GNU/Hurd — the completely free, Stallman-born kernel — continues to live on through its latest Debian-ized release. And what better delivery mechanism than the most stable and most glacially released distribution out there — Debian!
While GNU/Hurd is still not considered production-ready, and may not even get there, we are still amazed to see releases after 23 years of development! In fact, our imaginations tell us that development is a lot like one person working a loom at 1/4 normal speed, trying to make a blanket to wrapped the earth with. What’s even more amazing is that development continues even though Richard Stallman is not optimistic that it will ever be completed.
Stallman on Hurd:
I have done most of my work while anxious about whether I could do the job, and unsure that it would be enough to achieve the goal if I did. But I tried anyway, because there was no one but me between the enemy and my city. Surprising myself, I have sometimes succeeded.
From the announcement:
It is with huge pleasure that the Debian GNU/Hurd team announces the release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2013. This is a snapshot of Debian “sid” at the time of the Debian “wheezy” release (May 2013), so it is mostly based on the same sources. It is not an official Debian release, but it is an official Debian GNU/Hurd port release.
Compatibility (in general)
Astonishingly, Debian GNU/Hurd is compatible with %75 of all the packages available for Debian Sid (about 10,000!!). On the flip-side of the coin, GNU/Hurd is only available for i386 systems which are a bit of a rarity these days. Debian is known for its wide support for different architectures going way back to the Motorola 68k. Though it should be noted; this is not an official Debian release…