The Hurd

Marcus Brinkmann marcus at
Thu Mar 28 13:28:04 UTC 2002

On Thu, Mar 28, 2002 at 05:47:23AM +0100, Frank Heckenbach wrote:
> Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> > And, the past has showed that we are achieving our goals.  For example,
> > nobody uses libc5 anymore,
> Apparently you missed Alessandro's mail recently ...

I don't evenknow who Alessandro is.  A quick web search shows that you
might mean that etlinux is still using libc5, but will swotch to multi
libc5 in version 2.  And it will bring multi-platform support to it.
Sure, libc5 might stil have some isolated uses (prprietary binary only
programs that are not updated anymore, anyone?), I mean, that's why I
updated the libc5 package for Debian potato before we released and libc5
development finally died.  Every software has a time where it is used
even after it is dead, this time has long appeared for libc5.

> Mind you, when you make such statements, don't be surprised when
> others claim that nobody needs the Hurd. Both statements are true
> ... for certain values of nobody ...

Well, feel free to tell me more about libc5.  But please be a bit more
elaborate.  As far as I can see, the market for libc5 is pretty tight
with glibc on the one side and dietlibc et al on the other.

> > I don't want a graphics driver in the kernel.  I don't want any driver in
> > the kernel, to be honest ;)  But having said that, I don't want a webserver
> > in the kernel either.  But see, there is a webserver in Linux.  Does that
> > make you wonder?  It should.
> Actually, it did make me wonder when I read about it. The only
> reason seems to be performance, and from the benchmarks it seems to
> be much faster than any user-space webserver under certain
> conditions.

Indeed.  The same logic makes you add an SQL server to the kernel.
And graphic rendering software.  And just about anything because people
want everything to be as fast as possible if you ask them.

In short, you can go back to DOS programming, if performance is
your goal.

> there are apparently some who need to
> serve large amounts of static web sites. What would you suggest to
> them? Buy more hardware? Write a user-space program that side-steps
> the OS and talks directly to the hardware (welcome back to Dos ;-)?

Your analogy is flawed.  DOS doesn't have a user-space, so what is
equivalent to DOS programming is putting it into the Linux kernel.

If you need fast hardware access within a general purpose operating
system, I would suggest an exokernel concept.  Please read up about it
for example here:


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