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Old 12-12-2001, 08:02 PM   #1
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How big?

How big should a kernel be?

Just compiled one that is ~800 k and that number seemed off to me for some reason.
Old 12-12-2001, 09:11 PM   #2
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i think that seems right.. if you download the latest tar.gz i think its about 25 megs or so. remember, there are some linux on floppy distros out there.. if your worried its too small or something.
Old 12-12-2001, 09:26 PM   #3
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Small kernel = good, the smaller it is the faster it is. When you do an install you get a kernel that has everything compiled in or set as modules to cover as many hardware combo's as posible, when you do a custom kernel for your hardware you end up with a much leaner image.
Old 12-12-2001, 11:25 PM   #4
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That's a question I wanted to see about. Was wondering what peoples' kernel sizes are and how small they've actually been able to get 'em? I have a 900K right now which is a bit larger than needed but have had it down to 720K. Anyone been able to get a severely small/lean one? 4-500K? Just a curiousity...
Old 12-13-2001, 04:47 AM   #5
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The kernel I'm running now on one of my servers is 505k but there is still stuff in there that I don't use so I suppose it could get smaller.
I suppose I could try and see how small I could get it while still letting it function as a full server doing everything it's doing now. It's a 2.2 kernel though. The last 2.4 kernel I compiled was 597k but I only did a quick strip on the main things for that one.

But you can't really compare the size as to how well you've stripped the kernel to the needs of your system. Because each pc has different hardware and will need different parts of the kernel.

I read somewhere that the 2.4 kernel has a 80k database of logical names for the PCI devices. It removes this from memory once the kernel is loaded though. I assume this database has been in older kernels too but it would probably keep increasing. I don't know how much more of these things the kernel has, but you could really make the kernel smaller by removing those kind of things but it won't make your kernel use less memory since it gets removed after booting anyways.
Old 12-13-2001, 05:00 AM   #6
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Mine is about 900k but last time I compiled I included a few things that I was thinking of getting for the upgrade thats going to happen next week.


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