Subject: Re: why /bin and /sbin static
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 03/18/2001 15:14:01
[ On Sunday, March 18, 2001 at 20:29:42 (+0100), wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: why /bin and /sbin static
> > NO, I most definitely am not.  Unix has *always* in the past required
> > beefier systems than M$ crap (or CP/M that came before it).  Only
> > recently has M$ crap gone the other way and out-stripped even Unix in
> > its greed for system resources.  Unix was never a toy OS and it never
> > really did anything useful on toy computers.
> > Though your 486 laptop is in some respects far more powerful (at least
> > CPU-wise) than early Unix systems, it is not really capable of properly
> in RAM too.. 8MB is A LOT of memory comparing to machines on which used
> were used.

Well that's not really true, at least not unless you're running a very
very very stripped down kernel.  Once upon a time Unix ran in 256k.
These days you can't even boot a GENERIC kernel in less than 6MB or so.
Notice the orders of magnitude jumps that sort of match the similar
orders of magnitude jump in CPU speeds.  However it still all boils down
to I/O throughput and having a decent ratio between that and CPU speed.
If you've ever worked on a VAX 11/780 running 4.1BSD with 63 other users
then you'll know what I mean!  :-)

I've been testing the INSTALL_TINY kernel on my 486 laptop with 4MB RAM,
and it's still really too big for that machine -- once I get the "sm"
driver working on it (or replace my 3com MHz card if it's broken) then
I'll have to build a true custom kernel that's not unnecessarily
bloated.  Maybe I can even get rid of some of the remaining real bloat
too...  :-)

> but let's stop talking about what crap of hardware it is, start talking
> about how to make system work faster on ANY hardware and especially
> low-memory and slow-disk one.

Yes, of course, but that's always easier to say than do when you're
talking about something as widely portable as NetBSD.

You *CAN* run NetBSD very successfully today on a 486 laptop provided
that you don't try to use it as a general purpose multi-user server
system.  :-)

I find dynamic linked libraries to be a royal pain on any open-source
system, so I personally would be very interested in working on true
shared libraries (like those of AT&T UNIX) for NetBSD, but I still
wouldn't be wanting them used for things in /bin or /sbin.  At least
there there's a guaranteed savings, especially if the now well known
guidlines for knowing what and when to make shared libraries are

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
Planix, Inc. <>; Secrets of the Weird <>