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Re: upstream GNU Hurd vs Debian GNU Hurd?

From: Samuel Thibault
Subject: Re: upstream GNU Hurd vs Debian GNU Hurd?
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 10:04:55 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21+34 (58baf7c9f32f) (2010-12-30)


Putting a proper subject and explicitly Cc-ing maintainers, otherwise
people will not notice the question under technical details :)

Justus Winter, le Thu 05 Sep 2013 13:04:35 +0200, a écrit :
> Turns out it was only because my /hurd/init contained the
> proc_set_init_task patches while the /hurd/proc I built on top of hurd
> upstream did not :/ and this was even though I wrote those patches.
> So I'd like to restate these questions:
> 1. Who is "upstream GNU"?

Well, it's actually us too :)

> 2. If I shall continue working on the Hurd, how suspectible is
>    "upstream GNU" to my patches?

It depends on the patches.

AIUI, the difference between upstream GNU Hurd and Debian GNU Hurd is
whether we want to build a GNU system or a Debian system.  The GNU
system will probably want to have its own startup system, while on
Debian, we prefer to use the Debian startup system, to avoid maintenance
burden on the Debian side.  As another example, in Debian GNU Hurd we
have abandoned the idea of keeping /usr a symlink to /, because it was
posing too many problems, that we don't have time to fix (and they are
not interesting).  This also brings a divergence.

> I ask this because I see the difference between "Hurd with Debian
> patches" and "upstream Hurd" as a burden not only for the Debian
> maintainers but also for any potential developer.

Yes, this poses problems indeed.  I'd tend to think that upstream Hurd
should integrate what is useful for downstreams like Debian to adapt the
Hurd to its own purpose.  The problem comes when this would make the
upstream Hurd have to work a downstream way, and not be able to choose
its own GNU way.

> Also, according to [0] Debian/Hurd is the only "working" Hurd
> distribution (whatever that means, let's say not in "early stages of
> development" and not "defunct" as used on that page). In particular,
> the "GNU" distribution is marked as "defunct" and according to [1]
> there has not been a release for seven years. So from my point of view
> they are *not* using /hurd/init as reaper, so they might as well *not*
> use sysvinit (or any other established init system) as reaper.

Actually Guix is on its way to become a GNU distribution, and some
preliminary work has already been done on the Nix side, it does work a
bit.  AIUI, there are people motivated on working on that distribution,
which would become a GNU system using the Hurd.


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