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Re: [Qemu-devel] Config file support

From: Paul Brook
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] Config file support
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 16:01:48 +0100
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>   Oh, c'mon, Rob! I really didn't want to ask Paul Brook that, but
> sure you'll fix my cluelessness right here, right now - tell me, tell me,
> why Linux has dynamic-loadable modules support, which clueless passers-by
> like me call "plugins"? It must be closed-source diversion, no?

Linux has genuine reasons for wanting modules.
Kernel size is important because (a) it has to be loaded by the bootloader, 
often from a small, slow device (eg. floppy, flash or network).
(b) The whole kernel is permanently locked into ram. It you've ever tried to 
build a kernel with everything enable you'll know the result is unreasonably 
large. Modules allow the same kernel to work on a wide variety of large and 
small machines.

It's also a fairly convenient way of allowing userspace to disable a 
particular set of drivers.

Closed source kernel modules are explicitly *not* supported by kernel 

A typical qemu process already uses well over a hundred Mb of memory. Saving a 
few hundred k of code at runtime isn't going to make any difference to 


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