How Linux Supports More Devices Than Any Other OS, Ever

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Pedro, Nov 5, 2008.

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  1. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    "Greg Kroah-Hartman is a longtime developer of the Linux kernel, known for his work maintaining USB drivers as well as for packaging the SUSE kernel at Novell. O'Reilly Media recently interviewed Greg about his claim that the Linux kernel now supports more devices than any other operating system ever has, as well as why binary-only drivers are illegal, and how the kernel development process works."

    http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2008/10/how-linux-supports-more-device.html
     
  2. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Linux has no choice since 3rd party drivers are difficult to impelent, what worries me though is that if the Kernel keeps supporting every tom dick and harry hardware on earth, eventually it is bound to get bloated. I do my own custom kernel where I take off support for everything but the hardware I have and it turns out to be a much leaner, faster kernel.
     
  3. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yep, good point Arup, last thing we need is a bloated Linux kernel.... that kinda defeats half the purpose of using Linux....
     
  4. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Is it really faster? Aren't they just files hanging around, till you change some piece of hardware?
     
  5. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    Although it's written for FreeBSD, all the reasons it gives are valid:

    http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/kernelconfig-custom-kernel.html

    I'd also just like to add that less code running means less code running that could have bugs, security issues, cause instability, etc. Also, sometimes two drivers both work for a device or think they work for a device which leads to it not functionning as well, I know that this issue happened for slackware in thinkpads since the harddisk was detected by the wrong driver which made it slow

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  6. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Note that i'm not doubting, but i am trying to understand.
    I get the faster boot time, but not the RAM part. Can you give me an example of something being loaded that isn't needed?

    TIA :)
     
  7. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    Depends if its compiled into the kernel or as a module. For example, lets say I don't have any wireless cards in my computer, but my kernel has all types of wireless support compiled in. All those bits of code relating to wireless are in the kernel, so that means they are running in my memory even though I'm not using them. Also like the handbook says, the difference in RAM is important for small memory systems (like under 64MB), so you'll save some MB of RAM, but this is inconsequential in a normal desktop and laptop today.

    However, if everything is compiled as a module, then all the modules you don't use are sitting on the hardisk, but not loaded into memory. Therefore you can compile all the wireless stuff as modules and just simply not load them then all that code isn't running.

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  8. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    I guess this is the part i perhaps misunderstood about usual distro kernels. I thought they were mainly using modules for that kind of stuff.

    I think i get it now.
     
  9. Arup

    Arup Guest

    My optmized Kernel feels far moren snappier, not only is the memory footprint lesser, it also boots faster, programs open snappier and running whole day, it is more responsive than stock kernel.
     
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