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developerWorks: Dissecting Shared Libraries

Jan 13, 2005, 07:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Seebach)

"Shared libraries are a fundamental component for the efficient use of space and resources on a modern UNIX system. The C library on a SUSE 9.1 system is made up of about 1.3 MB. A copy of that library for every program in /usr/bin (and I have 2,569!) would take up a couple of gigabytes of space.

"Of course this number is inflated--statically linked programs would incorporate only those parts of the library that they use. Nonetheless, the amount of space tied up by all those duplicate copies of printf() would give the system a very bloated feel..."

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