Hurd Traffic #81 For 22 Feb 2001

Editor: Zack Brown

By Paul Emsley  and  Zack Brown

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Table Of Contents


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For all you French-speaking Hurd folks, Alexandre Fernandez asked us to announce that #hurdfr has just opened on

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 62 posts in 216K.

There were 35 different contributors. 12 posted more than once. 5 posted last week too.

The top posters of the week were:

1. Status Of Hurd Installation Media

6 Feb 2001 - 17 Feb 2001 (7 posts) Archive Link: "Hurd CD scripts"

Summary By Zack Brown

People: Philip CharlesMarcus Brinkmann

Philip Charles announced:

The scripts that were used to create the HURD E1 cd-roms can be downloaded from the index page of (at the bottom).

There are two sets of CD scripts, one for each CD. These are very much ad hock creations incorporating work-a-rounds which will change as the HURD develops and the migration to the pool scheme progresses. They were developed from a version taken from cvs some months ago.

The boot disks scripts are straight forward. If the files in the tarball are copied on top of boot-floppies 2.2.17 (the version in potato) then the HURD boot floppies can be created. May be someone might like to incorporate this into the main stream boot floppies.

Adam Di Carlo asked for patches to help get boot floppies working for Woody as well, and Philip replied:

It will be a week or so before I will be able to look at adapting the cvs woody version. It should not take too long. The patch will convert boot-floppies to the HURD, rather than add it as an option. I hope that this will be OK.

There are some fundimental issues that will have to be addressed sometime. The HURD involves a new platform, not a new architecture. When all the utilities, tools etc are available, then the HURD boot system should be ported to the HURD. IMHO we should examine the relationship between the instalation schemes of Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/HURD.

At present it is possible to build a HURD set of boot-floppies with Linux, but I have my doubts if we can do it on the HURD platform at the moment.

Later, he added, "It seems unlikely that a complete HURD installation package could be built on the HURD platform for a good six months. IMHO a good interim step would be to aim for a HURD version of boot-floppies for woody. This would be (I blush with embarrassement) a Linux package. The debian-installer could be looked at later and with luck this may be able to be ported to the HURD." And again later, he quoted from some documentation he'd been working on:


How the Installation Disc works.

The standard Debian GNU/Linux installation CDs uses the cross install method to install the base system. A ram-disk is created in memory and a mini GNU/Linux system installed into this disk. This mini system is used to partition and format drives, and to prepare the target machine for the main installation. The final phase is to unpack a tarball with the essential base packages onto the drives of the target system. The new system is then rebooted using the packages installed onto the HDD. Further packages are then installed and configured to create the desired system.

As the HURD also uses the cross install method, this meant that the scripts to build the HURD installation CDs could be adapted from the Debian GNU/Linux boot and CD scripts.


The Linux ramdisk is still used for the HURD. Marcus Brinkmann's HURD tarball is substituted for base*.tgz. Of course there is a lot of other changes that need to be made, eg making certain that the HURD partition(s) are formatted with the right options, and fiddle, fiddle ....

Once the alterations have been made to the b-f scripts then a HURD set of boot-floppies can be built with the usual plethora of rescue and root floppies all capable of setting up a HURD system. At this stage these are built on a Linux system. The HURD does not have all the tools needed to enable b-f to ported to the HURD yet, so the HURD b-f have to be built on a Linux system.

There was no reply.

2. The Hurd Under Emulation

9 Feb 2001 - 10 Feb 2001 (3 posts) Archive Link: "HURD and bochs"

Summary By Zack Brown

Topics: Bootloaders, Emulators: bochs, Emulators: plex86

People: Igor KhavkineMarcus Brinkmann

Jon Eisenstein asked if anyone had succeeded in booting the Hurd inside a bochs virtual machine, and Igor Khavkine replied, "I've tried doing that. I got GRUB and GNUmach to boot from a diskette image. However I couldn't get farther then that, because bochs requires an entire disk image and not an image or a partition, and I lacked anyway to simulate a whole disk inside a file." He though Marcus Brinkmann might have better information, but Marcus replied, "No, I was talking about plex86, and I have not advanced there. The author is currently improving performance rather than features, and I lack the time to learn what I need to know about x86 and plex86 to understand why gnumach just sits there."

3. Learning The Hurd HOWTO

9 Feb 2001 (1 post) Archive Link: "Learning the Hurd HOWTO: initial draft for review and suggestions"

Summary By Zack Brown

People: Michael Oberg

Michael Oberg gave a link to his Learning The Hurd HOWTO ( and announced, " I have started work on a "Learning the Hurd HOWTO" and wanted some feedback from the community on what I have so far (only about a page or so). This also serves the purpose of announcing my intention to develop this HOWTO and expand it over time. I would like to add tutorial style information eventually, creating as I learn it myself, with fairly in-depth coverage of the different aspects of learning the Hurd." there was no reply.

4. Hardware Strangness Apparent When Installing Grub

9 Feb 2001 - 12 Feb 2001 (8 posts) Archive Link: "grub install bug?"

Summary By Paul Emsley

People: Brian MayThierry LarondeOKUJI Yoshinori

Brian May had problems installing grub:

If I try to install grub from a boot disk, with the following grub commands:

root (hd0,0) install /boot/grub/stage1 d (hd0) /boot/grub/stage2 p

However, it did not install grub. Instead, it corrupted my copy of /boot/gnumach.gz! (gnumach required reinstalling before I could boot The Hurd again).

Brian had some discussion of the problem with OKUJI Yoshinori and Thierry Laronde and finished with: " To conclude this thread, no file-system corruption occurred, but some aspect of hardware was getting corrupted in such a way I misconcluded a software problem. That is, it seems that a hardware reset doesn't always reset all of the hardware on this computer, and Mach didn't like that but for Linux it was OK. "

5. Porting scsh

11 Feb 2001 - 12 Feb 2001 (6 posts) Archive Link: "scsh: stream_char_readyp"

Summary By Paul Emsley

People: Roland McGrathKalle Olavi NiemitaloPaul Emsley

Paul Emsley tried to port scsh and ran into problems with the function that determines if there are data left in the stream buffer (stream_char_readyp). Kalle Olavi Niemitalo suggested using __bufp and __get_limit and Roland McGrath noted " Look at the s-gnu.h file in the Emacs sources and what it does for this. Make sure to conditionalize properly on _STDIO_USES_IOSTREAM, since the iolib definition will eventually become the right one for hurd too. "







Sharon And Joy

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