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Meaning of HURD

Computing Dictionary

The Hurd will be the foundation of the whole gnu system. It is built on top of the mach 3.0 kernel, a free message-passing kernel developed by cmu. Mach's virtual memory management and message-passing facilities are extensively used by the Hurd. The GNU C Library will provide the unix system call interface, and will call the Hurd for needed services it can't provide itself.

One goal of the Hurd is to establish a framework for shared development and maintenance. The Hurd is like GNU emacs in that it will allow a broad range of users to create and share useful projects without knowing much about the internal workings of the system -- projects that might never have been attempted without freely available source, a well-designed interface, and a multi-server-based design.

Currently there are free ports of the mach kernel to the intel 80386 ibm pc, the dec pmax workstation, the luna 88k and several other machines, with more in progress, including the amiga and dec alpha-3000 machines. Contact <mach@cs.cmu.edu>, if you want to help with one of these or start your own. Porting the GNU Hurd and GNU C Library is easy (easier than porting GNU Emacs, certainly easier than porting GCC) once a mach port to a particular platform exists.

[June 1994 GNU's Bulletin].