There is a QEMU image with Debian GNU/Hurd pre-installed available as https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/latest/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.tar.gz.

Usage:

  • Install qemu-kvm via your distros packages.
  • Download the debian image $ wget https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/latest/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.tar.gz
  • Unpack it. $ tar -xz < debian-hurd.img.tar.gz
  • Run it $ kvm -m 1G -drive cache=writeback,file=$(echo debian-hurd-*.img) -net user,hostfwd=tcp:127.0.0.1:2222-:22 # Optionally use --curses to keep your keyboard layout. If need be modprobe kvm_amd, kvm intel and kvm to get kvm support (which is much, much faster).
  • Login as root (the root password is empty)
  • set up a root password with passwd

Please also read the README file: https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/latest/hurd-i386/README

If you have troubles extracting the image, you can use the gz version https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/latest/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.gz, the zip version https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/latest/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.zip, or even the plain version https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/ports/latest/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img (5GiB!)

See the discussion about writeback caching.

For more detailed instructions, please see the QEMU page.