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Basic Guides to Debian GNU/Hurd

What is GNU/Hurd?

The GNU/Hurd is a new computer Operating System designed to replace GNU/Linux. The GNU/Hurd adheres to the principles of free software as outlined and upheld by the  Free Software Foundation (GNU) and  Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (Debian). The Hurd will replace the Linux kernel, and the GNU/Hurd Operating System will use the GNU tools which are part of GNU/Linux.

The Hurd itself is a system of servers that run on top of the GNU Mach microkernel to manage such things as file systems, network protocols, file access, and the other features that are usually managed by the monolithic Unix and Linux kernels.

The Hurd works in different way to Unix/Linux with one of its most important features being translators. Basically, a translator is a server which interfaces you with a particular file-system, and GNU/Hurd treats most things as filesystems which can be accessed by a translator: it does not matter whether these file-systems are on the local system or on remote systems. Thus, and for example, there is a ftp translator which allows access to remote file-systems on a ftp server.  (See  Basic Guide to Using Debian GNU/Hurd  for more details.)

What is Debian GNU/Hurd?

Debian GNU/Hurd is a distribution of GNU/Hurd which uses the Debian package system and which is being constructed by Debian developers.
At the time of writing (JD 2451532.8758 or December 20 1999 AD) a basic GNU/Hurd system is available which non-developers and non-programmers can install and use and which is reasonably stable.

Since the system is currently in active devlopment, new packages are being added every month, and while at present GNU/Hurd is usable, there is at least a year or more of further development required before it possesses the usability which GNU/Linux has.

Why Install and Use Debian GNU/Hurd Now?

To support free software in general and the development of GNU/Hurd in particular. Even those who - like me - are neither developers nor computer programmers can help the development of GNU/Hurd by using it, submitting bug-reports and trying out new packages when they are released.

GNU/Hurd has the potential to be the best computer Operating System in the world - better than GNU/Linux IMHO - and the more people who install it, use it and aid its development, the sooner this will happen.

Installing GNU/Hurd

Basic Guide to Using Debian GNU/Hurd

Helping the Debian GNU/Hurd Project

Why Free Software is Important



The GNU Project


This site is a personal web-site and is in no way connected with, or endorsed by, Debian. The author of the articles on this site is a user and supporter of free software - who uses both Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/Hurd  - and he wishes, through the articles on this site, to make people more aware of Debian GNU/Hurd and encourage them to install it, learn to use it and support both its development and use by others.

Contact: wulstan at  [ To send E-mail replace at with @ ]