klibc only initramfs

Steve Langasek vorlon at debian.org
Sat Feb 20 21:21:15 UTC 2010

On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 12:02:24PM +0100, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> The reason would be size. I don't see anything else there.

> For network based boots, specifically high performance cluster, the size
> can make a real difference. When you turn the cluster on it is not just
> one system downloading an extra meg but 100+ nodes. That largely
> increases the network collisions, errors and dropped packages. Something
> that can even make systems fail to boot.

Has anyone tried using library reduction to get a stripped down eglibc for
inclusion in initramfs at runtime, using the same techniques as d-i to get a
library that contains only those symbols needed by the included utilities?

I think that's going to be a more maintainable solution than continually
chasing the curve with klibc, both because mklibs is already maintained by
the installer team and because there are always going to be new features
that users are trying to include in their initramfs that will undermine the
effectiveness of the klibc strategy.  With mklibs, if you add more utils to
the initramfs the size degrades gracefully; if you use klibc, you get a
sudden jump the first time you have to include something that needs glibc,
and then klibc itself becomes dead weight.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org
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