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Re: Gentoo GNU/Hurd thread in Gentoo Forums

From: Sergiu Ivanov
Subject: Re: Gentoo GNU/Hurd thread in Gentoo Forums
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 09:25:58 +0200

On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 3:57 PM, Marek Dopiera <marek@dopiera.pl> wrote:
Monday 17 of November 2008 14:34:23 Sergiu Ivanov napisaƂ(a):
> Well, I wonder whether porting Hurd to NetBSD kernel would take less
> effort than it should have taken to port it to L4 or Coyotos. Still,
> both attempts failed, and I am strongly inclined to think that it is
> just infeasible (or near infeasible) to port the Hurd on a
> *monolithic* kernel, though you had better ask Hurd guys smarter than
> me.
I wouldn't call it porting, it is just an emulation layer, similar to allowing
launching Linux binaries on NetBSD. This means that only GNUMach logic has to
be emulated. Most syscalls already work, because there was an effort to
provide darwin emulation. Then, having the stable NetBSD code, all that is
left is to provide the Mach services on top of it.
> I don't know whether there are specific limitations which would not
> allow to so this on NetBSD kernel, but, obviously, such an operation
> would mean *a lot* of work and I'd doubt that devising a brand new
> microkernel will take much more :-)
Again, it is not porting and there is much less work to do because of it. At
least I hope so ;).

Ah, I see :-) Still, it means that the Hurd will always remain a
secondary thing on NetBSD, mainly due to the necessity of the
emulation layer. My opinion is that such a thing may have interesting
academical nuances involved, but, unfourtunately, it will hardly help
the Hurd to make its way toward a real production system.

BTW, after some pondering, I came to the conclusion that translators
on NetBSD are not a very good sign for the Hurd community, because
almost all PR actions Arne Babenhauserheide is undertaking are based
on translators. If a similar technology is fully implemented on
NetBSD, the Hurd will hardly have any other easily noted advantage
compared to other OS. Especially taking into consideration the fact
that NetBSD is easier to set up on a great variety of platforms.


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