Hurd Traffic #91 For 15 May 2001

Editor: Zack Brown

By Paul Emsley

Mach 4 ( | Hurd Servers ( | Debian Hurd Home ( | Debian Hurd FAQ ( | debian-hurd List Archives ( | bug-hurd List Archives ( | help-hurd List Archive ( | Hurd Reference Manual ( | Hurd Installation Guide ( | Cross-Compiling GNUMach ( | Hurd Hardware Compatibility Guide (

Table Of Contents


Want to help write KC Debian Hurd? See the KC Authorship page (../author.html) the KC Debian Hurd homepage (index.html) , and the Thread Summary FAQ (../summaryfaq.html) . Send any questions to the KCDevel mailing list. (

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 184 posts in 728K.

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

The top posters of the week were:

1. /etc/fstab vs Passive Translators

12 Apr 2001 - 8 May 2001 (6 posts) Archive Link: "mount?"

Summary By Paul Emsley

People: Jeff BaileyRoland McGrathThomas BushnellRobert Bihlmeyer

Jeff Bailey asked "what's the Best Way of mounting everything in /etc/fstab on boot?" Roland replied "Why would you want to? Just use passive translators."

A month later, Jeff answered: "Sometimes I forget where I mounted something and in the absence of a central repository for 'df' to work from, /etc/fstab serves that purpose for me. "

Thomas Bushnell said "this doesn't require automatically mounting things from fstab, it just requires having a correct fstab. So make one, and also make appropriate passive translators."

Robert Bihlmeyer argued that they would drift out of sync. Thomas agreed and said "we have thought about various grand schemes for synchronizing them, but the current thing is the best we have now. "

2. Using apt From GNU/Linux

24 Apr 2001 - 9 May 2001 (16 posts) Archive Link: "cross-apt"

Summary By Paul Emsley

Topics: Apt

Following up the cross-apt thread from 2 weeks ago Joseph Lunderville got cross-apt working and provided hacked scripts.

3. Debian Package System

27 Apr 2001 - 7 May 2001 (44 posts) Archive Link: "Hurd F1 ISO and booting"

Summary By Paul Emsley

Topics: Apt

People: Marcus BrinkmannAndreas GustafssonRamakrishnan M

Henning Riedel started this extensive thread with an insulting and offensive post - unfortunately he was not ignored. Many people followed up asking for more details about Henning's booting problem. Ramakrishnan M advised him that he needed to recompile gnumach.

There was some discussion of the Debian package system, alien, rpm or the use of BSD ports collection. Many of the posts about non-Debian package systems seemed to be from people not familar with the Debian system. Also documentation was discussed.

Marcus Brinkmann said that apt is not limited to network access:

It can also be used to upgrade one version of a complete distribution to another. For example, if you have a potato Debian, and woody gets released, you do:

apt-get update # pointing to your CD
apt-get dist-upgrade

and it will update all your packages to the new version in the correct order.

I think the major selling point of apt is its package ordering capabilities for installation and upgrading.

Henning reported that he managed to get the Hurd running, suggesting that his problem was with the EATA-driver.

In reply to Henning's question about how to review the kernel message logging, Marcus said:

cat /dev/klog > /tmp/bootlog

Once you read it out, it's gone, so be sure to store it somewhere save.

When asked by Andreas Gustafsson "what does the Debian diff.gz" do and when is it applied? " , Marcus replied:

The debian diff.gz is just a file. By itself it does nothing. It is applied to the pristine upstream source to produce something that can be used to compile a Debian package by the canonical Debian package building procedure.

It is applied when unpacking a Debian source package, which consists of two or three files: A *.dsc source description file, listing the other file(s). One of them is the (pristine) upstream source, the optional third file is the diff.gz.

dpkg-source is the tool which does it, but you can do it manually too.

4. Using gdb with OSKit Mach

6 May 2001 - 7 May 2001 (6 posts) Archive Link: "Plex86 and Kernel Debugging"

Summary By Paul Emsley

Topics: Emulators: plex86

People: Roland McGrathIan Duggan

Ian Duggan needed to be able to debug mach and the Hurd since he was trying to get it to boot from Plex86. Roland McGrath recommended the oskit mach (instead of gnumach) since it has good support for using gdb over a serial line and has people working on it (gnumach does not). Roland recommends that Ian gets his hands dirty.

5. X11 symlink

6 May 2001 - 7 May 2001 (15 posts) Archive Link: "/X11R6/lib"

Summary By Paul Emsley

People: Oystein ViggenMarcus Brinkmann

Oystein Viggen asked "would it be true to the spirit of the Hurd and the /usr -> . symlink to have /X11R6/lib be a symlink to ../lib?"

Marcus Brinkmann was enthusiastic: "X11R6 shouldn't exist even on Linux, if you ask me. I am all for it." Marcus explained the symlink:

ulysses:~# ls -l /usr/lib/X11
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 16 Feb 28 19:50 /usr/lib/X11 -> +../X11R6/lib/X11/

So instead a symlink, we now have the real stuff there were Packages would expect it. All is fine!

Oystein understood. " I'll have to check for filename clashes in /bin, but as these would be just as silly as those in /lib, I hope there are none. IMO binaries with the same names in those two dirs would be a bug in the distribution anyway. "

Marcus agreed and said: "Same for /usr/X11R6/man and /usr/X11R6/include. It should be easy." Marcus was asked if Branden would consider the symlink and Marcus replied: "Let us first work out a patch, and then test it."

Elsewhere ( Oystein reported partial success " The only filename clash I had was rstartd, which lives in /usr/X11R6/bin but has a symlink in /usr/bin. Both are in package xutils, so I just removed the symlink." However Oystein later added "It seems that the symlinks in the X packages are quite closely integrated, and not easily moved out into post/preinst scripts without a lot of hacking things I don't really understand and don't currently have time to fiddle with."

6. CD Dependencies

8 May 2001 (5 posts) Archive Link: "F2 CDs - dependencies"

Summary By Paul Emsley

People: Philip CharlesMarcus BrinkmannJeff BaileyOystein Viggen

Philip Charles continues his quest to producde quality CD images:

The Hurd F2 CDs have started their convoluted journey. The process of selecting what goes on each CD is nearly automated. This means that the difference between Main and extra has become much sharper, the Main CD is more useful, and the extra CD less so. However, I do not think that the differentiation is quite complete.

It is now possible to identify packages that will not install because of dependency problems. I have been looking closely at the *_hurd-i386.deb's and their equivelents in the old style archive, and could prepare a list of these packages with unmet dependencies. Would this be a useful exercise? Would people like further information in this list, if so what?

Marcus Brinkmann was interested:

I think it would be useful to get a list of packages which are not installable because they depend on a package which is available, but in a too old version. This way we can put more pressure on updating the package. Because it is available, updating should be easy (this is not always the case, but anyway).

Another interesting list would show packages which are binary hurd-i386 (not binary all), which are not installable because of missing packages in the dependencies. This would point at required dummy packages or gaping omissions.

Jeff Bailey thought it was a good idea too:

When I first started running the Turtle's Marcus was handing me lists of programs to build based on priority / known workingness / etc. Now that those are all in there, it would be useful to have a way of choosing which packages came next.

So far I've been choosing based on my own priorities. That means I've done a bunch of games, and not much else. =)

Oystein Viggen posted a list of packages he would like autobuilt, and Jeff Bailey added them to his turtle1.

7. LSH

8 May 2001 - 11 May 2001 (8 posts) Archive Link: "LSH 1.2 works on systems that lack /dev/random?"

Summary By Paul Emsley

People: Niels MöllerJeff BaileyJim Franklin

Jeff Bailey built the lsh-utils Debian package but it failed when he tried to use it.

Niels Möller said "It seems like reading the stdout of one of the programs (the first?) fails. I have no idea what "Resource temporarily unavailable" would mean in this context. Before reading, the code has called poll, and at least one of POLLIN and POLLHUP was set."

There was a request from Jim Franklin for LSH documentation.

8. Glibc

9 May 2001 - 10 May 2001 (3 posts) Archive Link: "libc"

Summary By Paul Emsley

People: Marcus BrinkmannJeff Bailey

Jeff Bailey wanted to build glibc, Marcus Brinkmann suggested that he go ahead but warned "A full glibc build takes about 750 MB, so make sure you have the space."

Under the thread glibc status ( Jeff reported his progress. Jeff found a build problem which Roland saw and checked in a fix. Later, Jeff said "It appears to compile fine outside of the package infrastructure. I get a Makefile error when I'm using Ben's package though."

Incidently, Jeff added "I just discovered the 'detach' command of screen. I like it. =)"







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.