Supporting a GNU Hurd port?

John Moser john.r.moser at
Wed Dec 9 19:48:23 UTC 2009

On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 2:32 PM, Scott James Remnant <scott at> wrote:
> On Wed, 2009-12-09 at 13:11 -0500, John Moser wrote:
>> This is actually a core part of my argument:  Linux is working, the
>> fact that HURD or Minix "Could" be better
> Given that Linux is *working*, which is what we want from a kernel,
> don't you mean that HURD or Minix "Could" be *as good* ?

Oil lamps work, but they're more likely to catch your house on fire if
you knock one over.

Linux works, but if we believe (or verify... actually it's been
verified) that there are any cases where a driver can crash (i.e. disk
driver, net driver, both have been made buggy to demonstrate) and the
system can recover, with zero risk of the buggy driver stamping all
over other parts of the kernel, then we've reached a situation where a
class of bugs can't actually happen and certain very real bugfixes
we've seen in the past are now a convenience thing.

Personally, I used to not be able to use Ubuntu happily for 2 releases
because the driver I was using had multiple type mismatches on 64-bit
architecture (idiots thinking sizeof(int) == sizeof(long)) and
eventually the video driver decided to stamp all over kernel memory
and demolish the whole friggin' system.  My eventual solution was to
move to a different video card by a different manufacturer.  THREE
related bugs in that driver were fixed, but more remained elusive.

I can't at this point say, look, there is a magical holy land(*) over
there and it's called (HURD|MINIX|L4|Mach); but I also can't say that
it isn't there either.  You have to realize, this is a really, really
complex argument; being "as good" inherently means "waste of time to
switch" because you're bounded at the current case, so engineering
resources devoted to this have zero benefit, and thus the entire
argument would become moot.

(*)Microkernels are still a religion, aren't they....
> Scott
> --
> Scott James Remnant
> scott at

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