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Hurd Orientation

                          Welcome to the Hurd

Welcome to the Hurd.  This email is automatically sent at the begining
of each month to the help-hurd@gnu.org and debian-hurd@lists.debian.org
mailing lists.  This message is intended for a quick orientation to new

What is the Hurd?

The Hurd is GNU's Multiserver Microkernel operating system.  It is
designed with the intention of fixing many of the flaws in *nix.  What
are these flaws?  The arbitrary limits that it imposes on the user:
there is not a whole lot that a user can do without special privileges.
Consider an NFS filesystem.  Only root can mount this on a traditional
*nix system.  Why is this?  It is not that NFS accesses anything
dangerous, at least, it is no more dangerous than ftp.  However, as a
portion of the NFS code lives in the kernel, this presents a potential
security problem.  In the Hurd, a user can transparently mount a NFS
filesystem directly into their home directory without affecting the
security of the system as a whole.  And this is only the tip of the

Getting Started

The most up to date installation guide is available at:


GNU Mach uses the drivers found in the Linux 2.0.x kernel.  Note, there
is no support for PCMCIA.  Here is a HCL:


Mailing Lists:

  - bug-hurd@gnu.org:  Hurd and Mach development.
  - help-hurd@gnu.org: General Hurd questions.
  - web-hurd@gnu.org:  Maintenance of the hurd webpages at
  - debian-hurd@lists.debian.org: All things related to Debian GNU/Hurd
                       (especially porting issues).

Subscribe in the usual fashion.

The Hurd FAQ:



A common question is: how can I contribute?  There are many tasks that
need to be done:

  - Help update the web pages at hurd.gnu.org.  Contact
  - Write documentation.
  - Port applications.  Contact debian-hurd@lists.debian.org.  Look at 
  - Write code.  Contact bug-hurd@gnu.org.  Look at:
    http://www.debian.org/ports/hurd/hurd-devel-tasks, <hurd>/tasks
    and <hurd>/TODO
  - Send feedback.  This is, of course, the most important task of all:
    Help us help others.

Happy Hacking.

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