Subject: Re: Kernel Hacker want-a-be.
To: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
From: Andrew Brown <>
List: netbsd-ports
Date: 04/17/2000 10:56:53
>...hacking on the kernel is really not that different from hacking on
>userland.  The major differences can be summed up as "no safety net":
>if you slip up you can take down the whole system instead of just the
>userland process in question.  But since you'd presumably be doing it
>on a crash-&-burn machine anyway....

i always like it when people say this.  :)

yeah...hacking on the kernel is (a) just like userland, (b) but
larger, and (c) with no safety net, but it's also really different.


it's wildly different.  there are things that go on in the kernel that
are wildly different from anything that goes on anywhere else in the
system: vm management, networking, file system layout strategy and
allocation, auto-configuration...things i don't yet understand at all.
not that i know how to write a compiler either, but...

yes, there are "cross-over" tools, such as fsck and dump, that know
more about the filesystem that just about anything, and then there are
(for example) compilers, about which i know next to nothing.  yes,
it's complicated in both places.

the abstraction works well, but that's about it.  again, imho.

|-----< "CODE WARRIOR" >-----|             * "ah!  i see you have the internet (Andrew Brown)                that goes *ping*!"       * "information is power -- share the wealth."