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Re: 4.0.1 -> 5.0

> Havard Eidnes wrote:
> >>  7 NetBSD 5.0 (GENERIC) #0: Sun Apr 26 18:50:08 UTC 2009
> >>  8         
> >>
> >>   -RELEASE/src/sys/arch/i386/compile/GENERIC
> >>  9 total memory = 15996 KB
> >>  10 avail memory = 4152 KB
> >
> > Notice how little memory is available after the kernel has been loaded
> > and grabbed it's resources?  It's my guess that most of the reason for
> > this is that the GENERIC kernel has outgrown what's reasonable to expect
> > to run well in 16MB on i386.  A lot of this weight is made up of device
> > drivers which take up both program and data space (the isp(4) microcode
> > files embedded in the drivers are just one example of the kind of bloat
> > you don't need on this machine), but is unused on the hardware you're
> > trying to run on.  My guess is that a customized kernel only supporting
> > the actual hardware in the machine will work a lot better.
> Ooo. Is that really the way nowadays? And here I was, still thinking 
> that it was pretty neat that the microcode patches for the VAX-11/750 
> came as a separate file, which the system applies at boot time.

I guess this isn't really the way nowadays -- e.g. the Intel wireless
drivers load their microcode from the file system, so that they don't
take up space in the kernel.  However, the isp driver pre-dates the
facility for doing that by a fair bit.  Then there's of course the
issue of what one should do if one has the root file system on a disk
handled by the isp driver -- kind of a chicken and egg situation...


- Håvard

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