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Hurd Traffic #30 For 5 Jan 2000

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 30 posts in 80K.

There were 17 different contributors. 5 posted more than once. 5 posted last week too.

The top posters of the week were:


1. New Hurd Logo
28 Dec 1999 (5 posts) Archive Link: "Hurd Logo"
Topics: Logo
People: Marcus BrinkmannTomasz WegrzanowskiDerek L DaviesJeff Bailey

Chen Shapira gave a link to her Hurd Logo, and released the logo for all use and modification, and even freed the copyright (especially since it was a variation of another image). She did ask that people give her credit if they wanted to.

Marcus Brinkmann loved the idea of a Hurd component logo, and asked, "Can you try to make a cleaner png version? A gimp vector version or a huge rasterized version?" Chen replied with a pointer to the png version, the raster version, and the flattened gimp version.

Elsewhere, Jeff Bailey asked if .pngs could do animation (he wanted to get rid of the gif on his page, but Tomasz Wegrzanowski replied, "No, There is similar and generalized mng format (every correct png or jpeg is correct mng) that allows animations, but I dont know of any implementation of this."

Elsewhere, under the Subject: HURD artwork, Derek L Davies suggested, "you might want to get in touch with the guy who puts out _Brave_GNU_World_ (there's a link at the bottom of the page). He seems to be collecting various GNU artwork and hopefully he'd be interested in your contribution."


2. Java Success
30 Dec 1999 (4 posts) Archive Link: "Java on HURD, success"
People: Igor KhavkineMarcus BrinkmannPavel RoskinOKUJI Yoshinori

Igor Khavkine reported success with Kaffe. He said:

I've attempted to run a Java Virtual Machine under the Hurd, i chose Kaffe which appeared to be the most advanced of the open source JVMs.

I got the Kaffe-1.0.5 source from, and of course it didn't compile right out of the box. First I had to get configure to recognise the i386-gnu system type. Then I tried to prallel the architecture dependent initalization code from linux. Since Kaffe requires threads and Hurd lacks a pthreads implementation, i had to settle for it's own jthreads implementaion, however something more native like cthreads or a future implementation of pthreads would be better. After that the compile went through, however Kaffe hung my box hard whenever it tried to run any java program. The problem was in that it was trying to put the stdin, stdout and stderr file descriptors into asynchronous mode (using fctnl and O_ASYNC, i think). Since I'm no expert on async-IO and that part of code wasn't essential to exectution I just commented it out. BTW, how does one go about putting file descriptors in async mode?

After that it actually worked fine. I've been able to run several console java programs. And most of the self checks that come with the code passed as well, except a couple that were dealing with threading and stacks overflows.

Pavel Roskin and OKUJI Yoshinori were very excited about this, and Marcus Brinkmann added, "Can you pursue this further, contact the upstream authors and make sure your changes are integrated? There were several people interested in Java&Hurd, so if you need help you should be able to get some. If you also CC the Debian maintainer, we can get a Debian package of kaffee as soon as a clean patch is available."


3. Hurd Offered As Commercial Installation
30 Dec 1999 (1 post) Archive Link: "Debian GNU/Hurd preinstalled"
People: Marcus Brinkmann

Marcus Brinkmann reposted a press release that had originally been posted to debian-commercial by Space-Time Systems:

Space-Time Systems, based in Malvern, England, which offers systems with Debian GNU/Linux pre-installed, is now offering customers the chance to use and experiment with the Debian GNU/Hurd Operating System.

For no extra charge it will install the GNU/Hurd on a seperate partition on its Debian GNU/Linux systems.

According to an engineer at STS: "We see the Debian GNU/Hurd as not only upholding the principles of free software but as potentially the best Operating System in the world, and believe that this is good way of making people more aware of both GNU/Hurd and the potential that free software has. It may also spur some into helping to develop it, through testing, bug reports and may be even by becoming developers themselves."

More info:

STS can be contacted at

He added, "Much earlier than I expected, but very nice!" There was no reply.


4. The Hurd Gets Its Own Subdomain
30 Dec 1999 (1 post) Archive Link: "Fw:"

Following up on the discussion from a couple weeks ago in Issue #28, Section #2  (13 Dec 1999: Domain) , Chen Shapira announced that Jonas Oberg from had arranged for both and to be redirected to the Hurd pages at There was no reply.


5. base-files Without /proc
30 Dec 1999 (1 post) Archive Link: "base-files without /proc"
People: Marcus Brinkmann

Marcus Brinkmann announced, "base-files without proc dir is installed in the archive." There was no reply.


6. Hurd Experience
31 Dec 1999 - 1 Jan 2000 (5 posts) Archive Link: "Experiences with the HURD"
People: Marcus BrinkmannMichael Thaler

Michael Thaler posted a lengthy description of his experiences installing the Hurd. One of his questions was how to install a german keymap. He'd downloaded keymap.tar.gz from Marcus Brinkmann, but didn't know how to use it. Wolfgang Jehrling said the command was './'.

Michael also noticed that the Hurd seemed to have a problem with having swap on logical paritions (as opposed to primary). It finally worked when he tried sharing his Linux swap partition with the Hurd. Marcus replied that he had never seen something like that before, and would look into it. But he added, "Sharing swap is better anyway :)"


7. .deb File For The Entire Hurd
31 Dec 1999 - 2 Jan 2000 (5 posts) Archive Link: "Hurd-package for GNU/Linux"
People: Lars WeberMarcus Brinkmann

Lars Weber suggested creating a .deb package containing all the files necessary, including docs, for setting up Debian Hurd. Colin Walters suggested Marcus Brinkmann's cross-install script, and Lars replied that he'd already tried the script with success, but thought an even simpler installation path might encourage wider experimentation. He must have received some private email, because in a later message he added, "Of course I missed the fact that building a deb-package and including it into the distribution isn't such a trivial (and lossless) task. I'm not so sure if this is such a good idea anymore, too."







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