Hurd & the Minix 3 Microkernel

I assume there are others that are disappointed in the fact that Hurd drives forward at a snail’s pace. What? It’s been out for over a decade and it still doesn’t function as a server or a desktop?

Just to recap the most basic features of Hurd …

Gnu/Hurd is a operating system that looks to revolutionize OSes with a micro-kernel approach, where modern desktop (and server) OSes use monolithic kernels (some of which are monolithic-like and marketed as hybrid). This micro approach, in theory, is supposed to increase stability and security, and takes many utilities out of the kernel and places them into user-land. Thus, this would leave the kernel to do what it is supposed to do and little else, manage resources.

Getting back to the disappointment in Hurd’s progress, and considering that there is another micro-kernel OS project progressing by leaps and bounds, namely Minix 3, why not integrate that new OS’s micro-kernel into Hurd?

The two groups certainly have similar objectives, and Hurd could sure use some of Minix 3’s inertia.

Might Minix 3’s BSD license be a deterrent? Surely this can be overcome. After all, Stallman has identified the BSD license as “Free”. Or might the two project’s software architectural infrastructure be incompatible? Has this even been discussed publicly?

Maurice Cepeda

UPDATE: And from what I recall, BSD licensed code can be GPL’ed, and that code can continue to de developed as any GPL software. So the licence is not really an impediment to incorporating the Minix 3 micro-kernel. The only draw-back I can fathom (other than flame wars, a failure to co-operate nicely, and just general friction), might be to keep the GPL Minix 3 micro-kernel in sync with the BSD licensed one.

It almost makes me feel as telling Stallman to get off his fat a** and finish Hurd, rather than spend time preaching about Liberty. Not to suggest that digital rights awareness work isn’t needed, only leave the proselytization to Lessig. At the moment, you’re needed elsewhere Richard.

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One thought on “Hurd & the Minix 3 Microkernel

  1. Pingback: Debian GNU/Minix « Le Blog de Maurice

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