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Date:      Tue, 2 Jul 2002 23:25:56 +0100
From:      "Howard Jones" <>
To:        "Manuel Kasper" <>
Cc:        <>
Subject:   Re: Guide to reducing FreeBSD (a.k.a miniBSD :)
Message-ID:  <002601c22217$79482a80$fa37a8c0@jubjub>
References:  <000201c22194$171e66e0$8c7da8c0@CNMKA>

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I did more or less the same, although with more trial and error (I started
with just a kernel and init, and added files until I got a login: prompt
:) ) - my current flash-booting desktop workstation has Zebra, DHCP client
support, SNMP, X, an mp3 player, NFS to mount other drives from the
fileserver, thttpd, telnet and an assortment of utilities (ipfw, vi, grep
etc), all in about 12Mb of a 32Mb flash device.

It's a mixed bag because I was aiming towards two goals at once - I have a
second one of these running the firewall/NAT for my wireless DSL
connection.. The intention was to have full routing/firewall/shaping stuff
through dummynet, and some sort of web interface using thttpd - I didn't get
that part done, although the kernel stuff for it is all in, and SNMP for
stats works fine. It could probably be smaller if I switched to using all
shared libraries - I have some stuff in a big crunched binary, and other
things added later have shared libraries (the same libraries as the static
stuff, even). As someone else pointed out ldd is your friend for picking out
binaries to ignore when reducing your system size - some of the small
/usr/bin utilities are linked with a surprising number of big libraries.

The hardware side is an ASUS TUSI-M board with a fanless C3/866  processor,
although it's likely to change to an Eden processor and mini-iTX sometime
soon (no fans at all, not even the PSU!).

Anyway, it's good to see a little more info on the web about how to do this.
I still don't really understand what the difference is between this and
picobsd - is it just the ramdisk vs normal fs, or is there some other
dividing line?



----- Original Message -----
From: "Manuel Kasper" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 7:45 AM
Subject: Guide to reducing FreeBSD (a.k.a miniBSD :)

Hi all,

I've just finished my guide on how to strip FreeBSD of "unnecessary"
things without going as minimalistic as e.g. PicoBSD. I wanted something
in between a FreeBSD "minimal" install (which still takes up about 80
MB) and PicoBSD. If you're interested, it's available on

I now have FreeBSD 4.6 running on my net4501 embedded PC from Soekris
Engineering (on which the guide is based); the operating system takes up
about 31 MB on the 64 MB CF card (including frills like perl, thttpd,
dhcpd, ...); without perl it works out to about 21 MB - so there's ample
space left for user data. I've tried not to sacrifice any important
funcionality, and so you can ssh/ftp in like on a normal FreeBSD system,
and most commands are available.

I welcome any suggestions/feedback on how this guide could be improved.



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