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Subjectreal kernel bloat
I recently got a DEC AlphaStation at my new job.  It's running Digital
UNIX, since that's what the other machines I am charged with maintaining
run.

As far as I can tell Digital UNIX (formerly Digital OSF/1) is a fat
bloated pig. At boot the kernel allocates over 8 megabytes of memory to
itself on a 32 meg machine. Once I load up X and my assortment of
desktop doodads the machine runs acceptably, as long as only one thing
is running. If, however, I try to compile something and then do
something else the machine swaps like mad, and simple window system
operations like raising or moving windows have 5-10 second delays
between pressing the buttons and seeing something happen.

I compare this with my home Linux system, with 486-DX2/66 instead of a
233 MHz Alpha, but also with 32M of memory. Even though I've got enough
going to have pushed this machine a little ways into swap, it never
feels as loaded as the Digital UNIX box. And the kernel takes no more
than 1.5M of memory once loaded. Despite the AlphaStation having a
processor that's at least 5 times faster and having PCI instead of ISA
for its peripherals, Digital UNIX manages to make it suck for
interactive performance.

So those of you complaining about Linux's kernel bloat haven't seen
anything if you haven't seen Digital UNIX. Linux has a long, long way
to go before it could aspire to be that bloated.


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