state of XFree86 on hurd
Let me give the "official" word on the Hurd and X.
Uchiyama Yasushi <firstname.lastname@example.org> did some excellent work getting
XFree86-3.3.3 going on the Hurd, and his web page
<URL:http://www1.nop.or.jp/doc/XFree86-3.3.3.html> has full details on
using his code (and in pretty colors! :-). He sent in his X changes and
they have been integrated in XFree86-18.104.22.168, which we didn't know about
until we say the XFree86 release announcement along with everybody else
(which is fine--that's just free software in action). We have not
integrated his Hurd changes, and we expect to accomplish some of the things
his code does in different ways, as well as using some of his code.
For anyone really hot to run X on their Hurd right now, using Uchiyama'a
code according to his instructions is the thing to do. I have not tested
it, so you will have to see what you get and tell us about your problems.
Uchiyama's web page (cited above) has a nice table describing which of his
changes are required depending on what type of mouse you have. I believe
that this is out of date, and that as of Thomas's 1998-10-26 hurd/term
change (i.e. in all current hurd snapshots and packages), you can use
/dev/com0 (or /dev/com1) with the normal /hurd/term translator setting (as
set by `MAKEDEV com0') for all serial-port pointing devices.
The other changes to the Hurd that Uchiyama made for X provide special
translators for keyboard and mouse devices. We hope to supercede these
soon with a more general solution for making miscellaneous devices
available in a unix-like way (i.e. /dev files). We will be working with
the generous assistance of the de facto gnumach maintainer Okuji Yoshinori
and Uchiyama to figure out the details of this soon.
Since the Hurd port was added between 3.3.3 and 22.214.171.124, there is a
not-too-huge file (well, 175k gzip'd which is small in the context of X
source) you can get to see all the hurd code Uchiyama added to XFree86.
Having read those diffs, I think there are several things we will try to do
differently so that X requires less Mach-specific and Hurd-specific code
(and less root privileges), by providing more unix-like device access with
new translators and so forth. There are also some nits. But doing all
this will take some time, and we can do it in stages. The first step,
pretty soon I hope, will be to provide a new translator for miscellaneous
devices that can handle the keyboard and mouse. (Okuji is already working
on something close to this.) That will be enough to use XFree86-126.96.36.199
with little or no change on current gnumach/hurd. The rest is refinements
we can make later.