Subject: Re: major hier(7) overhauls?
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 01/25/1999 14:27:51
[ On Sun, January 24, 1999 at 14:00:08 (-0600), Scott Reynolds wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: major hier(7) overhauls?
> Greg Woods wrote:
> > As some of you know my favourite "major overhaul" would be to eliminate
> > /usr and move the system entirely back into one self-consistent,
> > single-level, hierarchy.  We no longer need to split the system over
> > separate disk packs, not because of size, not because of speed, not even
> > because of reliability and robustness.
> I want to point out for the record (realizing that this is an old thread)
> that there is still a lot of hardware that NetBSD runs on that doesn't have
> the disk capacity to do this.  Forcing people to go out and scrounge disk
> space is not reasonable.

Show me.  ;-)

We've already been through this part of the discussion, of course, but
just to remind you:

I have lots more, lots older, hardware than most folks.  I've even got a
SPARCstation-1 running happily with a 105MB drive (sans compiler and a
few things like documentation, etc.), and it's all on one filesystem.
If and when I have time I'll hook up a second 100MB drive to serve as
/usr/share and /var and then I'll be able to re-install the compiler,
though the original purpose of this machine as a firewall required that
it *not* have a compiler on it.

On really small systems it does make sense to put stuff on a separate
spindle, *if* you have one, and not everyone does.  If you have only one
small spindle than it's often better to make as few separate filesystems
as possible.  Note that on drives that small multiple FFS filesystems
waste many kilobytes of space.

If there was a 16-bit version of NetBSD I could probably fit it all
comfortably on either my 67MB or 160MB SMD drive for my PDP-11, and
since the 67MB drive is removable I'd probably use that for data.

I once tried to use a 38MB SCSI drive I have with one of my Sun-3's.
Once upon a time this drive was "enormous" in comparison to other drives
I had, but on the Sun-3, even with all the SCSI driver speed-ups, it was
still too slow to use -- about 3 times slower than the network.
Sometimes small systems just are not practical NetBSD hosts no matter
how much we might like them to be.

Don't try to tell *me* about old and small systems.  I have many perfect
examples and my scheme would work fine on all of them.

Sure I might split things up if I wanted to run my PDP-11 on a pair of
RK-05 (5MB removable) platters, but at this point I think it's more
proper to run antique software on such antique computers, so this
doesn't really apply as an example for this argument, especially since
even with two RK-05's and two RL-02's a PDP-11 would still not run
anything quite nearly as complete as NetBSD -- it would even be a tight
squeeze to fit a full 7th-Edition system in just 14MB, let alone
re-compile the whole thing from sources in that space.

							Greg A. Woods

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