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Re: Long story, might be interesting :)


> Last night (and it was a looooooong night), I took an old IDE disk and I
> installed Debian GNU/Hurd for the first time, using the great instructions
> at http://www.memo.cx/gnuhurdguide/ . Install went smooth (of course, it's
> as simple as extracting a .tar.gz file, uhmm.. It IS extracting a .tar.gz
> file :)).

A quick look at that showed that it has not been updated since Feb
2000: quite outdated.

>          Since I had already been using GRUB for a long time, I only needed
> to make some changes to my menu.lst to boot. I tried to, but no go. It
> wouldn't recognize my partition at boot time. Then, I copied the boot files
> (gnumach.gz and serverboot.gz) to my SCSI disk, and booted from there. Now,
> everything was fine :). No problems completing the install with
> ./native-install.

I have no clue what is wrong with your set up.  This is the first time
that this has been reported and you have given no error messages.

> Next thing I did was installing apt so I could dist-upgrade to the latest
> packages. But, for some reason there's a very very very very very (did i say
> very?) old apt in ftp.debian.org , which is unusable (it only supports i386,
> not hurd-i386). Somebody (thanks to that person) at
> #hurd/irc.openprojects.net mentioned ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/hurd/debian ,
> and I had a look. What I found there was a quite recent version of apt, that
> supported hurd-i386. I installed apt, added
> ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/hurd/debian to my sources.list and dist-upgraded.

Again, if you had read a recent install guide you would have known this.

> After I worked out some dependency problems and edited /etc/nsswitch.conf
> (to remove the db entries), I had a fully functional GNU/Hurd system.

What did you have to do.

> Okay, time for some questions:
> - Where can I find the latest XFree4 Debian/HURD packages (Lots of places
> are reporting they exist, but I can't find them)?

Again, a latest install guide should do it or, try:

What places are reporting this and not pointing at an install guide or
the mailing list?

> - I'd like to join development. I'm a young professional programmer with
> knowledge of (and experience with) basic, pascal, php, sql, c and c++. How
> do I join development? The first thing I'd like to do is recompile some
> packages for the Hurd, so I can use all programs with Debian/Hurd as I use
> with Debian/Linux. However, I'm not a Debian developer (yet). Where do I
> start? :)

There is nothing to join.  Write some code and submit it.  Report bugs.
Compile packages for which we do not yet have binaries. etc.

> - When will that 'no partition sizes bigger than 1gb'-bug be fixed?

Once .3 is released, that code will begin to be widely tested, i.e.
those writing code have other priorities at the moment.

> - Can I somehow enable SMP? (I'm running SMP here, so I'd like to use it).

It is not yet supported.  If you are interested in working on it, take a
look at oskit-mach.

> - Why is Debian/Hurd so slow in comparison to Debian/Linux. Installing the
> libc0.2 package took about one hour. (Okay, Hurd is using an IDE disk and
> Linux a SCSI disk, but it shouldn't matter *that* much)

There is a lot of work to be done:  Linux has hundreds of programmers
working on getting the most performance out of the system.  Before the
hurd is optimized, the feature set needs to be (relatively)

> - When trying to install debconf it exits with an error 10. How do I find
> out where and how it crashes? Without debconf, it is impossible to install
> lynx, which is quite important if you don't have X and want to view some
> webpages.

I am not sure about this.  Try being more verbose in your bug reports.


Neal H Walfield
University of Massachusetts at Lowell
neal@walfield.org or neal@cs.uml.edu

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