About Arch Hurd, Arch Linux, and the GNU Hurd

Arch Hurd

Arch Hurd is a port of Arch Linux to the GNU Hurd platform. Our goal is to provide an Arch-like user environment (BSD-style init scripts, i686-optimised packages, use of the pacman package manager, rolling-release, and a KISS set up) on the Hurd which is stable enough for use, if not as a primary OS, at least as something to consider as a dual-boot option. Currently we provide a LiveCD for users to install or try Arch Hurd for themselves, and provide an installation guide covering its use, as well as an alternate installation guide for users for whom the LiveCD is not an option, for whatever reason.

The project was founded on 2010-01-04 in a thread on the Arch Linux forum by Michael Walker (Barrucadu), and Allan McRae helped kick-start the project by providing build scripts for a cross-compiler and many essential packages. From there, other developers soon got involved, this website was created, and mailing lists (original archives lost in the server change to linode, unfortunately) to coordinate development were established. Arch Hurd now has over 200 packages in the core and extra repositories, with more in our AUR. We continue to make good progress, and are rapidly progressing towards our goal.

You can chat to us on IRC in #archhurd on irc.libera.chat; and if you want to get involved we'd love to hear from you.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a simple, lightweight Linux distribution with packages optimised for the i686 and x86_64 architectures. It features a BSD-style init system and is the origin of the pacman package manager, both essential features in Arch Hurd. Arch Linux was founded by Judd Vinet, and is currently led by Aaron Griffin. Arch uses a rolling-release development model rather than issuing fixed releases, and so Arch systems which are even very old can (theoretically) be updated with very few issues. Today, Arch is one of the better-known distributions, and frequently ranks highly on Distrowatch.

There are number of other Arch derivatives, including Pandora, an Arch derivative including only free software; and Arch Server, which provides more stable packages with a greater emphasis on testing, stability, and security.

The Hurd

The Hurd is a project by GNU, and is intended to provide the kernel for the GNU operating system. It consists of a microkernel, GNU Mach, upon which run a variety of servers which implement the rest of the functionality of a Unix-like kernel (such as Linux, or the BSDs). On a more abstract level, the Hurd is first and foremost, a set of standards and protocols for these servers to communicate, which define an extensible system with little dependence on mutual trust between the servers. "Hurd" is a recursive acronym for "HIRD of Unix-Replacing Daemons", where "HIRD" is an acronym for "HURD of Interfaces Representing Depth".

The mission of the Hurd project is: to create a general-purpose kernel suitable for the GNU operating system, which is viable for everyday use, and gives users and programs as much control over their computing environment as possible.