Re: some newbie questions
>>>>> CJ writes:
CJ> hello, I was just reading you Debian GNU/HURD web page and I am
CJ> really confused about the term OS and kernel.
Understandably... not everybody involved with Debian GNU/Hurd has
settled down on a common terminology.
CJ> For sure, I know that "Linux" is a kernel and "Debian GNU/Linux"
CJ> is an OS that ported on the "Linux" kernel.
Exactly. Debian GNU/Linux is the Debian distribution of the GNU OS
running on the Linux kernel.
Debian GNU/Hurd is the Debian distribution of the GNU OS running on
the Hurd kernel servers and Mach microkernel.
>>>> But what about "HURD", is it an OS or is it a kernel like Linux?
The GNU Hurd is a set of kernel servers that run on top of a
microkernel (Mach). The ``Hurd OS'' is a misnomer that just causes
The architecture of the GNU Hurd is that it is a set of programs that
run on top of the Mach microkernel. The GNU Hurd and Mach together
are a replacement for a standard kernel such as Linux.
The problem you're running into is a gap in the existing terminology.
You cannot really consider the Hurd in isolation, because it is
middleware between the C library and the microkernel. ``Kernel
servers'' is the best term I've heard for what the Hurd is.
You can get more clues from the mutually-recursive acronyms that the
``Hurd'' stands for:
The keywords are ``daemons'' and ``interfaces.'' The Hurd is both a
set of interfaces, and the daemons that implement those interfaces to
support real applications.
>>>> Also, what is the different between a kernel and a microkernel?
A microkernel is a kernel which attempts to provide a minimal set of
machine-dependent services that are useful for building a ``real
kernel''. A ``real kernel'' provides things that are useful to
applications, such as filesystems, networking, etc.
All of the above just reflects my understanding of the situation... I
don't claim to have the best words for answering your questions, and
I'm sure other people will add what they know to the discussion.
I hope this helps,
Gordon Matzigkeit <email@example.com> //\ I'm a FIG (http://www.fig.org/)
Lovers of freedom, unite! \// I use GNU (http://www.gnu.org/)
[Unfortunately, www.fig.org is broken. Please stay tuned for details.]