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Hurd Traffic #53 For 28 Jun 2000

By Zack Brown

Table Of Contents

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 32 posts in 97K.

There were 20 different contributors. 4 posted more than once. 1 posted last week too.

The top posters of the week were:


1. Boot Scripts
20 Jun 2000 - 22 Jun 2000 (5 posts) Subject: "runsystem"
Topics: POSIX
People: Roland McGrathKevin MusickMarcus Brinkmann

Kevin Musick asked what the difference was between runsystem and runsystem.gnu; specifically, he wanted to know if both were necessary to the system. Roland McGrath explained, "/libexec/runsystem is what gets run by /hurd/init at boot time. It is the first thing run in a normal POSIX environment, and is never expected to exit. It can do whatever it likes. The hurd package has a /libexec/runsystem shell script that uses /libexec/rc and /libexec/runttys to approximate a BSD-style init. Marcus's sysvinit package has a /libexec/runsystem that uses /sbin/init to give an init just like Linux has (the same program, in fact). These two debian packages use the debian "update-alternatives" method of installing/choosing these, in which /libexec/runsystem.gnu and /libexec/runsystem.sysvinit(?) are the actual things installed and /libexec/runsystem is a symlink to one or the other that is maintained by dpkg magic."

Kevin asked, "Should I read into this that the Hurd designers envision an alternative startup sequence, departing from the rc#.d scripts and all of the symbolic links and creative filenaming to something a little more twentieth-century? Or, is /libexec/rc just a sample startup script to get someone running who doesn't have a complete distribution available?" And Marcus Brinkmann replied:

Last thing I heard is that Thomas is envisioning some Makefile-ish start up system. The initial question being: Why should there be any fixed number of runlevels? The Hurd tries to break with as much arbitrary limitations as possible.

Designing and coding this is certainly one of the bigger tasks, and of lower priority. Interested people should probably talk to Thomas and Roland about specifics.


2. Debian Hurd ISO Images Not Yet Available
22 Jun 2000 (2 posts) Subject: "Where are Debian-Hurd-ISO-images"
People: Igor Khavkine

Max Moritz Sievers was looking for ISO images of the Debian Hurd distribution, and Igor Khavkine replied, "Currently there are no Hurd ISO images, you'll have to download the debian pacakges from For installation instructions visit"







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