Re: some tiny and dumb questions

Albert D. Cahalan (
Mon, 18 May 1998 11:25:43 -0400 (EDT)

>>> See hex2hex and bin2hex in drivers/sound.
>> No, those still require the compiler. Why not have a tool that reads
>> in the raw data and produces an ELF object file all by itself?
>> That would get rid of the extra step with the compiler.
> I did have a look at this. Its easy to get to the point you do it with
> gas not gcc, but then it isnt portable. bin2hex is portable across all
> platforms. Remember PCI firmware is typically portable too

The assembler shouldn't be required either. Perhaps binutils could
ship with a proper tool. That would solve any portability problems.
(portability? all ports must use ELF AFAIK, for exception support)

>>> You mean pack on the end of the zImage perhaps as a
>>> second gzip file ?
>> That would be fine, as long as it can show up as /proc/
>> or become part of /proc/ksyms. It would be best to have separate
> ugh. "Please throw 150K of symbols into my memory image".
> I think not.

I think so! FreeBSD, AIX, Digital Unix, and Solaris all do this.
It is a small price to pay for reliable name resolution. It's not
150 kB either. In uncompressed binary format, it is about 80kB for
2.1.102. With compression, it is only 44 kB.

I used to be bothered by increases in kernel size too, but now I
realize that there is only one goal that matters: long-term, size
increases must be supported by Moore's Law. The proportion of memory
used by the kernel keeps shrinking as the years go by. I'm quite
sorry I ever complained about /dev/random being too big, since it is
insignificant in 1998. The rest of the unix world is running 8 MB
and 16 MB kernels now.

This would be good for oops reports too. There should never be any
worry that the wrong file was used to resolve the symbols.
There are lots of Linux users that have trouble producing a good
oops report, and ksymoops doesn't help very much.

> If its packed into the zImage file you can pull them out

What about network boot?

> and if they are MD5'd and the MD5 signature is in the kernel
> you can even verify they match

That would help, but it is better to really solve the problem.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to