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Notes on gnu-latest and Debian GNU/Hurd


Some more notes from the new installation.

1. It was essential to get ssh working. Based on a non-trivial
   hunt in this mailing list I found that Marcus has a "random"
   translator. Unfortunately, the compiled one is for the older
   hurd. Also, contrary to earlier mails there is no "announcement" of
   this that explains how it is to be compiled! So I did the following
   entirely hacker-ish thing:

   a. copied the file /usr/include/hurd/startup_notify.defs file
      into the source directory for random.

   b. Gave it a new subsystem number.

   c. Made a minor (?) edit to change the startup_dosync call to
      S_startup_dosync (which happened to be the name of the 
      routine in random.c)
   After this the stuff compiled and the following seemed to work:
	settrans -c /dev/random /usr/local/hurd/random -s \
	settrans -c /dev/urandom /usr/local/hurd/random -s \
	cat random.tar.gz > /dev/random
	cat random.tar.gz > /dev/urandom
   (Not the best entropy in the world I know!)

   After this "slogin" and friends did not complain.

   However, this is entirely a hack---so I would welcome pointers
   on how to improve on this. For example, I could not figure out
   from the mailing lists any way of feeding this random device
   entropy out of "egd" except to read data periodically from
   egd's socket and push it into /dev/{,u}random---I could not figure
   a neat way to do this either. (I read about libchannel but that
   is beyond my current luser status). Also the seed files are 

2. The "mutt" mailer suggests the "gnutls3" package. But when the latter
   was installed the "imap" connection was stuck for ever.

3. The "man" program often hangs. Perhaps this is GNU's way
   of making sure that we use "info" instead ;-)

4. I also built an oskit-mach kernel
   ("kernel-ide+ethernet_eepro100" in Roland's notation).
   The "oskit-mach" kernel also booted the hurd but:

	a. Only with the old method of booting using
		module /boot/serverboot.gz
	   Even converting the kernel using mkmbimage
	   did not work with the new multimodular boot.

	b. The TERM device is to be set to "adm3a" after
	   which the console is kind of usable.

   Still, currently gnumach-1.3.gz wins out on usability.

5. Since "i810" and "agpgart" are still far away one is restricted
   to text-mode without X. This is probably a blessing in disguise.
   "screen" (or emacs21 and "eshell") are our friends here.

Thanks and regards,


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