Subject: RE: NetBSD usage in embedded environments
To: None <kyle.unice@L-3com.com>
From: Kamal R Prasad <email@example.com>
Date: 04/03/2003 15:13:24
What do you call it when you lose a ton of money in the stock market?
Answer: Adventures in Capitalism
>NetBSD is an excellent operating system... but there are some improvments
>make it fit better in the embedded space:
>1. Journaled flash file system
think a journaled filesystem is a misfit for an embedded device in the
further all the more so on a flash device which has little space compared
to a hard disk.
>2. Ability to enable very small kernel configurations ( this exists
IIUC- the size in bytes that netbsd kernel amounts to is not the least
possible primarily because the OS code is divided into a minimal
machine-dependent (possibly with some assembly) portion and a machine
independent (C code) portion. re:- code _leftin_ vs _putin_ -yeah it makes
sense to leave it there to ease upgrades -but the more the no. of distinct
directories into which the kernel is organized (with a corresponding config
option) -the easier it will be to remove code from the final footprint. re:
- working on the swapper, Im overworked in my current job and it doesn't
involve netbsd kernel work (on an embedded device).so I cannot attempt that
>3. Multithreading (native pthreads support)
think there is an _SA branch with LWP support.
>4. BSD equivalent of Redboot
redboot is (a low-level slip/ethernet mechanism) used to load the OS -so Im
not sure why redboot cannot be enhanced to load netbsd (if it doesn't).
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Erik E. Fair [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 6:34 PM
> To: Wojciech Puchar
> Cc: Kamal R Prasad; email@example.com
> Subject: Re: NetBSD usage in embedded environments
> Some years ago, a friend of mine mentioned that he was using NetBSD
> for an embedded consumer device. I thought he was nuts, and asked,
> "Why a full blown OS instead of some smaller real-time thing?"
> He replied, "because a megabyte of RAM only costs $1."
> His point was that NetBSD (aside from being cheap itself) doesn't use
> all that many resources on a price per resource basis in the modern
> world, and it gives you the full flexibility of a complete UNIX
> system kernel for your device. Naturally, his device was using flash
> so that they could upgrade functionality in the field.
> It's good to want your software to be as small and efficient as
> possible. Most good software engineers want that. However, you should
> never forget that in business, there is a diminishing return to that
> effort, and there will be a point beyond which the businessman will
> simply say, "You're taking too long to shrink that/make it
> faster/more efficient/etc. Let's just throw hardware at the problem
> to make it go away."
> a datapoint,
> Erik <firstname.lastname@example.org>