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Re: [libmicrohttpd] libmicrohttpd binary size?

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: [libmicrohttpd] libmicrohttpd binary size?
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 14:23:24 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20111114 Icedove/3.1.16

On 02/22/2012 07:13 PM, Glenn wrote:
I've been getting familiar with libmicrohttpd and the more more I understand 
it, the more I like it. One thing I haven't been able to figure out, though, is 
why the binaries I've been able to build are so large.

Executing './configure --disable-https --disable-messages 
--disable-postprocessor --disable-dauth', then 'make' (CFLAGS=-Os 
-fomit-frame-pointer in my environment) and finally 'sudo make install' results 
in sizes of 152226 and 122697 for libmicrohttpd.a and, 
respectively. (Linux Ubuntu 11.10, Intel i686 32 bit, gcc 4.5.4). --Not exactly 
the 32k that is advertised.

Can someone provide a pointer to where this has already been discussed? If not, 
then maybe someone can answer directly: Why are my libmicrohttpd binaries so 

Hmm. I just tried your command (please make sure CFLAGS is in your environment *before* running configure; I suspect that might be part of your problem) and on my system (gcc 4.6.2) I then get:

$ ls -al *.14.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 grothoff grothoff 50897 Feb 23 14:08

Now, you can further reduce the size by stripping the binary:

$ strip

After that, I get:

$ ls -al *.14.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 grothoff grothoff 41296 Feb 23 14:08

Now, this is on AMD64 -- and the instruction set plays some role in how big the binary is. If you only care about size on disk, you could also gzip it:

$ gzip *.14.0

$ ls -al *.gz
-rwxr-xr-x 1 grothoff grothoff 18922 Feb 23 14:08

Now, if I do the same on ARM, I get:

# ls -al
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 41093 2012-02-23 07:17
# strip
# ls -al
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 30724 2012-02-23 07:17

This is where our "32k" claim comes from (as IMO ARM is what matters for embedded devices, not Intel). Again, if you compress, you can get a bit more:

# gzip *.14.0
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 16729 2012-02-23 07:17

Ultimately, on really small devices, none of these numbers are entirely meaningful as you also need to consider which functions from libc/POSIX you need for TCP/IP support, etc. Some revisions ago we eliminated use of 'sscanf' in MHD to allow a more "minimal" version of libc to suffice for MHD.

IIRC some members on this list run MHD on systems with as little as 128K code space, so in such cases libc size does matter a lot. See also

Happy hacking!


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