GNU/Hurd Operating System

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GNU/Hurd Operating System

GNU/Hurd Logo The GNU initiative of the Free Software Foundation was foundet official on 27th September 1984 by Richard M. Stallman. GNU is the recursive acronym for "Gnu is not Unix". GNU stands for free software and grants the users full control about the software. The software is licensed under the General Public License (GPL). This does not mean necessarily that the software and related services are always free of charge.

The goal of the GNU is providing free software and a free operating system kernel as alternative to the commercial Unix operating system from AT&T. The software is developed with the Open Source method and the help of the community. Together with software from the GNU project it forms a complete, open and free operating system. Hurd is the acronym for "Hird of Unix-Replacing Daemons" where again Hird is another acronym for "Hurd of Interfaces Representing Depth".

The Hurd operating system is based on the GNU Mach microkernel and servers that communicate over defined IPC interfaces. All servers for drivvers, network protocolls and file systems run as normal processes within User-Space.

GNU Mach microkernel

- Licensed under the GPL licence
- Built up completely modular
- Capable of SMP and use for network cluster
- Emulates an Unix environment by POSIX wrapper, POSIX compatible
- Offers ANSI C development environment
- Only base functions like scheduling run directly in the Kernel
- Device drivers, file systems and network services run in User-Space
- Support for file systems Ext2, FAT, ISO9660, NFS
- Supports IPv4 and IPv6
- Supports multi-threading
- Developed for the 32-bit x86 architecture, port for 64-bit (x86_64) planned
- Partial ACPI support for x86 computer

The first initial release since the beginning of the development of the GNU Hurd Kernel was on 6th of August 1996. Hurd 0.2 contains many bug fixes since version 0.1. It is now possible to compile the operating system itself. The community is using the OS reliable for regular tasks. The completion of version 1.0 was planned for the 1st quarter in 2003. After a long while version 0.5 was released in 2013, the intended version 1.0 for productive use was postponed for undetermined time.

Debian GNU/Hurd

During January 1998, the official porting of Hurd to Debian was started. Thereby it is possible to use several thousand of Debian programs after an adjustment directly with the Hurd operating system instead the Linux system. The recent distribution Debian GNU/Hurd 2015 was published on 30. April 2015 and is based on Debian 8 and Hurd 0.6. This distribution enables the easy installation of the operating system on the storage drive.


Date - Version
1996 Aug. 06 - GNU Hurd 0.0, Initial version
1996 Sept. 06 - GNU Hurd 0.1,
1997 June 09 - GNU Hurd 0.2,
2013 Sept. 27 - GNU Hurd 0.5, Mach-Microkernel version 1.4
2015 April 10 - GNU Hurd 0.6, Mach-Microkernel version 1.5
2015 Oct. 31 - GNU Hurd 0.7, Mach-Microkernel version 1.6
2016 May 18 - GNU Hurd 0.8, Mach-Microkernel version 1.7