[Flame Bait] - Linux as bloatware

Neil Cherry ncherry at comcast.net
Mon Apr 10 06:02:43 UTC 2006

Joel Jaeggli wrote:
> On Sun, 9 Apr 2006, John Wendel wrote:
>> Food for thought,
>> http://news.com.com/Negroponte+Slimmer+Linux+needed+for+100+laptop/2100-7346_3-6057456.html?tag=nefd.lede 
>> * BOSTON--The One Laptop Per Child organization will use Linux on its 
>> inexpensive machines, but the operating system suffers the same code 
>> bloat as Windows, the project's leader said Tuesday.*
> Oddly enough this is a something I've been doing a lot of thinking 
> about. but of course oversimplicafication and blanket statements only go 
> so fair.

I've also given this a lot of thought. I started using FC 1, upgraded
parts to FC2 and live a quasi-mess between FC2 and FC3 (Libraries
messed me up). I tried to run Gentoo and it fit nicely on a 2G disk
with my various servers (but no X GUI) and dev sys. The problem was
that they were doing thing like BSD and I grew up with AT&T. So I
didn't always know how to do things. I'm just amazed as the bloat
going into the new systems. Do you know it take 1G+ of disk space to
rpmbuild and install a Fedora kernel?

> Linux distro's tend to err on the side of completness. Striping all the 
> non-esential bits for a given use case can get you quite a long way in 
> the direction you want to be even before you start attacking shared 
> libraries and questionable software development practices... I got 
> redhat 8 down to about about 300MB on a flash card with about two days 
> of work when I built a special purpose machine around a 486 based 
> soekris board a couple years ago.

I used to run RH 6.2 on a 120M drive with 32M swap. I'll never get
Fedora to run on that.

> My nokia 770 runs a 2.6 kernel, multiuser environment, xwindows, gtk+ 
> and a web browser and a couple shells, in 1/2 as much ram (64MB) and 1/4 
> as much flash (128) as the $100 pc, all on a 200mhz arm to boot.

My opinion is that the Linux kernel isn't at fault it's the
distributions and the Windows managers. Why is the power meter's
suddenly running on my desktop computer? How come when I uninstall
various apps I suddenly find the supporting libraries being yanked.
I'm finding all of this very annoying. I may start building my own
distribution just so I can trim down the fat.

> My laptop one the other hand has both gnome and kde, mono, java, vmware, 
> a complete development evironment, and at least three office suites in 
> it. It's not really the OS or the distro that's bloated it's my 
> expectation of completeness that led me to have all the crap 
> installed... It's having 40 or 50 webpages in tabs averaging 200KB of 
> objects on each one open, it's driving a 1920x1200 display in 24 bit 
> color on an intel shared memory video chipset.

I've got 14G of disk space on my laptop and after I clean up I
only have ~1G free. That 1G tends to fill up quickly and I
have to go fishing for things to delete. I'm not happy.

Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       ncherry at linuxha.com
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