentation by Samuel Thibault of the GNU Hurd project entitled "GNU/Hurd DDE userland device drivers." The DDE layer exists in the name of "freedom from [the system administrator]", "freedom to innovate", and other capabilities in allowing hardware drivers to run from user-space rather than just kernel-space.

Among the mentioned use-cases for the GNU Hurd DDE were for allowing VPN traffic to just one application, mounting one's own files, redirecting a user's audio, and more flexible hardware support. The GNU Hurd DDE currently supports the i686 architecture but support for 64-bit in Hurd is ongoing with now having a kernel that can boot. Using the DDE, GNU Hurd developers have made to work the Linux 2.6.32 kernel drivers for network boards that run 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 and Firefox web-browser. Future work planned for this GNU project is Xen PVH support, working x86_64 support, language bindings for translators, read-ahead, HDD/Sound/USB DDE support, and having a full GNU system with Hurd.

The FOSDEM 2014 update on GNU Hurd is available via PDF slides. More information on the DDE element to Hurd can be found via this GNU.org page. It's been almost three years since last benchmarking GNU Hurd so maybe soon it's time to do so again using Debian GNU/Hurd.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  2. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
  4. 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison
Latest Linux News
  1. Linux 3.19-rc1 Kernel Released Ahead Of Schedule
  2. Civilization: Beyond Earth Linux GPU/Driver Benchmarks
  3. X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues
  4. Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule
  5. MIPS R6 Architecture Now Supported By GCC
  6. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
  7. Intel Skylake Audio Support For Linux 3.19
  8. After 10+ Years, NetworkManager Reaches v1.0
  9. VDPAU Updated To v0.9
  10. An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  2. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  3. Are there an app using HSA ?
  4. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  5. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format
  8. Bench specific mount point