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Linux performance: is Linux becoming just too slow and bloated?

Jan 27, 2010, 13:03 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mitch Meyran)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"This is an aspect of FOSS that is regaining some measure of interest: for years, it was considered that writing production-ready FOSS meant lean and mean software. However, recent events have shown that, in the case of the Linux kernel, this is no longer exactly true: performance is dropping slowly yet steadily.

"How come?

"Bloat

"The Linux kernel is monolithic: it means that every hardware driver runs in kernel memory space. Every time you add a driver, you add stuff to the kernel. Moreover, for performance reasons, several user-space elements make their way into the kernel and increase its bloat even further.

"Moreover, Linux has historically been developed for x86 platforms, and is tightly linked to the architecture, going as far as using hardware interrupts in code (essentially, mixing x86 assembly in the much more generic and portable C code).

"On top of that, since everything hardware related runs in kernel space, it is unstable by design: a bug in a hardware driver means that a network card can crash the system. Linux is literally the opposite of a micro kernel."

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