Tiny linux

Eric W. Biederman ebiederman at lnxi.com
Sun Jan 4 23:34:00 CET 2004

Adam Megacz <adam at megacz.com> writes:

> BTW, if you want super tiny kernels, check out Microsoft's
> (unpatented, surprisingly well documented) LZX compression format.
> It's specifically designed to compress x86 machine code, so it beats
> out all the general-purpose compression algorithms if the payload is a
> binary.  I think libmspack has an LGPL'ed LZX compressor/decompressor.

It looks like it is present in libmspack.  What kind of compression
ration do you get with LZX?  Unless it is noticeably greater than 2:1
the major gains are not to be had with compression.  Currently I use a
stripped down version of UPX when I really want a small self
extracting binary.  The nrv2b algorithm has an absolutely tiny 100
byte or so decompressor.

For the kernel the decompressor is 8K.  Which is significant but it is
again not a major bottle neck.

The target is to see how useful a linux kernel that we can put into
384K.  For use as a boot loader by LinuxBIOS.


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