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Hurd Orientation


From: Neal H Walfield
Subject: Hurd Orientation
Date: Thu, 03 May 2001 23:28:02 -0500

                          Welcome to the Hurd
                          ===================

Welcome to the Hurd.  This email is automatically sent at the begining
of each month to the address@hidden and address@hidden
mailing lists.  This message is intended for a quick orientation to new
users.

What is the Hurd?
-----------------

The Hurd is GNU's Multiserver Microkernel operating system.  It is
designed with the intention of fixing many of the flaws in *nix.  What
are these flaws?  The arbitrary limits that it imposes on the user:
there is not a whole lot that a user can do without special privileges.
Consider an NFS filesystem.  Only root can mount this on a traditional
*nix system.  Why is this?  It is not that NFS accesses anything
dangerous, at least, it is no more dangerous than ftp.  However, as a
portion of the NFS code lives in the kernel, this presents a potential
security problem.  In the Hurd, a user can transparently mount a NFS
filesystem directly into their home directory without affecting the
security of the system as a whole.  And this is only the tip of the
iceberg.

Getting Started
---------------

The most up to date installation guide is available at:

        http://web.walfield.org/papers/hurd-installation-guide/

GNU Mach uses the drivers found in the Linux 2.0.x kernel.  Note, there
is no support for PCMCIA.  Here is a HCL:

        http://www.urbanophile.com/arenn/hacking/hurd/hurd-hardware.html

Mailing Lists:

  - address@hidden:  Hurd and Mach development.
  - address@hidden: General Hurd questions.
  - address@hidden:  Maintenance of the hurd webpages at
                       http://hurd.gnu.org.
  - address@hidden: All things related to Debian GNU/Hurd
                       (especially porting issues).

Subscribe in the usual fashion.

The Hurd FAQ:

        http://web.walfield.org/papers/hurd-faq/

Contributions
-------------

A common question is: how can I contribute?  There are many tasks that
need to be done:

  - Help update the web pages at hurd.gnu.org.  Contact
    address@hidden
  - Write documentation.
  - Port applications.  Contact address@hidden  Look at 
    http://people.debian.org/~jbailey/turtle/group/Debian/index.html
  - Write code.  Contact address@hidden  Look at:
    http://www.debian.org/ports/hurd/hurd-devel-tasks, <hurd>/tasks
    and <hurd>/TODO
  - Send feedback.  This is, of course, the most important task of all:
    Help us help others.

Happy Hacking.



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