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Tristam Green
September 22nd, 2009, 05:35 PM
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10358024-16.html


Linus Torvalds, founder of the Linux kernel, made a startling comment at LinuxCon in Portland, Ore., on Monday: "Linux is bloated." While the open-source community has long pointed the finger at Microsoft's Windows as bloated, it appears that with success has come added heft, heft that makes Linux "huge and scary now," according to Torvalds.

Read on. Good article, and shows some of the inherent problems with popular Operating Systems.

doas777
September 22nd, 2009, 05:37 PM
that's the very definition of a monolithic kernel with a wide array of hardware support.
not much that can be done about it.

RiceMonster
September 22nd, 2009, 05:46 PM
This is interesting. I wonder if there is somewhere I can see/read the actual comment where he said this.

Viva
September 22nd, 2009, 05:49 PM
Misleading headline really.

blur xc
September 22nd, 2009, 05:53 PM
So, unlike Windows, which can only be what Microsoft dictates, Linux can truly be all things to all people, as "fat" or as "skinny" as the developer wants it to be. Ubuntu is obese compared to sub-100 KB uClinux distributions, for example. Both serve different, and useful, purposes.

Right there is where it's at...

BM

Marlonsm
September 22nd, 2009, 05:59 PM
Misleading headline really.

You can't trust a Cnet's headline. They always make it to get as much attention as possible, usually putting "iPhone or Apple" in it to get even more attention. I'm surprised they didn't write "Linux getting less like OSX and more like Windows".

amauk
September 22nd, 2009, 06:13 PM
Terms like "bloated" mean different things depending on who you are.
When a core dev describes something, it's not with the same focus as end-users

As an example, take "stable"

To developers, Linux is an unstable system
meaning it's always changing

(indeed, any general purpose OS should be "unstable", else it'll be static and no progress will be made)

Examples of "stable" systems, are like games consoles, embedded systems, etc.
Hardware & software known to devs ahead of time
Hardware remains the same throughout life-time
Software receives only bug-fixes

To downstream maintainers, "stable" and "unstable" are a choice that you make.
This is about maintainability and NOT about the end-user's definition of stable (Ie. crashing, or whatever)

Debian is a "stable" distro
Ubuntu is semi-stable
Arch is unstable
Again, about maintenance

Now, bloated
from Linus' comments, I think he means that the next set of "new features" are being added faster than previous round of "new-features" can be tidied up and made good

Not the end-user's definition of bloated at all (slow and memory hungry)

I see this more as a call for more testers and bug-fixers, than anything else

but anyhow...

LowSky
September 22nd, 2009, 06:18 PM
That is one poorly written article, with very little information.

Regenweald
September 22nd, 2009, 07:07 PM
http://www.linux.com/ for the full story.

NormanFLinux
September 22nd, 2009, 07:11 PM
Agreed. People are not going to run Linux if it does not support their hardware and all the features they expect from a modern operating system. Linux has grown in an effort to address people's demands and with all due respect to Linus Torvalds, there is no turning back the clock. If you want a "clean kernel" just don't expect it to support all your hardware.

schauerlich
September 22nd, 2009, 07:27 PM
When Microsoft adds code to Windows to better support hardware and address Microsoft's customers demands, it is bloat.

When code is added to Linux to better support hardware and address Linux user's demands, it is keeping their OS modern.

NormanFLinux
September 22nd, 2009, 07:28 PM
Nothing with bloat - as long as its the "right" kind of bloat.

RiceMonster
September 22nd, 2009, 07:40 PM
When Microsoft adds code to Windows to better support hardware and address Microsoft's customers demands, it is bloat.

When code is added to Linux to better support hardware and address Linux user's demands, it is keeping their OS modern.

So very true. It's for the same reason that resource usage is becoming higher in newer applications. It's only natural for this to happen as hardware becomes more powerful.

Regenweald
September 22nd, 2009, 07:52 PM
When Microsoft adds code to Windows to better support hardware and address Microsoft's customers demands, it is bloat.

When code is added to Linux to better support hardware and address Linux user's demands, it is keeping their OS modern.

Here you go: http://www.internetnews.com/software/article.php/3840236 now read the actual article and say something sensible.

More drivers = Bloat. can be avoided ? no. we need drivers, drivers need space. Where does Microsoft come in ?

NormanFLinux
September 22nd, 2009, 08:07 PM
Every Ubuntu release is shipped with new drivers. To provide better OOTB hardware support. Four years ago there was no wireless driver support in Linux distros. Now people expect support for common Atheros and Broadcom cards to be there by default. And the list goes on.

schauerlich
September 22nd, 2009, 09:15 PM
Here you go: http://www.internetnews.com/software/article.php/3840236 now read the actual article and say something sensible.

I have read the article, but thanks for the condescending reply.


More drivers = Bloat. can be avoided ? no. we need drivers, drivers need space. Where does Microsoft come in ?

People LOVE to throw around the word "bloat" when talking about Microsoft or Apple products. Now that Linus uses that very word to talk about our beloved Linux, people are making excuses for it.

JDShu
September 22nd, 2009, 09:23 PM
I love how everybody mentions "people" in all these discussions, whether its Linux "people", Windows "people", or Mac "people". Its so pointless.

EDIT: To be honest, I did it too, with "everybody" ;)

NormanFLinux
September 22nd, 2009, 09:29 PM
Linux works. To argue the irrelevant is to engage in a fruitless debate. I think that settles what has been discussed on this thread.

doas777
September 22nd, 2009, 09:50 PM
bloated or not, when i look at my desktop, I don't see a lot that does not need to be there, or anything that is consuming more than it should.
the codebase may be a little cluttered, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest.

I would like to uninstall xsane and bluetooth support and some other things
I don't need, but that is less about kernel clutter, and more about the just works ubuntu-desktop metapackage.

HarrisonNapper
September 22nd, 2009, 10:08 PM
Linux works. To argue the irrelevant is to engage in a fruitless debate. I think that settles what has been discussed on this thread.

I completely disagree. It is crucial to argue the irrelevant for the following reasons:

Carrots
Celery
Cauliflower
(et al)

pookiebear
September 22nd, 2009, 10:21 PM
slitaz is sliding under this radar. 30mb. loooks like gnome. driver support for many wireless devices , just not my pcmcia chipset. It was fast on my p3 1ghz.

for reference 30mb was about the size of windows 3.1 after it uncompressed from 7 floppies. You can do an unbloated linux, it just takes more work/effort. The beauty of linux is that there are people doing that work. YOU just have to find them or build your own without all the drivers you don't need.

Ric_NYC
September 22nd, 2009, 10:53 PM
He added: "huge and scary now".


Should we be using a "scary" OS?

NormanFLinux
September 22nd, 2009, 10:56 PM
At 700MB, a typical Linux Live CD is still less bloated then Windows. Ubuntu can be installed to the HD in 15 minutes. Try that with Windows!

billdotson
September 22nd, 2009, 10:57 PM
I can't really comment on it because I don't regularly fiddle with the kernel but the thing is is that if you don't like the size of your kernel you can modify it yourself. I thought the Linux kernel used modules so that if you don't need support for "x" hardware you can simply unload the module without it negatively affecting system performance.

On another note, if Linus is complaining about the Linux kernel being bloated then is he working to fix it? Doesn't he still help develop the kernel or is he just sitting back criticizing?

So could someone clear this up for me.. is a monolithic kernel bad or does it have its good sides? Would an operating system be significantly better if it was a) a modern operating system with good hardware support and b) used a microkernel?

What would the downsides to a microkernel be?

In everyone's opinion, what do you think is the most advanced operating system today? For some reason I don't feel like it is going to be the most popular OSes: OS X, Windows and GNU using the Linux kernel. Am I wrong?

Ric_NYC
September 22nd, 2009, 10:59 PM
I can't really comment on it because I don't regularly fiddle with the kernel but the thing is is that if you don't like the size of your kernel you can modify it yourself. I thought the Linux kernel used modules so that if you don't need support for "x" hardware you can simply unload the module without it negatively affecting system performance.

On another note, if Linus is complaining about the Linux kernel being bloated then is he working to fix it? Doesn't he still help develop the kernel or is he just sitting back criticizing?

Good point.

schauerlich
September 22nd, 2009, 11:14 PM
On another note, if Linus is complaining about the Linux kernel being bloated then is he working to fix it? Doesn't he still help develop the kernel or is he just sitting back criticizing?

He's still an active developer, although he mostly handles merging other people's code into the main branch, and steering the overall project's direction.


So could someone clear this up for me.. is a monolithic kernel bad or does it have its good sides? Would an operating system be significantly better if it was a) a modern operating system with good hardware support and b) used a microkernel?

What would the downsides to a microkernel be?See The Tannenbaum-Torvalds Debate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanenbaum–Torvalds_debate).


In everyone's opinion, what do you think is the most advanced operating system today? For some reason I don't feel like it is going to be the most popular OSes: OS X, Windows and GNU using the Linux kernel. Am I wrong?Depends what you mean by "advanced".

<snip>

tcoffeep
September 22nd, 2009, 11:27 PM
Linux works. To argue the irrelevant is to engage in a fruitless debate. I think that settles what has been discussed on this thread.

Unless it doesn't. (work, that is)


Hey.. Comparing Vista bloat and Linux bloat is like comparing elephant and pig. Pig is big and fat but come on, elephant is so huge that he cannot even run. Get it?

My Vista install runs quite nicely, and my XP install runs as fast as my Gentoo partition. So, the bloat is added by idiot users. Not the OS.


I love how everybody mentions "people" in all these discussions, whether its Linux "people", Windows "people", or Mac "people". Its so pointless.

What about People-Who-Don't-Care-About-Their-OS "people"? I'd like to be registered as one of those.

== Edit Additions ==



People LOVE to throw around the word "bloat" when talking about Microsoft or Apple products. Now that Linus uses that very word to talk about our beloved Linux, people are making excuses for it.

When Microsoft adds code to Windows to better support hardware and address Microsoft's customers demands, it is bloat.

When code is added to Linux to better support hardware and address Linux user's demands, it is keeping their OS modern.

Mad props for these quotes, EDavidBurg

== =============== ==

Garrovick
September 23rd, 2009, 12:13 AM
Current versions of linux around the net ARE bloated...

How many people would use UbuntuMinumal with only the C:\ promt when it boots.

Today versions like Ubuntu and Mint...??

Windows!

:confused:

JillSwift
September 23rd, 2009, 12:16 AM
Who else is starting to think that Mr. Torvalds just fires off the occasional "controversial" opinion just to keep everyone in bitchy mode?

schauerlich
September 23rd, 2009, 12:19 AM
Who else is starting to think that Mr. Torvalds just fires off the occasional "controversial" opinion just to keep everyone in bitchy mode?

Linus has made it clear that he'll give his opinion uncensored, as evidenced by his many sound-offs on the kernel mailing list. I think this is just Linus being Linus.

Crunchy the Headcrab
September 23rd, 2009, 12:22 AM
Who else is starting to think that Mr. Torvalds just fires off the occasional "controversial" opinion just to keep everyone in bitchy mode?Linus wants attention again. :lolflag:

Seriously though, I can understand why this bothers him. Linux is becoming more user friendly every day, which means that the OS has to carry a heavier burden to bridge the gap between computer nerd and average user.

cariboo
September 23rd, 2009, 12:49 AM
It's time for things to cool down a bit, this thread is closed for 24 hours.

bapoumba
September 23rd, 2009, 10:02 PM
I've cleaned the thread, cariboo :)
See yall around ;)

cariboo
September 24th, 2009, 12:04 AM
A bump for the reopened thread

bodyharvester
September 24th, 2009, 12:08 AM
is "linux" really bloated or is it just the "kernel"? what about stuff like arch and puppy, those are still "linux". to what was he refering to, Ubuntu? EDIT: i see the post below states its the kernel which is bloated

either way, bloated isnt really a bad thing depending on how you look at it, Ubuntu runs fast and never crashes, for me the term bloated isnt a bad thing :) its feature rich

Tristam Green
September 24th, 2009, 12:08 AM
Cool, thanks guys.

I appreciate it.

Now, as I said in the OP, the kernel becoming bloated is indicative of the OS becoming more and more popular. But for it to be so heavy now that it (on a lot of systems) rivals a three-year-old Windows XP installation (with complete patches) for sluggishness is silly, in my opinion.

Mateo
September 24th, 2009, 12:14 AM
Great, I'm for more features, if that's what he defines as bloat. In fact, I would add more. For example, the kernel should store email information, so that you have email no matter what client you install, you only enter this information once.

I would do the same for popular social sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and IM protocols (Google, Yahoo, AIM, MSN). this way the user only has to enter all of this information once and then the OS knows it, any application can get the information if the user selects to allow that specific app to have the information.

Chronon
September 24th, 2009, 12:24 AM
Cool, thanks guys.

I appreciate it.

Now, as I said in the OP, the kernel becoming bloated is indicative of the OS becoming more and more popular. But for it to be so heavy now that it (on a lot of systems) rivals a three-year-old Windows XP installation (with complete patches) for sluggishness is silly, in my opinion.

I think generalizations don't make for good comparisons in this case because of the vast difference in performance that can be seen due to hardware with varying levels of support. We also see anecdotes of people saying that Ubuntu is much faster than Windows XP (or Vista, etc.).

You need a properly controlled study to make any sort of statements about this and even then, the scope of those statements would probably be pretty limited. Anecdotes do not equal data.

JDShu
September 24th, 2009, 01:21 AM
I think generalizations don't make for good comparisons in this case because of the vast difference in performance that can be seen due to hardware with varying levels of support. We also see anecdotes of people saying that Ubuntu is much faster than Windows XP (or Vista, etc.).

You need a properly controlled study to make any sort of statements about this and even then, the scope of those statements would probably be pretty limited. Anecdotes do not equal data.

+1 for scientific thought!

mkendall
September 24th, 2009, 02:03 AM
+1 for scientific thought!

Galileo was an unimaginative hack. Aristotlean reasoning for the win!

SomeGuyDude
September 24th, 2009, 02:28 AM
Galileo was an unimaginative hack. Aristotlean reasoning for the win!

Aristotle was a scientific moron. Democritus forever!!!

bapoumba
September 24th, 2009, 05:51 AM
Morning'
Please keep the thread on tracks, thanks.