[klibc] initramfs howto

Andreas Jellinghaus aj at ciphirelabs.com
Wed Aug 10 05:16:04 PDT 2005

what about:
the binaries in your initramfs can be linked to any libc
and both shared and static linking will work fine. however
if you seek limited functionality for your initramfs and
want it to be integrated in the kernel binary, a special
libc like klibc will work well and keep the result small.

for external initramfs files you can choose any libc,
klibc will give you a small initramfs, but requires
the programs to be compiled and linked against it.
the usual glibc will also work and provide all the
features glibc has and allow you to use standard
applications without special recompiling or linking,
but glibc is bigger and thus needs more memory.


seriosly, glibc is 1.2 MB on my hard disk.
many appliances these day have 32 or 64 MB ram,
so spending one MB on glibc is not a big deal
I think, compared to possibly many hours people
might spend to port application XYZ to other libc.
(sorry, I have no idea how easy it is to port to
klibc/ulibc/dietlibc, but even simple recompiling
and repackaging and maintaining something on your
own, those all take time.)

> "Userspace programs need a C library, but using glibc would lead to
> (comparatively) large binaries, thereby increasing the kernel image size."

I think the text should be balanced to give the disavantage (big)
as well as the advantage (huge feature set, no need to recompile or relink).

Regards, Andreas

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