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Linux 2004
Conference and Tutorials
Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th August
Leeds, West Yorkshire

Matthew Garrett - University of Cambridge

Debian: The Kernel-neutral OS

Debian calls itself "The Universal Operating System", and shipping with support for 11 different architectures lends support to that. However, Debian goes further than other Linux distributions in this. It also offers a distribution based around the GNU Hurd kernel, offering a non-Linux system that is based around the same suite of software. More recently, efforts have begun to port Debian to further kernels such as NetBSD and FreeBSD.

This talk will discuss the challenges inherent in producing an OS that can be based around a variety of kernels while offering the same level of functionality in both.

Topics will include:

  • The basic steps needed to bootstrap a port of Debian to a new kernel
  • Why this is a worthwhile activity
  • What difficulties are associated with this, including both the obvious technical ones and the less obvious social ones


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