Bloated code?

From: Ward Griffiths and/or Lisa Rogers <>
Date: Mon May 19 08:14:29 1997

On Sat, 17 May 1997, Captain Napalm wrote:

> Which version of Linux were you running? Sounds like either the 0.9x
> series or maybe the 1.0 series. I would be slighty hesitent to run 1.2 in
> 4M and 2.0 in 8M (2.0 really bloated up).

The "bloating up" of the Linux 2.0 kernel depends on several factors. One
of them is whether you modularize device drivers etc. In the previous
kernel releases, all of your device drivers had to be compiled in, whether
you used them regularly or not. With 2.0 you can make them a permanent
part of the kernel or you can compile them as modules to be loaded on
demand. Yes, if you make _everything_ part of the kernel, the thing will
be huge. If you're running without networking, SCSI, sound card,
multi-serial, CD-ROM -- just ST506 or IDE drives, Linux 2.x can be smaller
and faster than 1.x, and can be happy in four meg of RAM. And if you need
some of these features only occasionally, such as to load software from CD
or ethernet, the driver module can be loaded, used, then dropped. My old
386DX25 has been _much_ happier since I upgraded to 2.0, and yes, I have
tested its operation with only four meg (it has eight normally). This
machine is _not_ being used for X -- a matter of CPU speed on that part.
It's semi-retired to just dial out with a modem, collect Usenet news, and
make that news available to the rest of the basement via NFS. It's stable
and I do not foresee much more upgrading of that machine -- it's not a
classic in any way, shape or form and the job it's doing is essentially a
sinecure for long and faithful service. It was the machine I started
hacking Linux on about five years ago with a stack of SLS floppies (5.25"
1.2MB) more than six inches high.

Ward Griffiths
    "America is at that awkward stage.  It's too late to work within 
     the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." --Claire Wolfe
Received on Mon May 19 1997 - 08:14:29 BST

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