This article relies excessively on references to primary sources. Please improve this article by adding secondary or tertiary sources. Find sources: "GNU Mach" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
GNU Mach
Developer(s)GNU Project
Stable release
1.8[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 18 December 2016
Operating systemUnix-like
LicenseGNU General Public License

GNU Mach is an implementation of the Mach microkernel. It is the default microkernel in the GNU Hurd. GNU Mach runs on IA-32 machines. GNU Mach is maintained by developers on the GNU project. It is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).


Early versions of the Hurd were developed on top of CMU's Mach 3.0.[2]

In 1994, CMU stopped working on Mach, and the GNU Project switched to the University of Utah's Mach 4. The kernel known as "GNU Mach" was derived from Mach 4 once Utah stopped development. The first ChangeLog entry by Thomas Bushnell (rather than by a Utah researcher) is from 16 December 1996.[3][4][5]

In 2002, Roland McGrath branched the OSKit-Mach branch from GNU Mach 1.2, intending to replace all the device drivers and some of the hardware support with code from OSKit. After the release of GNU Mach 1.3, this branch was intended to become the GNU Mach 2.0 main line; however, as of 2006, OSKit-Mach is not being developed due to lack of activity in OSKit itself.[6][7][8] Around 2006, an attempt to replace GNU Hurd's kernel with the Coyotos kernel also ended in failure.[9]

GNU Mach 1.4 was released on 27 September 2013, eleven years after 1.3.[10]

Version history


  1. ^ "GNU Hurd 0.9, GNU Mach 1.8, GNU MIG 1.8 released". 18 December 2016.
  2. ^ Initial announcement of the Hurd, mentioning Mach 3.0
  3. ^ "GNU". GNU Operating System. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Re: Which Mach is GNU Mach?".
  5. ^ "hurd/gnumach.git - GNU Mach".
  6. ^ "[hurd] Log of /gnumach/=announce-oskit-mach-1.2.90".
  7. ^ a b "GNUmach 1.3 released".
  8. ^ "Re: mach4 & gnumach/oskit..."
  9. ^ "What happened with the Hurd ports to the OSKit Mach / L4 / Coyotos / Viengoos microkernels?".
  10. ^ Schwinge, Thomas (2013-09-27). "Happy 30th birthday, GNU! GNU Mach 1.4 released". Retrieved 2017-09-21.