strip FreeBSD a bit

David Kelly dkelly at
Tue Sep 9 15:46:39 PDT 2003

On Tuesday 09 September 2003 05:11 pm, Alex de Kruijff wrote:
> I think there has to be a clear reason if components where removed.
> This still doesn't mean that it couldn't come installed by default.
> It just meant useing the package / port system. Why sould we not use
> it?

I think the consensus (which I agree with) is that the FreeBSD ports 
system is a miracle in simplicity but is not up to the task of managing 
each and every file of an installation, versions, and the dependencies.

JKH mentioned this a few times on the lists that I saw. Apparently there 
have been some nibbles at the task but nobody has bit off enough to 

IRIX has/had a tool which seemed up to the task on SGI systems I once 
ran. I don't have any idea how hard it was to load files into their 
"inst" format, but once done it was easy enough to later replace any 
one suspect file on the machine with the original from CDROM.

There are several projects providing examples of how to strip and build 
a custom minimal FreeBSD. MiniBSD comes to mind. Earlier this year I 
started with MiniBSD and worked it over quite a bit for my former 
employer. Was under 10 MB for a fairly complete running system. Then I 
threw Apache, Perl, and a lot of other stuff in nearly whole hog and 
was still under 30 MB. They didn't release my work to be shared.

I wrote a Makefile which checked out sources via cvs, then manually 
drove ./usr/src/Makefile and ports Makefiles with parameters more to my 
liking. Most significant was the FreeBSD utilities were dynamically 
linked when normally /bin is statically linked. Everything was going on 
one filesystem so dynamic saved a lot of disk space.

David Kelly N4HHE, dkelly at
The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its
capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.

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