Debian GNU/Hurd Adds Experimental 32-bit SMP Kernel & Rust Compiler

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 3 July 2024 at 06:51 AM EDT. 20 Comments
The GNU Hurd team has put out their Q2'2024 status update to outline recent activity around this micro-kernel platform.

During the last quarter, public headers for the GNU Mach AArch64 port were committed as the API/ABI for this port. Hurd developers have now been able to run a few Hurd servers, run Glibc, and execute simple Unix programs on AArch64 Hurd... So, yes, Hurd/Mach is now working on 64-bit ARM hardware. But "not everything is working yet" on real hardware.

The other interesting bit of Hurd news is Debian GNU/Hurd now offering an experimental 32-bit GNU Mach SMP kernel as well as a Rust (rustc) compiler. Yes, finally in 2024 seeing Debian GNU/Hurd with a symmetric multi-processing (SMP) kernel for multi-core hardware/VMs but is limited still to just 32-bit x86 for now. Hurd has long lagged behind on SMP and x86_64 support... Trying out Debian GNU/Hurd a decade ago but with some progress since:

Debian GNU Hurd

Developer Samuel Thibault explained of the early SMP and PAE (Physical Address Extension) 32-bit kernel support:
"In the latest gnumach upload, I have added smp and pae variants of the kernel. pae should be relatively fine and allow to access more than 3G memory. smp is completely experimental, and needs fixing here and there, it seems like irq routing, notably, needs fixes, but at least people can easily try."

Debian GNU/Hurd is up to compiling around 71% of the Debian package archive.

More details as to this Q2'2024 progress on GNU Hurd can be found via the Hurd project site.
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