Linux Getting Fat ? – Too hard to resist…

Mike Lorengo posted a comment about Linux working quite nicely on a PII 450 with 128MB (I assume RAM) and a couple of links for me to go and check out (thanks Mike for sending the links!).

The first link I clicked had images of the Linux Penguin, and guess what, it's looking more than just a little tubby...


Need I say any more ?

- Mike

Comments (12)

  1. Fred says:

    Windows speed is fine until you have to add antivirus software. The virus scans are killing me.

  2. Mike says:

    Some A/V software gives you the ability to switch off scanning for specific folders, for example, C:wince500 – I don’t want my a/v software scanning my build folders, that would really slow the CE build process. I would check the options for your a/v software. and of course schedule full machine scans on a regular basis.


  3. Linux is totally modular and you can install on the kernel the module you want and recompile it.

  4. Aviv Raff says:

    My sister and my grandfather compiling Linux’s kernel.. Yeah, that would be the day 😉

  5. Mike says:

    Isn’t this just another example of something being overly complicated ? – take Windows XP Embedded as an example of how building an embedded system can be simple, the o/s is componentized as pre-built ‘atomic’ components, each component has stand alone files, registry settings and o/s dependency information – the GUI tool used to build the o/s gives developers the ability to drag/drop o/s components into their workspace and modify attributes of components (admin password, ip configuration, shell configuration, h/w component selection etc) – even a novice can configure, build, and boot a Windows XP Embedded o/s in less than 30 minutes.

    – Mike

  6. fred says:

    The sad truth is that Linux CAN be made to be faster smaller and cheaper.The initial cost may be higher but if they are making a gazillion of them then the development savings from a Microsoft solution doesn’t matter any more.

  7. Mike says:

    smaller and faster is open to discussion, in effect there are three operating systems available from Microsoft, these are…

    1. Windows XP (Home or Pro)

    2. Windows XP Embedded

    3. Windows CE

    Let’s take each in turn…

    1. Windows XP

    This is the full Windows XP Home/Pro experience, the installer gives you the entire o/s – this is not a real-time operating system and therefore may not be suitable for certain "embedded" devices.

    2. Windows XP Embedded

    This is a componentized version of Windows XP Professional, the O/S ships with approx 10,000 components (about 8000 are device drivers), a developer gets to pick and choose which components (which are pre-built binary files) he/she wants for their device, the build process pulls the components together to form an embedded O/S – minimum build size is approx 5MB, an average build would be ~40MB, this scales depending on the components or technologies you choose.

    Windows XP Embedded is interesting because it will run unmodified Windows 2000/XP applications or drivers – installing the tools to booting an XP Embedded o/s image can be as short as 30 minutes, of course this takes longer if you need to create custom components, integrate various hardware components and perhaps create a custom shell.

    Windows XP Embedded is not a real-time O/S, but can be through the addition of 3rd party real-time extensions (In-Time, RTX, others) – the real-time extensions appear in the catalog just like any other component, click, add, you’re done!.

    3. Windows CE

    Windows CE is a hard real-time operating system, minimum build size is about 200KB, this scales depending on which components you select from the Windows CE development tool catalog. Windows CE will run on x86, ARM, MIPS, and SHx processors.

    With the Windows Platform a developer has a choice of operating systems, hardware configurations (PC Architecture for XP Embedded or Windows CE, or a total custom hardware solution for Windows CE) and application development options.

    Microsoft’s Embedded operating systems can be small and fast – it’s up to each developer to determine which O/S best meets their needs…

    – Mike

  8. says:

    Microsoft solutions empower Microsoft.

    Opensource solutions empower the developer.

  9. Mike says:

    That’s an interesting comment, I wonder how many companies exist world-wide purely through creating applications and solutions for Microsoft platforms ? – and how many developers are creating innovative solutions around the Windows platforms.

    I guess the question comes down to where developers want to spend their time, down in the o/s ? – or adding value to the platform by creating applications and services…

    how many application developers really need to be working down at the TCP/IP stack source level (ans: very few), the vast majority of developers code to the exposed API of a platform – that’s the difference between application developers and O/S developers.

    – Mike

  10. Mike says:

    I’ve been thinking some more about this, surely the whole reason for exposing API’s on a platform is so that application developers are abstracted away from the underlying "goo" of the operating system, for the most part an application developer shouldn’t need to know how devices are exposed on a platform… let me give you an example…

    A developer that wants to write some data to a serial port would do the following…




    At no point does the application developer need to know or understand how the serial port is implemented in hardware, is this a UART, FPGA ? – who knows! and for an application developer it shouldn’t matter.

    – Mike

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