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Re: impressions from a hurd newbie

On Thu, Jul 08, 1999 at 12:03:39AM +0200, Andres wrote:
> Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

> the link to the easy guide is broken in many pages, because
> the original site doesn't seem to respond. do you think you could fix it
> in your debian page? it used to be mirrored on the gnu pages here, where
> it's still kept:
> http://www.gnu.ai.mit.edu/software/hurd/easy.html

I think it is fixed by now but I will consider adding the other link, too.

> * i've got 64 megs of ram, and since i don't use X (don't know how to
> get it to work anyways) i thought that would be enough, so i didn't
> bother with swap space, and i kept running into "(default pager):
> dropping data_request because of previous paging errors". could you add
> something explaining that this message means "ADD SOME MEMORY, YOU
> STUPID HUMAN" to some faq or doc ?

I will add this to the page when I have the time to include FAQ'ish
questions and answers. Thanks for pointing out.

You should always add swap. Even with lots of memory.
> * once i'd figured out what the cause was, i tried to make the hurd swap
> on my freebsd swap partition. it worked, but rebooting into freebsd
> showed me that the hurd had swaped ON my disklabel, so i spent the rest
> of my night trying to recall what the sizes of the partitions were.

Argh :) I hope Roland can find a fix for this. Which partition names did you

> quite fun indeed :-). i've got 2 questions about this point: does anyone
> have a clue to what might have happened? and since i don't want to
> rewrite my disklabel on every reboot, and considering the fact that i
> don't have any partitions left, is there a way to make hurd swap to a
> file? (i don't fully understand translators, so there might be an easy
> way to achieve this that i missed)

Yes, you can simply create an empty file of the needed size ("dd
if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1024k count=128" and then put this into

/dev/hd0s2/swapfile $(add-paging-file)

Or whereever it is. You can't add swap files with swapon.

> * sometimes (say, when i try ftpfs or ls -l into /dev) i get an error
> that beats me: something like a "Gratuitous error" or something.

That's when you access /dev/fd, it's harmless.

> i don't
> have the exact message in mind, i'll try to grab it if there's interest.
> what troubles me is that i can't find the word "Gratuitous" that was
> printf'ed or something in any file inside gnumach-1.1.92-5/ or
> hurd-19990616/, so i wonder which entity is returning that to me.

the error message comes from glibc, the error number is EGRATUITOUS.

> is it
> ls or cd, or something else ? i'm a freebsder, not used to the debian
> way yet, so i don't know where to fetch the sources for these programs.
> any pointers ?

This happens when trying to get certain info from /dev/fd, for example "ls
-l /dev/fd" will show this error, too.
> * similarly, i once had the message "rm: cannot unlink `somefile`:
> Computer bought the farm". actually quite funny, but i didn't get the
> meaning yet. i suspect it's rm who's sending that back to me, but since
> i don't know where to fetch the rm sources ...

Computer bought the farm is EIEIO :) This error shouldn't occure, some
problem with the file system server. Maybe related to memory shortage.
> * i sometimes get something like an error (sorry for the vagueness)
> about not having fd/4 or the such. i recall having seen this on some
> doc, but can't recall where. could you please point me to the right
> place to look ?

Maybe your translator for pipes (/servers/socket/1) isn't set up. It may
also be that a script ("#!/foo/bar") tries to load a program foo/bar that
doesn't exist.

> * one last thing i wanted to report is that the netcat package seems to
> build and work right, following the dpkg-source -x thing.dsc and
> dpkg-buildpackage -B procedure i saw in one of the lists archive. as i
> said, i'm not used to the debian way, so i might have missed some
> errors, don't take my word for the thing being right :-)

Thanks, I wrote this down for the autobuilder. If it compiled, and you could
install it and do a few tests, it is likely to be okay.

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org   finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org     master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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