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SubjectRe: [2.6 patch] add an -Os config option
> >>+ bool "Optimize for size" if EMBEDDED
> >>+ default n
> >>+ help
> >>+ Enabling this option will pass "-Os" instead of "-O2" to gcc
> >>+ resulting in a smaller kernel.
> >>+
> >>+ The resulting kernel might be significantly slower.
> >
> >
> > With most of the gcc's I tried -Os was faster.
> Why is -Os faster? Fewer cache misses?
> Wouldn't that make -O2 kinda pointless? It seems kinda futile to
> optimize for speed just to have it come out slower.

See the comments Linus made earlier this year on the same subject:

Alan, could Valgrind help us to profile cache hits/misses in different
parts of the kernel?

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