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SubjectRe: real kernel bloat
On Mon, 24 Jun 1996, Steve VanDevender wrote:

> 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.

If you think *that*'s bad:

At work, we have a Sun SparcStation 20 with something like 196MB RAM.
Once you have the OS and X (well, OpenWindows) loaded (to make it somewhat
useful), that's gone and chewed up 48MB of the RAM. The proxy cache chews
up the rest :)

(As for load, I've noticed that it seems to be about as fast as my
486DX4/133, but then, this was back when it had 96MB RAM, with the cache
server going, swapping like mad when you tried to execute anything else...
haven't done much serious stuff with it since the upgrade...)

J. Sean Connell Systems Software Architect, ICONZ "Oh life is a glorious cycle of song, a medley of extemporanea,
#include <stddisc.h> And love is a thing that can never go wrong...
And I'm Queen Marie of Romania."
I *hate* Sun Type 4 kbs! --Dorothy Parker

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