GNU Hurd

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GNU Hurd (usually referred to as the Hurd) is a free software Unix-like replacement for the Unix kernel,[1] released under the GNU General Public License. It has been under development since 1990 by the GNU Project of the Free Software Foundation. It consists of a set of protocols and server processes (or daemons, in Unix terminology) that run on the GNU Mach microkernel; together they are intended to form the kernel of the GNU operating system.[1] The Hurd aims to surpass Unix operating systems in functionality, security, and stability, while remaining largely compatible with them. The GNU Project chose the microkernel server–client architecture for the operating system, due to perceived advantages over the traditional Unix monolithic kernel architecture.[2]

HURD is a mutually recursive acronym, standing for HIRD of Unix-replacing daemons, where HIRD stands for HURD of interfaces representing depth. As both hurd and hird are just alternate spellings for the English word herd, the full name GNU Hurd is also a play on the words herd of gnus, reflecting how the kernel works.[3]

Contents

Development history

Development on the GNU operating system began in 1984 and initially made good progress. Free GNU tools started to acquire a good reputation and were often adopted in preference to proprietary tools provided by system vendors.[citation needed] By the early 1990s, the only major component missing was the kernel.[4]

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