Hurd Traffic #98 For 9 Jul 2001

By Paul Emsley

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Table Of Contents


1. The OS CD Label
27 Jun 2001 - 2 Jul 2001 (16 posts) Archive Link: "labeling the CD set"
People: Roland McGrathPhilip CharlesRobert Millan

Robert Millan sparked off a discussion about the label of the CDs that Philip Charles is creating, it seems he felt that the simply "GNU Snapshot F3", since "GNU" refers to the whole GNU OS, including the Hurd and Mach. The idea of "GNU (Hurd)" was raised, but Roland McGrath squished the idea, saying:

The GNU Project and the Hurd developers use the name "GNU/Hurd" to refer to a whole operating system that is based on the Hurd and other GNU packages. This is the preference of the FSF and we (the volunteer Hurd developers) are happy with that and like the consistency of uniform treatment of the name. Please use "GNU/Hurd" to refer to the operating system when speaking formally in documentation or choosing titles.

I do not speak for Debian or Debian/Hurd, but "Debian GNU/Hurd" is what I've understood to be the proper title of the debian distribution.

It was also generally agreed that "hurd-i386" is not the best description of the system.

Elsewhere, under the subject labeling ( , Phil explained his labeling system:

What does F3 mean?

It keeps track of the version at two levels. "F" refers to the initial installation up to the time the tarball has been configured. This changes when:

  1. The boot-floppies scripts (debian-installer) has been modified
  2. There is a new tarball

"3" Refers to the packages on the CDs. (debian-cd). This changes if there are new packages or if the packages have been rearranged, this is done by modifying the debian-cd scripts. The number is reset to "1" with a change of letter.

I would expect "L5" to be replaced with the official version number once there is an official release.

"F3 snapshot (Unofficial)". Everyone should realise that a snapshot is by its nature unofficial and not an official release.

"Binary Disc 1-4." There will be some fools out there who will not realise that i386 discs are binary discs.

I am conscious of a vicious turtle snapping in the background flooding the archive with packages. All we can expect now is a number of CDs whose usefulness tapers off down the series.


2. New XFree86 Packages
30 Jun 2001 - 1 Jul 2001 (10 posts) Archive Link: "xfree86-4.1.0-0pre1v2 test packages for hurd-i386 uploaded"
People: Marcus BrinkmannFabian Sturm

Marcus Brinkmann said that he had uploaded xfree86-4.1.0-0pre1v2 test packages to and suggested that an interested person should take up the job of testing Branden's packages.

Fabian Sturm said that tried the packages and found:

  • twm is not useful you cant open a new xterm in it from the menu.
  • wmx compiled and worked out of the box
  • cntrl-c does not work in an xterm
  • Marcus wanted to know if the "dark console problem" was an X server hardware problem or specific to the Hurd. Fabian replied that he thought it was specific to the Hurd.

    Michael Schwarzbach reported the same problem with his Viper 330 / Nvidia Riva128 using the nv module.

    "This means there is work to do," said Marcus.


    3. GNU/Hurd Grows
    1 Jul 2001 (3 posts) Archive Link: "F3 - lies, damned lies, and statistics."
    Topics: Apt
    People: Philip CharlesRobert BihlmeyerJeff BaileyMarcus Brinkmann

    Philip Charles reported: "There are now 1068 Hurd specific binaries. There were 592 at the beginning of May. 50 of these packages were excluded by apt, presumably because of dependency problems. In May 56 were excluded. " Phil provided a list of the exclusions.

    Marcus Brinkmann liked the numbers but wanted to see why things were being excluded. Robert Bihlmeyer reported that there were various libc6 dependencies and old (possibly buggy) versions. Robert also said that his apt said that he could install some packages that Phil could not "some difference between our archives? Do you have details? "

    There was no reply however.

    On a similar theme, elsewhere (under the subject "Debian packages" ( ) Jeff Bailey reported that "For the first time today, we passed 25% of the archive built on the Hurd. We are sitting at 27.04%"


    4. /X11R6/lib Needs Fixing
    1 Jul 2001 - 2 Jul 2001 (2 posts) Archive Link: "/X11R6/lib needs fixing"
    People: Robert BihlmeyerOystein Viggen

    Robert Bihlmeyer made an important point about the X11 libraries:

    I don't think the situation will get better by ignoring it.

    All shared libraries in /X11R6/lib are broken as-shipped. The dynamic loader simply can't find them until told by setting up of LD_LIBRARY_PATH. This won't work for s[ug]id programs.

    A couple of possible solutions come to mind:

    (a) Wait for the successor of rpath, and use that

    (b) Declare that /X11R6 is old cruft, and "ln -s / /X11R6"

    (c) Declare that /X11R6 is old cruft, and stop using it for good

    It seems that (a) has been the hope for now, but I can't see that coming sometime this decade. (b) semi-works with all the fun repercussions we've already encountered with /usr (I just fixed dpkg-shlibdeps again ...)

    I prefer (c). /usr/X11R6 is already deprecated in Debian policy for all but the X window system itself. A closer look at the archive reveals that only 16 source packages (one of them xfree86) put some library into /usr/X11R6/lib! Fixing those few we care about shouldn't take too long. Branden could possibly be persuaded to special-case hurd-i386, so the X libraries themselves (by far the most important of all these) land in (/usr)/lib.

    FWIW, another 58 source packages put non-library stuff under /usr/X11R6 -- these want fixing, too, but not that urgently.

    Considering only packages alread available for Debian GNU, the numbers are 7 (libs), and 18 (misc). Of the latter, the majority is Arch: all font packages.

    I'd be glad to hear alternative proposals, but I definitely think that this needs some consensus in the near future.

    Oystein Viggen suggested also "(d) Hardcode /X11R6/lib into for checking in addition to /lib until one of the other solutions is possible."

    There was however, no more discussion.


    5. man-db Configuration Problem
    1 Jul 2001 - 3 Jul 2001 (4 posts) Archive Link: "man-db problem"
    People: Robert BihlmeyerThomas PoindessousColin Watson

    Thomas Poindessous reported some problems configuring man-db. Colin Watson said that he didn't understand what was going wrong and Robert Bihlmeyer said "Does the problem persist with the newest dpkg version? You might be experiencing bug #101552 ( , which is reportedly fixed (again) in 1.9.15."


    6. Reporting Bugs
    7 Jul 2001 (2 posts) Archive Link: "bug hunting"
    People: Robert MillanMarcus Brinkmann

    Robert Millan asked "What should i do when i find a bug in the Debian GNU (Hurd) distribution? is the BTS the appropiate form to submit bugs, should i contact the upstream people? or perhaps it's too early to submit bugs because developers already know many of them and they're busy working on it? "

    Marcus Brinkmann replied:

    You always should report a bug timely. Of course, it is good to spend a minute or twice to check if it really is a bug, and not some configuration problem or documented behaviour. But once you are sure, please report it.

    If the bug is some generic Debian GNU/Hurd problem, report it here. If it is a bug in a single package, file a bug in the BTS. If you are unsure, post it here.







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