GNU Hurd Can Build Around 75% Of The Debian Packages, But No 64-bit Or SMP Yet

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 3 February 2019 at 08:20 AM EST. 11 Comments
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One of the sessions we look forward to each year at FOSDEM is in regards to the GNU Hurd status update... It's one of the few times per year where we hear anything new presented on the Hurd. GNU Hurd is nearly three decades old and has yet to see its v1.0 milestone reached, but Samuel Thibault and a small group of other free software developers continue working on this GNU micro-kernel.

Samuel Thibault once again presented at the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) about the state of the Hurd. Recently the Hurd picked up a PCI arbiter, basic ACPI support for power management, and is now able to build roughly 75% of the Debian package set.

The Hurd developers have also been working on bringing support for Golang, Rust, and other modern languages over to the Hurd. Besides GCC, there is also LLVM support. While it's able to build much of the Debian package-set thanks to relying upon the same GNU toolchain as Linux distributions, when it comes to modern hardware features that is still where it's struggling. There isn't yet SMP multi-threading support and the x86-64 port remains a work-in-progress.

Developers continue working on prototyping in effect Debian GNU/Hurd, similar to the previous efforts around Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. There is also work on a Hurd-based GuixSD distribution as well as pairing the Hurd with Arch.

Those wanting to learn more about the state of the Hurd in 2019 can see Samuel's PDF slide deck from his presentation this morning in Brussels.
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