lkml.org 
[lkml]   [2003]   [Oct]   [14]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
 
Messages in this thread
    /
    Date
    From
    SubjectUnbloating the kernel, action list
    Hello,

    first of all, thanks to all who answered, both on this list and
    privately, with congratulations for the RULE project and the
    acknowledgement that this is a serious problem.

    Many of the answers also asked how to help RULE at the kernel level.
    The rest of this message gives a very short background, freely mixing
    some replies, and then explains what could be done. Thanks in advance
    for reading it all, it is not so long. Any feedback is welcome!

    Marco Fioretti

    ############################################################
    BACKGROUND:

    > ...not everybody can just make their own raw distribution.. and many
    > modern distro installers don't like 32MB RAM...

    Absolutely! Red Hat got to the point that the installer requirements
    became higher than the kernel ones, which is as ugly as can be. We
    solved that problem: our installer works in 12 MB. AND it installs
    standard stuff from the official Cdroms of the latest stable Red Hat
    (soon Fedora). Minimum effort, greatest result: after installation one
    goes for support, updates, patches... to the usual Red Hat places, no
    more burden for RULE.

    > OTOH: why not run an older version of the kernel? Are kernel versions
    > 2.2 or even 2.0 really not sufficient for such a situation?

    As already mentioned, this is wrong, functionally and security wise.
    See the RULE FAQ for details.

    > fix all the security issues in ancient versions of the kernel and
    > popular userspace applications

    See above. That would be a huge effort to still remain without
    iptables, Imap, digital signatures, fontconfig, Cups based
    printing....

    IMPORTANT: the distribution just doesn't matter. We are doing Red Hat
    for a whole bunch of purely practical reasons, not for some religious
    preference. On older hardware vanilla kernels, X, Gnome, Kde,
    Mozilla... are just too much, regardless of the CDs they came from.

    ############################################################

    WHAT TO DO:

    Bloat must be fought in four places: installers, userland, X and
    kernel. We are already dealing with the first three: apart from the
    installer, things like repackaging Abiword to not require Gnome, and
    kdrive. Quite honestly, we don't really have the skills and experience
    to delve deeply into Linux proper, and here is how you kernel folks
    can help:

    1) Raise and keep alive the awareness, here and in any other place you
    can, that bloat is a serious practical problem for many people,
    schools, NGOs, etc...Any time you can. Really

    2) Prepare, after discussing here, and keep updated, the most complete
    list of tricks you can think of to make the kernel and the rest of
    the system (more on this later) run faster and with less resources.
    Think to the PC you had 6/7 years ago, and work for that. Go to the
    RULE test page, and looks at the PC entries. Everything from
    compilation options to /proc or filesystem settings is useful.

    RULE can and will host happily such a page, but maybe it would be
    better to place it on kernel.org, as it should benefit all Linux
    users.

    3) Which kernel and which system? The whole point of RULE is to do the
    job with current mainstream stuff. No point in cornering
    unexperienced users with something nobody else uses. Basically
    everything that would be like making a new distribution
    (nonstandard gcc, glibc, recompiling all userland for it...) is
    interesting, but not useful for us.

    4) For us RULE folks, point 3) means that today we really need the
    support of point 2) on the latest official Red Hat 9 kernel, and
    starting from their source RPMs. Things like "once you have it,
    patch the spec file so and so, recompile, then once installed set
    up this and that system parameter". Repeat ad libitum whenever a
    new stable Fedora is released.

    5) Again, the distro is not the issue. Once a lean kernel, Kdrive, and
    the right apps are well known, they can go everywhere. Let's work
    at THAT level first. In the meantime, if somebody really feels like
    doing the RULE thing on Debian, Mandrake, Slackware,
    whatever... call me offline and volunteer to maintain the "RULE for
    XYZ" subproject. You'll be welcome.
    More useful, but harder, would be non x86 architectures, people
    keep asking me to resurrect their Sparcs or Macs.

    6) subscribe to the RULE mailing list: it is just a tiny fraction of
    the traffic on Linux-Kernel: you won't even notice it, and be there
    when somebody needs help.

    7) Do come in suggesting anything I might have forgotten

    --
    Marco Fioretti m.fioretti, at the server inwind.it
    Red Hat for low memory http://www.rule-project.org/en/

    Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it will make you
    feel less responsible -- but it puts you in with the neutered,
    brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for
    the numb and joyless hardons of human sultans, human elite with no
    right at all to be where they are --
    Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_
    -
    To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
    the body of a message to majordomo@vger.kernel.org
    More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html
    Please read the FAQ at http://www.tux.org/lkml/

    \
     
     \ /
      Last update: 2005-03-22 13:49    [W:0.028 / U:0.368 seconds]
    ©2003-2016 Jasper Spaans. hosted at Digital OceanAdvertise on this site