I have always been interested in the GNU Hurd. This probably stems from the endless discussions on Slashdot about how (in my interpretation) microkernels should be full of awesome but none have really managed to obtain the greatness that they deserve. I always thought the status of Hurd was so far off being useful that there was no point in looking into it further. However, I recently read the Hurd status page and there was a picture of a GUI, doing useful spreadsheet type stuff.
My interest was piqued… Combining that with the joys of building a cross-compiler for an operating system or architecture you do not actually have access too (yes, I am a sad, sad person) and you get a Hurd cross compiler. I built a few packages and even managed to get (a slightly patched) pacman built. Then, having wasted much time, I moved on.
Several months pass and there is a post on the Arch forums, with someone trying to compile a GNU operating system for themselves. I mentioned my previous endeavours and somewhat surprisingly others seem interested in the possibility of making a Hurd distro. Well, Arch users are a weird bunch…
And so, Arch Hurd was born. There is a website, so there is no stopping now! The current status is a bunch of scripts that create a quite up-to-date cross-compiling toolchain (glibc-2.10.1, binutils-2.19.1 and gcc-4.4.2), which can be used to build the GNU Mach kernel, the Hurd, coreutils and bash (the latter two being more updated than the versions in Arch!). That is not far from a minimally bootable (but completely useless) system. Then we can all bask in the microkernally goodness.