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Subjectreal kernel bloat
Steve VanDevender writes:
> 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.
Your AlphaStation is badly misconfigured.

Alex Krimkevich


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