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So, you are interested in contributing to the GNU Hurd project?
Welcome! Every single contribution is very much encouraged!
There are various ways of contributing, read on about contributing to...
If someone of you is lurking around here and would like to contribute, but
feels she / he could do so better under formal mentoring: please speak up at
one of the [[regular_IRC_meetings|IRC#regular_meetings]]!
Generally we also have a list of [[open_issues]] and one for
[[project_ideas|community/gsoc/project_ideas]] - the latter written for the
Google Summer of Code.
## These Web Pages
Please read about [[how_to_contribute_to_these_web_pages|web_pages]].
# The System Itself
There are essential two kinds of Hurd system designs.
<a name="hurd_on_mach"> </a>
## Hurd on Mach
For one there's the implementation of the *[[Hurd]] running on the
[[GNU_Mach_microkernel|microkernel/mach/gnumach]]*. This is what is commonly
meant when people are talking about GNU/Hurd systems.
This system has mostly been designed and implemented
[[in the '90s|history]]. It works and is usable.
For example, these web pages are rendered on a [GNU/Hurd
You can try it out for yourself: for getting access, installing
[[Debian_GNU/Hurd|hurd/running/debian]] will probably be the easiest and most
feature-complete solution. If you don't have spare hardware to use for doing
so, you can also get a
[[shell_account_on_a_public_Hurd_machine|public_hurd_boxen]]. Depending on the
things you're going to work on (and on your internet connection), this may be
an easy way of getting used to Hurd systems. Installing in a virtual machine
is another possibility, see the page about
[[running_a_Hurd_system|hurd/running]] for the full story.
Then you can either play around and eventually strive to do something
useful or -- if you want -- [[ask_us|contact_us]] to assign something to you, depending
on the skills you have and the resources you intend to invest.
Please spend some time with thinking about the items in this [[questionnaire]].
Before you can significantly contribute, take some time to learn about the
system, e.g., [[microkernels_for_beginners|microkernel/for_beginners]]. Until
you can do the basic exercises listed there, you won't be able to significantly
contribute to the Hurd.
For more reading resources, please see these web pages, for example,
[[Mach_documentation|microkernel/mach/documentation]] for links to a bunch of
### Porting Packages
Debian is currently the Hurd distribution of choice among Hurd users and
Here is a
You can also just [[install_Debian_GNU/Hurd|hurd/running/debian]] and find what
doesn't work or suit you and try to improve that.
### Open Issues
Here is a list of [[open_issues]].
<a name="hurd_on_modern_microkernel"> </a>
## Hurd on a modern microkernel
Developers [[have_identified|hurd/critique]] a number of problem with the *Hurd on
Mach* system. Problems, that can not easily be fixed by bug-fixing the
existing code base, but which require design changes -- deep going ones
As such systems (as the desired one) are not in common use, but are -- if at
all -- research projects, this new *Hurd on a modern microkernel* project
itself is more a research project than a *sit down and implement/code/hack*
If you're interested in contributing in this area, knowing the *Hurd on Mach*
system nevertheless is a prerequisite. At least have a deep look at the
documentation pointers given in the previous section. Also read through the
Please send email to the [[mailing lists/l4-hurd]] mailing list for discussing
this post-Mach system design.