Re: oh woe, oh woe, oh woe is me... [2.0.34p16 + 3com]

Andi Kleen (
27 May 1998 17:18:59 +0200

Donald Becker <> writes:
> On a loosely related flame: As a community we are doing a very bad job at
> minimizing kernel bloat. It's too easy to add new code, and few people that
> add code are willing to support it for more than a few months. No one is
> saying "that feature is neat, but it's not useful for most users. Keep it
> as a seperate kernel patch". Example: years ago we made a decision not to
> implement BPF, because the interpreted packet-filter "language" wasn't a
> good design to put into a kernel. But that decision was reversed by someone
> that apparently thought "oohhh, it doesn't have this feature. Lets add it."
> How can we keep a greatly-needed-void empty?

I think the reason that it got added is that filtering gigabyte ethernet
in userspace is just hopeless. That wasn't clear a few years ago.

For some other "features" I agree with you tho. My standard example for bloat
is the simp allocator in 2.1 (mm/simp.c). It someday got added, was never
used and still uses about 3K. I tried several times to send a patch to remove
it to Linus (because it is clear that I won't be used at least before 2.2,
and slab is much better anyways), but no luck :(


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