Before Linus Torvalds came up with the Linux kernel over 2 decades ago, the was GNU, dubbed the Universal Operating System.
Since 1990 the GNU Project has been working on the GNU Hurd (usually referred to as the Hurd), the multiserver microkernel written as part of GNU. The Hurd consists of a set of protocols and server processes (also called daemons) running on the GNU Mach microkernel. The Hurd aims to surpass the Unix kernel in functionality, security, and stability, while remaining largely compatible with it.
And yesterday the release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2015 was announced.
The release announcement reads as follows:
It is with huge pleasure that the Debian GNU/Hurd team announces the release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2015.
This is a snapshot of Debian “sid” at the time of the stable Debian “jessie” release (April 2015), 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.
The installation ISO images can be downloaded from Debian Ports in the usual three Debian flavors: NETINST, CD, or DVD. Besides the friendly Debian installer, a pre-installed disk image is also available there, making it even easier to try Debian GNU/Hurd. The easiest way to run it is inside a VM such as qemu.
Debian GNU/Hurd is currently available for the i386 architecture with more than 80% of the Debian archive, and more to come!
Since the last snapshot release coinciding with “wheezy”, the init system has been switched to sysvinit for a more Debian-like experience. Further changes since the last snapshot include:
* The core GNU Hurd and GNU Mach packages were updated to versions 0.6 and 1.5, respectively. Besides numerous other improvements, they bring vastly improved stability under load and prolonged uptime.
* The networking drivers were migrated to user-space drivers using the NetDDE framework and a Linux-2.6.32 codebase.
Notable new or upgraded packages which required considerable porting effort and/or are known to work well on Debian GNU/Hurd include Iceweasel 31 ESR, XFCE4 4.10, X.org 7.7 and Emacs 24.4.
Please make sure to read the configuration information, the FAQ (or its latest version), and the translator primer to get a grasp of the great features of GNU/Hurd.
We would like to thank all the people who have worked on GNU/Hurd in the past. There were not many people at any given time (and still not many people today, please join!), but in the end a lot of people have contributed one way or the other. Thanks everybody!