There is a QEMU image with Debian GNU/Hurd pre-installed available as http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.tar.gz.
$ wget http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.tar.gz $ tar -xz < debian-hurd.img.tar.gz $ qemu -m 512 -drive cache=writeback,file=$(echo debian-hurd-*.img)
If you have troubles extracting the image, you can use the gz version http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.gz, the zip version http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img.zip, or even the plain version http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/hurd-i386/debian-hurd.img (3GiB!)
See the discussion about writeback caching.
Just in case you were wondering: the root password is empty.
For more detailed instructions, please see the QEMU page.
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2014-03-10
<mcsim> scp doesn't work either <braunr> what ? <braunr> why wouldn't it ? <mcsim> scp -P5555 -r ./hurd/ root@localhost:/root/src/ <mcsim> root@localhost's password: <mcsim> The Hurd is not Linux. Make sure to read <braunr> that shouldn't happen ... <braunr> use tar maybe ? <mcsim> the same with tar archive <braunr> :/ <braunr> i don't know what to tell you <braunr> i don't have that problem
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2014-03-11
<teythoon> braunr: mcsims scp problem is b/c youpis images echo stuff from the .bashrc or something <teythoon> i wish he'd change that, as it is a reoccuring problem <teythoon> youpi: ^ <teythoon> (didn't realize you are around >,<) <teythoon> now that /etc/issue is displayed, you can put the welcome text there <braunr> teythoon: i see <teythoon> mcsim: your ssh trouble are rooted in the .bashrc printing some stuff to stdout <mcsim> teythoon: thank you. It works now <teythoon> :)