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Debian > Debian GNU > Debian GNU/Hurd

This page attempts to be a reference for all resources related to Debian GNU/Hurd that can be useful for users and developers. Feel free to add more stuff as you see fit.

"In a discussion with the Debian Hurd porters it was decided that the Hurd port stays on FTPMaster until Wheezy is released. Should they have managed to get the port into a state that it is released together with all the others (probably as a technology preview), it is kept in the archive. Should they not manage this the port will be removed from the main archive and move fully to debian-ports.org."1

What is Debian GNU/Hurd ?

Debian GNU/Hurd is an operating system from Debian, but which uses GNU Hurd, which a set of servers, running on top of the GNU Mach microkernel instead of the kernel named Linux (thus the name Debian GNU/Hurd). Some day, most applications will exist both in Debian GNU/Hurd and in Debian GNU/Linux.

Basic info

Goals for releasing in wheezy

  • buildd
    • security
    • DSA
  • proper dhcp support in installed system
    • use ifup/ifdown instead of translators entry?
  • debian-ports packages need to be integrated in the main archive.
    • binutils
      • 629866

      • Not critical, can live without
    • cardmgr-gnumach
      • wifi, can live without
    • console-driver-xkb
      • we should probably just integrate it in the hurd package
      • See the concerns on the mailing list archive (bug-hurd, "XKB's keymaps for the Hurd console")
    • gcc-4.4 gcc-4.6
      • 629866

      • not critical, can live without
    • ghc6
      • Difficult hang during build
      • uninstallable in ports
    • gopherfs
      • ITP: hurdextras?
    • grub2
      • decide on partition stuff, and submit
    • guile-1.8
      • linked with -lpthread, to avoid dlopen(lpthread) bug, 646544

      • 630415 shows that guile-2.0 will have pthread enabled anyway.

    • (./) hdf5

    • hyperestraier
    • icon
    • ifupdown
      • TODO
    • isc-dhcp
      • 616290

      • Need to discuss directly with upstream
    • libdrm
      • This is just a stub. integrate in the main archive?
      • Needs to be worked on!
    • libusb
      • This is just a stub. integrate in the main archive?
      • Needs to be worked on!
    • lockdev
      • TODO
    • mx
    • netio
      • ITP: hurdextras?
    • parted
      • decide on partition stuff, and submit
    • pulseaudio
    • qdbm
      • make check fails due to unimplemented msync(), 648663

      • does not honor nocheck in DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS, 648649

    • random-egd
      • make it an alternative to Marcus' C implementation
      • can live without
    • ruby1.9.1
      • (./) Fix __libc_stack_end in glibc, pending

      • (./) apply patch to fix struct dirent size once upstream agreed.

      • fix PATH_MAX issue, 648055

    • sane-backends-extras
      • can live without
    • screen
      • trivial fix on 522689 , uploaded to experimental

    • (./) sidplay-libs, to remove

      • disable hardsid installation, 654826

    • tarfs
      • ITP: hurdextras?
    • webkit
      • Hacked around PTHREAD_KEYS_MAX
      • 649192

    • wireless-tools-gnumach
      • just for wifi, can live without
  • Be able to install at least the base from official mirror (should be almost done, missing grub/parted, dhcp)
  • Integrate DDE to get nowadays' network support.
  • Get Xorg + gnome/kde/xfce (xfce should work, kde is missing working dbus (due to local socket auth and bugs in select() cornercases)) + some webbrowser working (iceweasel 9 works, though not https).
  • (./) Fix ext2fs uncleanness at reboot http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/open_issues/sync_but_still_unclean_filesystem.html

  • Switch to plain sysv startup?
  • (./) Enable console by default? (we now have proper kernel message relaying)

  • fix "su" to root discrepancy (PATH does not include sbin etc.)
  • Good archive coverage.
    • We're at 70%, kfreebsd is at 88%. Although probably not reachable, we can probably do better with
      • ghc
      • mono
      • gnat
      • (./) ruby1.9.1

Goals for later

  • IPv6 support in d-i (after it is settled for linux).

Developer info

Bits draft


It is half a year since the last "Bits from Debian GNU/Hurd porters[1]", here is an update on the port[2].

  • Installation CDs

The Debian Installer includes support for a graphic interface, CD and DVD images are available[3]. For the impatient we also have a ready-to-go QEMU image[4].

  • GHM meeting

At the GNU Hackers Meeting in Paris in August 2011, Samuel Thibault presented "GNU/Hurd, aka. Extensibility from the Ground" with a very good response from the audience. Slides[5] and a video[6] from that presentation are available.

  • Wheezy release goal

Since the ftp-master meeting in July 2011, noticeable improvements have been made, and a technological preview of GNU/Hurd with Wheezy, as was made for kFreeBSD did for Squeeze is still the target. More information is available at the updated TODO list[7]. With respect to package porting only a few packages are still being fetched from the ftp://ftp.debian-ports.org site, and the installation images now use the main archive.

  • Archive coverage

Thanks to the efforts of various Debian/Hurd porters, the percentage of packages built for Debian GNU/Hurd has passed 70%.

Quite a few hurd-i386 FTBFS patches are waiting for an upload, thanks for helping us by handling them!

The remaining 30% of packages are either waiting for other packages to become available (see [8] for a (big) graph of those relationships) or are failing for some reason[9]; a complete list of build failures can be found at [10].

To name some packages, we now have Iceweasel, Abiword, Gnumeric, etc. working.

The autobuilders are keeping the pace relavitely nicely, notably thanks to a new buildd: ironforge.sceen.net.

The sister project Arch Hurd has released a Live CD some time ago and have also DDE integrated to enable the use of up-to-date GNU/Linux drivers for GNU/Hurd.

  • Developer machines

A way-faster Debian porter box is available, exodar.debian.net, immediately accessible to DDs, and accounts can be opened to non-DD alioth members on request to admin@exodar.debian.net

  • Hardware support

Work on the DDE layer to seamlessly integrate Linux 2.6 drivers in userland processes is in the intergation stage. Network card support is basically working on real hardware, and the overhead is quite low. Integration of other driver classes is also on the roadmap.

The Debian GNU/Hurd porters.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/07/msg00002.html [2] http://www.debian.org/ports/hurd [3] http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/hurd-i386/installer/cdimage [4] http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.tar.gz [5] http://www.gnu.org/ghm/2011/paris/slides/samuel-thibault-hurd.pdf [6] http://audio-video.gnu.org/video/ghm2011/Samuel_Thibault-GNU_Hurd.ogv [7] http://wiki.debian.org/Debian_GNU/Hurd

[8] http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/graph-radial.pdf [9] http://www.bddebian.com/~hurd-web/hurd/porting/guidelines/ [10] http://unstable.buildd.net/buildd/hurd-i386_Failed.html


  1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/03/msg00015.html - Debian pushes development of the Hurd port (1)