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SubjectRe: Packaged Kernel
>To throw some numbers into the discussion, in an un-tarred source tree, here's
>how the architecture specific code breaks down (in terms of size):

>i386: 958kB
>alpha: 634kB
>sparc: 1240kB
>mips: 487kB
>ppc: 507kB
>m68k: 2504kB
>sparc64: 463kB

>arch specific code: 6793kB
>totatl source tree: 27726kB
>(I just got these by doing 'du' in the arch and include directories -
>kernel 2.1.21 - no .o files or anything , just the raw untarred source).

>As you can see, the average person will use about 6MB storing code that they
>will never use.

>Also the drivers sub-tree uses 13799kB, and as with the architecture specific
>stuff there's a lot of code in there that may never be used.

>Everyone has benefited from increased hardware support, but if every driver
>for every single device is included into the kernel we're going to see
>incredibly large source trees. As an example consider this: About one year
>ago, the current development kernel was 1.3.55 - the size of the tgz'ed source
>was 3.7MB 2.1.21 comes in at just under 7MB.

Some other numbers that I think are relevant:

1 year ago the common hard drive size ~500megs with 1.2gig being the biggest
that most people were buying. Now 1gig+ is the common size and 3gigs is the
common purchase size for people not running DOS.

1 year ago 14K4 Internet access was still pretty common. Now it seems that
28K8 is the bare minimum and 33K6 is becoming very common. ISDN and cable
modems are now starting to be found in homes.

If hard drive size and Internet connection speed double, then is the doubling
of the kernel source archive size an issue?

Russell Coker

PS I still think that the way to go is to have some scripts to allow the
upload of a .config file to a web server which will then send a .tgz file with
complete compiled kernel and modules. I'll run it on my server if someone else
writes it.

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