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The Hurd will be the foundation of the whole GNU system. It
is built on top of the Mach 3.0 kernel, a free
message-passing kernel developed by CMU. Mach's virtualmemory management and message-passing facilities are
extensively used by the Hurd. The GNU C Library will provide
the Unix system call interface, and will call the Hurd for
needed services it can't provide itself.
One goal of the Hurd is to establish a framework for shared
development and maintenance. The Hurd is like GNU Emacs in
that it will allow a broad range of users to create and share
useful projects without knowing much about the internal
workings of the system -- projects that might never have been
attempted without freely available source, a well-designed
interface, and a multi-server-based design.
Currently there are free ports of the Mach kernel to the
Luna 88k and several other machines, with more in
progress, including the Amiga and DEC Alpha-3000
machines. Contact [email protected], if you want to help with
one of these or start your own. Porting the GNU Hurd and GNU
C Library is easy (easier than porting GNU Emacs, certainly
easier than porting GCC) once a Mach port to a particular
platform exists.