Re: /proc and /kern

Mirian Crzig Lennox (
03 Dec 1998 13:26:29 -0500

"Albert D. Cahalan" <> writes:
> > Another thought I had is to make the pseudo files in /proc and /kern
> > display real size information instead of 0, as they do under BSD,
> > since I often find it's useful to know roughly how much virtual
> > information is "contained" in those files without actually having to
> > look at the contents or pipe the contents through a program.
> You can only do that if you change the format to contain fixed length
> records. It would not be reasonable to create the data every time
> somebody does "/bin/ls -l /proc /kern".

Heh. I've gotten enough negative feedback from this idea that I've
decided to drop it.

I didn't realize that most of the information in /proc is generated on
the fly (under NetBSD, most of it is not). Obviously, it would just
be wasteful to compute "file" sizes in this case.

> Perhaps the file type should change to a non-regular file.
> Character devices, sockets, and named pipes are all OK.

At a minimum, it would be nice if there were some way for stat() to
tell the caller "this is a file of indefinite size", rather than the
misleading "this is an empty file". That way, ls could be modified to
display "--" or some other non-numeric for the file size.

I'm not a Linux guru (yet) so I'm not sure if there is an acceptable
way to do this.

Mirian Crzig Lennox                                Systems Anarchist
          "There's a New World Order coming every minute.
                      Make mine extra cheese."

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