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Re: Scripts to build a Hurd distro

From: David Michael
Subject: Re: Scripts to build a Hurd distro
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2015 17:56:13 -0500


On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 7:59 AM, Justus Winter
<4winter@informatik.uni-hamburg.de> wrote:
> Hi David :)
> Quoting David Michael (2015-01-04 23:40:03)
>> I've uploaded updates to my Hurd build scripts for Fedora 21, so I
>> thought I'd send a note about it in case it helps anyone else out there
>> who is interested in building Hurd outside Debian.  (The project has
>> actually bloated into a fairly complete distro itself at this point.)
>> It can be downloaded from https://github.com/dm0-/gnuxc .  Here are some
>> nifty things it can do:
>> * It runs GNU dmd as PID 1, with service definitions like mcron, lsh,
>>   syslog, and the Hurd console client.
>> * It has a Guile/Make file to bootstrap and build all the cross-compiler
>>   RPMs in parallel with proper dependency tracking.
>> * It can use your CPU to heat your home or office.
> Most impressive!
> For someone who isn't a Fedora user, is there an image I can download
> and just boot to play around with?  Also, do you hang out with the
> Guix people?  If not, you should ;).  Also, are you in #hurd?

Sorry, I don't have a clean image ready for distribution at the
moment.  Maybe I could build one and upload it somewhere over the

I don't tend to use IRC on any regular basis, and although I follow
Guix development, I'm not really involved.

>> * It includes a Linux-libre kernel with a statically linked QEMU so that
>>   it is still possible to boot Hurd virtually on machines with
>>   unsupported hardware.  (I use this for a Live CD type of setup and EFI
>>   booting.)
> Heh, nice hack.  Note though that for the Hurd, booting from a CD
> isn't much different than booting from a hard drive.  grub-mkrescue
> creates bootable cd/hd/usb images, from there on it's just a matter of
> bootstrapping the Hurd the same way it is done for a normal
> installation.  Of course then you have iso9660fs as rootfs, which is
> readonly, which causes problems for the "userland" bootstrap.

Thanks, I'll have to look into grub-mkrescue for booting options.

Linux-libre here is useful beyond just booting, though, like for cases
where I boot a Hurd SD card on a machine that relies on a USB3 network
adapter which only even had a Linux driver for a year or two.  QEMU
can present Hurd with a boring old rtl8139 NIC that it knows how to
use, so networking is still functional.  In this case, Linux-libre is
basically just the world's most inefficient hardware abstraction

Usable read-only root is also something I'd like to have eventually.
The build system currently puts tmpfs translators on /tmp and some
/var directories with a dumb script a la systemd-tmpfiles, but this
approach is not very complete at this point.



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