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Date:      Tue, 12 May 1998 11:38:48 +0200
From:      Martin Cracauer <>
To:        Brett Glass <>, =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dag-Erling_Coidan_Sm=F8rgrav_?= <>, "Jason C. Wells" <>
Cc:        Ben Cohen <>, freebsd-chat@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: PicoBSD
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>; from Brett Glass on Fri, May 08, 1998 at 04:09:12PM -0600
References:  <"Jason <> <> <>

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In <>, Brett Glass wrote: 
> At 09:14 PM 5/8/98 +0200, Dag-Erling Coidan Smørgrav wrote:
> >To quote the PicoBSD page (<URL:>),
> >PicoBSD is a one-floppy version of FreeBSD 3.0-current, which in its
> >different variations allows you to have secure dialup access, small
> >diskless router or even a dial-in server. And all this on only one
> >standard 1.44MB floppy - no need to sacrifice over 100MB of your
> >precious HDD space.
> I noticed that it didn't use gzipped binaries. Why?

A gzipped binary needs to be uncompressed completely before it can be
executed. And it needs its own virtual memory pages (for all the
binary, not only the parts that are actually executed), as compared to
a normal binary which is backed up the text pages of the binary on the
filesystem and reads only those pages that contain instructions you
actually call. In a word, you need much more RAM (each running binary
needs space for both its compressed and uncompress version) and delay
starting the binary more than one would expect.

You should take into account that this doesn't take space on the
floppy in the case of PicoBSD. PicoBSD doesn't use the floppy as root
filesystem, but has a filesystem image inside the kernel which is
compressed along with most of the kernel by kzip. It is then
decompressed (the whole filesystem) into a memory filesystem.

Personally, I use one-floppy FreeBSD systems with the root filesystem
on the floppy, and therefore compress some binaries i.e. those that
are executed only once at startup or are for emergency only.

Martin Cracauer <>
BSD User Group Hamburg, Germany

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