Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2013


The GNU/Hurd architecture, nifty features, and latest news

GNU/Hurd aims at being a general-purpose Operating System with a strong emphasis on flexibility and freedom for the user, and thus based on a design made of a micro-kernel surrounded by a hurd of userland servers. It has however a long-term vaporware reputation. Development has indeed been relatively dormant for some time, but recent regain of interest has brought interesting improvements and stabilization, to the point that there will be a non-official release of the GNU/Hurd variant of Debian Wheezy, with about 75% of the Debian packages, including classical graphical desktop application (gnome, gnumeric, firefox, ...)

This talk will present to GNU/Hurd in general and its "translator" mechanism which replaces the traditional notion of filesystem by userland processes, so as to provide strong flexibility to users and administrators, and we will demo it live. The subhurd/neighborhurd mechanism, a very natural way to provide virtualization container support on GNU/Hurd, will also be presented. We will also present recent developments, notably in terms of DDE device drivers run as userland processes, and discuss about maintenance of DDE.


Samuel Thibault