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SubjectRe: CONFIG_RANDOM option for 1.99.2
On Tue, 14 May 1996, Paul Gortmaker wrote:

> If we take that approach, then we should remove the CONFIG_PROC_FS
> option, as lots of applications require it (ps, w, xload, SNMP-tools,
> arp, etc. etc. etc.). Next to go is CONFIG_SYSVIPC, as many things
> like tape-buffer programs, the games from ID (doom, abuse) and whatnot
> expect that functionality to be present. Also, we might as well remove
> both CONFIG_BINFMT_AOUT and CONFIG_BINFMT_ELF, and make both mandatory,
> so that commercial vendors can rest assured that one binary will work
> on all linux systems.

Yes! Away with these config options. Or at least hide them so they are hard
to disable, and document them "strongly recommended". What Joe Random Hacker
compiles into his kernel is his own business, and he is responsible for it.
But what happens when a major distribution ships a kernel without /proc or
SYSV IPC support?

Look what binary format commercial application program vendors are using:
a.out! Why? Because they know a.out programs run on every Linux machine out
there, but ELF only on half of them. The day Red Hat or Slackware ships a
kernel with some configurable feature turned off, that feature is *dead*
in the eyes of the software vendors.

Do we want Linux to remain a hackers kernel forever?

Johan Myreen
jem@iki.fi


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