modules, firmware, kernel size (was Re: systemd requires HTTP server and serves QR codes)

Richard W.M. Jones rjones at
Wed Oct 17 16:58:41 UTC 2012

On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 05:59:55PM +0200, drago01 wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 5:46 PM, Matthew Miller
> <mattdm at> wrote:
> > On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 05:38:55PM +0200, drago01 wrote:
> >> > Basically: it's hard,
> >> it is a mess.
> >> > but the only way we're going to get to a
> >> > reasonably-small minimal image,
> >> not true.
> >
> > Given that the kernel is currently a full quarter of the current image, I
> > think it has to be.
> No you could also use a different kernel image;
> build your own kernel;

[I'll treat these two the same, because they amount to the  same thing]

It's a considerable amount of work for everyone if people building
minimal images have to use a different kernel.

By using the same kernel as everyone else, it means that bug reports
against the normal kernel package are relevant, and it means that the
regular kernel gets more testing.

Also it's a lot of work to compile another kernel, when we've already
got a team of (apparently 3) people doing this.

> use a compressed filesystem,

Every minimal image I've ever seen has been compressed to the max.

> don't use a kernel at all and some
> container based approach instead of full virt for your cloud instances

Unfortunately containers don't work for every application out there.
Obviously *if* you can use a container, then you should, and you
probably are already.

> Outside of the cloud use case the disk space added by modules and
> firmware does not matter a bit (so I am ignoring this cases).

It's partly disk space, it's more often the time taken to copy these
images over the network (eg. when users download minimal images, or
when they are PXE-booted).

> So there are lots of other ways to achieve what you want without
> splitting the kernel into hundreds of sub packages.

I don't think we're talking "hundreds" of sub packages.  Most people
seem to be discussing a split into between 2 and 5 packages.


Richard Jones, Virtualization Group, Red Hat
libguestfs lets you edit virtual machines.  Supports shell scripting,
bindings from many languages.

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