Hurd Traffic #84 For 14 Mar 2001

Editor: Zack Brown

By Paul Emsley

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Table Of Contents


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Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 121 posts in 457K.

There were 42 different contributors. 22 posted more than once. 16 posted last week too.

The top posters of the week were:


1. New dpkg
15 Feb 2001 - 5 Mar 2001 (9 posts) Archive Link: "dpkg-shlibdeps and /usr/lib, other dpkg stuff"
Summary By Paul Emsley
People: Marcus BrinkmannRobert Bihlmeyer

Marcus Brinkmann pointed to "an old bug ( in dpkg-shlibdeps that vanished shortly and is now back. The issue is that it now uses ldd again to find out not only the name but also the location of the libraries used by the binary. Because ldd finds them all under /lib in the Hurd, dpkg-shlibdeps won't be able to find them via dpkg -S, when they are installed under /usr/lib." He outlined some approaches to fix this.

It was not immediately obvious why dpkg was currently doing this. After some discussion Marcus said:

Wichert's rewrite in Python seems to be fixing it. The initial version I tried is not perfect, as it has some bugs and lacks features, but the core, the dependency list, was correct in the important cases.

I will hack together a dpkg-shlibdeps for us to use in the meanwhile. We just have to remember to use that instead the dpkg-dev version. Mmmh. I think a diversion could work. I think a package is overkill. Is it possible to specify diversions without making a proper package containing them?

Robert Bihlmeyer tidied up some inaccuracies: "objdump is still used to produce the list of immediate dependencies [ldd will also list indirect dependencies]. As this list does not include paths, "ldconfig -p" output is used to find them. This will fail on the Hurd."

There was a question about where the libraries should residue. Marcus said "not all libraries are in /lib, for example X libs aren't. When we use runpath, more libs might not be in standard places, but then we will have the path inthe binary, so it will be easy." . With regard to the problem of the assumption that only the dpkg file database holds the location of a particular file, Marcus said: "Wichert says he is re-writting dpkg-shlibdeps with this in mind, let's see what comes out of it. "


2. New apt
21 Feb 2001 - 7 Mar 2001 (14 posts) Archive Link: "new apt source available"
Summary By Paul Emsley
Topics: Apt
People: Jeff BaileyColin WatsonBrian MayMarcus Brinkmann

Following prompting from Marcus Brinkmann, Jeff Bailey tried out the new apt (0.5.0). He found that apt, debconf, debhelper, links, perl and tidy needed to be upgraded. He found that apt-get source, apt-get install, and apt-get remove using the 'ftp' method "all appear to work within normal parameters" .

After some sleep, Jeff reported "I just tested the package upgrades on my Hurd system at work. Using apt-, it was able to fetch the packages and install them. [] I have also now used the 'http' method for fetching stuff off of my debian mirror with and without using our proxy server" .

Jeff and Brian May then discussed the use of an http proxy. Brian's problems seem to have been solved after he created a dummy package for sysvinit using equivs.

Colin Watson then reported his problem with the http method:

Get:12 unstable/main doc-linux-text 2000.09-1
Err unstable/main doc-linux-text 2000.09-1
Select failed - select (1073741828 Interrupted system call)

Brian said that he had seen this too and Jeff recalled that pfinet has some (timing) related bug(s) that would seem to be responsible.


3. Pthreads Development
28 Feb 2001 - 6 Mar 2001 (8 posts) Archive Link: "pthreads in hurd"
Summary By Paul Emsley
People: Igor KhavkineErik VerbruggenJeff BaileyMark Kettenis

Erik Verbruggen volunteered to proceed with the development of pthreads for the Hurd. Igor Khavkine said "Mark Kettenis [had already done] substantial work on a native implementation of pthreads as part of the glibc. I continued the work and implemented most of it [but] there are still a couple of small but important pieces missing and it has to be properly integrated into the glibc build" .

This prompted Jeff Bailey to have a look and to try to hack the build to be stand-alone (wrt libc). He and Igor discussed the definition of _HURD_THREADVAR_THREAD. Igor made it clear what has yet to be implemented: "[Along with the completion of pthread_sigmask and sigwait], part of the code that's not done yet is in the actual thread creation. Try to trace through the pthread_create call, you'll find that the code gets confused when the Mach thread has to be created. I got confused then because I found two different functions which seemed to do the same thing, __mach_thread_setup() and __mach_setup_thread(). One was already in the glibc and the other was only in the pthread patch."

Erik finished for now, with: " It winds down to the stack creation: __mach_thread_setup does not do stack allocation, while __mach_setup_thread does do stack allocation. [] That's it for now, you'll hear more when I've managed to build things. " . We wait with baited breath!


4. /usr Is An Ancient Idea
7 Mar 2001 - 8 Mar 2001 (9 posts) Archive Link: "Getcwd?"
Summary By Paul Emsley
People: Oystein ViggenMarcus BrinkmannThomas Bushnell

After Oystein Viggen damaged his system by trying to tinker with /usr, he ased: "Why should we not have a separate /usr?" Marcus Brinkmann replied "We will have a better concept to distribute the content of the filesystem among several partitions. /usr is an ancient idea, when we had a tape you used to boot the system with (and load it into core memory), and a tape with the rest of the filesystem. After booting, you would switch the tapes." Marcus added a link to Thomas Bushnell's Hurd paper ( and also "On my homepage, you will find a list of my papers published so far."


5. Ncurses patch
7 Mar 2001 - 8 Mar 2001 (4 posts) Archive Link: "New ncurses - might break on hurd?"
Summary By Paul Emsley
People: Daniel JacobowitzJeff Bailey

Daniel Jacobowitz wrote "I removed an old patch to config.guess that explicitly checked for hurd-gnu. [] Could someone please let me know if this doesn't build on the Hurd?" Jeff Bailey compiled the new version (5.2-1) "without any problems" .


6. Switching Terminals
9 Mar 2001 - 10 Mar 2001 (4 posts) Archive Link: "Switching ttys"
Summary By Paul Emsley
People: Chris GrayJonathan BartlettOystein Viggen

Chris Gray asked "is it possible to switch terminals as Alt-Fn does in Linux?" Jonathan Bartlett replied that for now use "screen": "Ctrl-a c creates screens, Ctrl-a n switches screens" . And Oystein Viggen added: "Ctrl-a a sends Ctrl-a to the process running in the screen" .







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