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Hurd Traffic #16 For 22 Sep 1999

By Zack Brown

Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers?
Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut your teeth on an OS you can try to modify for your needs?
Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on minix? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working?
Then this post might be just for you :-)
-- Linus Torvalds, 1991

Table Of Contents

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 48 posts in 115K.

There were 24 different contributors. 12 posted more than once. 10 posted last week too.

The top posters of the week were:


1. 'cpp' In The Archive
8 Sep 1999 - 11 Sep 1999 (9 posts) Archive Link: "can't find cpp"
People: Pavel RoskinMarcus Brinkmann

Someone was having trouble because gcc couldn't find cpp, and the poster couldn't find cpp in the 'devel' directory of the archive. Marcus Brinkmann and Pavel Roskin pointed out that cpp was in 'interpreters', not 'devel', and Pavel gave a pointer to


2. New gh0stOS Project Based On The Hurd
14 Sep 1999 - 17 Sep 1999 (3 posts) Archive Link: "gh0stOS and the Hurd"

Someone gave a pointer to his gh0stOS project, an attempt to create an OS for the Hurd kernel. Apparently he got some private flames, because later, under the Subject: Re: Gh0stOS, he added that he liked Debian and wasn't trying to subvert it, but was still interested in experimenting with writing an OS.


3. Public Machine For Hurd Development
15 Sep 1999 - 17 Sep 1999 (6 posts) Archive Link: "hurd build machine available?"
People: Marcus BrinkmannMichael BacarellaSteiner NoLastName

Ossama Othman asked if there was a running Hurd box available for developers to use for porting packages. The only machines he had access to were dedicated Linux machines and he couldn't install the Hurd on any of them. Marcus Brinkmann replied, "we are working on it. It seems that we will soon get a machine that is available for all Debian developers. It will be announced big times when it is ready."

Michael Bacarella said:

I considered leaving a machine running the Hurd up indefinately with a guest account just to see what areas might need improvement (stability/security/etc)

I noticed that the initial login prompt provides a wee bit more power than i'd like. I suppose I can get around that once I have the time.

Marcus replied:

Every file has beside access rights for owner, group and other also rights for the not-logged in user.

The right thing would be to add this feature to chmod, ls and so on, so we can make use of it. Then you can fine tune the power the ont logged in user has.

Steiner NoLastName added:

The "login prompt" is the shell of the login user. You change this by setting another shell on this user. You can for example use a program like the traditional UNIX login(1) if that is the functionality you want.

Note that when using ssh or telnet, you will normaly not get to the login user, but instead use the authentication proedure of ssh/telnet.

But Michael protested, "Not so! When I made a guest account for my irc buddies to hammer away at, they reached a login shell and pondered ways of trying to break my machine."


4. Newcomer Gets Help Booting The Hurd
15 Sep 1999 - 17 Sep 1999 (14 posts) Archive Link: "Re: Installation"
Topics: Bootloaders
People: Marcus BrinkmannDaniel BurrowsJim Franklin

Nick Jennings had downloaded a bunch of files and asked for pointers to some installation instructions. A lot of people replied privately, and Jim Franklin gave pointers to,, and

Under the Subject: Booting the Hurd, Nick thanked everyone for the links, and reported that the link to the Easy Installation Guide appeared broken. He ran cross-install, apparently successfully, but couldn't figure out how to get lilo to boot the Hurd, so he could then run native-install. Marcus Brinkmann suggested he use GRUB instead of lilo. Nick pointed out that he had lilo on his MBR, and wanted to know how to organize that with GRUB. Marcus explained, "Put LILO on a (extended) partition instead of the boot loader and chainload it with GRUB. I don't know if LILO can chainload GRB. Or use a GRUB boot disk for now, to be completely safe." Also, Daniel Burrows pointed out that Nick could use GRUB to boot Linux as well, and get rid of lilo altogether. He also explained, "The reason I recommend eventually replacing Lilo is that Grub is much better than LILO unless you have a system that it can't run at all on (eg, SCSI drives), and it's aesthetically displeasing to have multiple bootloaders :). For more information on how to install Grub on a boot disk or a partition, see its info documentation, particularly the section called "automated installation". It has examples of floppy and hard disk installs. To see how to chainload from LILO, see lilo.conf(5)."

Under the Subject: Booting the Hurd (boot errors), Nick thanked everyone for their help and reported success getting the Hurd to boot. He had a little trouble figuring out the partitioning information, but Marcus helped him out.







Sharon And Joy

Kernel Traffic is grateful to be developed on a computer donated by Professor Greg Benson and Professor Allan Cruse in the Department of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. This is the same department that invented FlashMob Computing. Kernel Traffic is hosted by the generous folks at All pages on this site are copyright their original authors, and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2.0.