The Current State Of Debian GNU Hurd

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 8 September 2015 at 04:09 PM EDT. 20 Comments
DebConf 15 happened last month in Heidelberg where there was many interesting sessions, not just for Debian GNU/Linux but also Debian GNU/Hurd.

Provided at this annual Debian conference was a status update on Debian GNU Hurd, the version of Debian using the Hurd micro-kernel rather than the Linux kernel while retaining much of the same Debian user-land. Debian GNU Hurd has been chugging along for the past few years, just like the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD variant.

You can see all of the Debian Hurd slides here while here are the key points from the presentation:

Debian GNU Hurd is i686-only still, but there is the start of the 64-bit (x86_64/AMD64) support, there's basic support for IDE as well as AHCI, Xen PV DomU support, and preliminary sound support through user-space, but the project still lacks support for USB.

The Hurd Debian packages should be quite stable and over 80% of the Debian archive will build for it. Xfce is the primary desktop while most of GNOME and KDE will also build for this alternative system.

The developers have lots of plans going forward, but more help is needed to make them a reality... Need you be reminded that GNU Hurd is older than Linux but is still mostly i686 bound and lacks USB support.

For those that missed it, in late July I did run some fresh Debian GNU/Linux vs. GNU/Hurd benchmarks.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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