13. Joeboy: "Are you still at all optimistic about HURD, or would you agree that
that ship has sailed?"
RMS: "I am not very optimistic about the GNU HURD. It makes some progress,
but to be really superior it would require solving a lot of deep
problems. However, mainly what I think about the HURD is that
finishing it is not crucial.
When we started the HURD, it was for a simple reason. The GNU system
needed a kernel, and no usable free kernel existed. We set out to
That problem does not exist today. Linux works ok as a kernel.
The main shortcoming of Linux is at the level of device support. The
obstacle there isn't a lack of ability among Linux developers, but
rather the use of devices whose specs are secret.
Finishing the HURD would not advance us at all in supporting these
devices. The work that is needed is at the driver and firmware level.
That's why our high priority task list includes items relating to free
drivers, but not the HURD.
That's also why fsf.org has hardware resource pages. Your help in
updating them would strengthen us in this important battle.
Sure, it would be nice to see a GNU kernel succeed -- but there are
many successful GNU packages, so having one more is not crucial."
Even Stallman sounded ready to move on, and that interview was given 3 years ago.