Linux kernel tinification

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50 Minute Talk
Scheduled: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from 4:30 – 5:20pm in Room 2

One Line Summary

How small can the Linux kernel get today? What would it take to make it an order of magnitude smaller? A detailed look at kernel configuration, what's really required in the kernel versus what's optional, and what you can expect over the next few years of further kernel tinification.


Cell phones and routers hardly qualify as “embedded” anymore; new embedded systems (or the new Things we will have an Internet Of) push for ever smaller storage and memory requirements. Most people building systems that small assume that Linux will not work for them, and that they have to use a dedicated embedded OS or custom code from scratch.

This talk will show just how small Linux can get while remaining functional, what it’ll take to push Linux an order of magnitude smaller in the future, and how kernel and systems developers can avoid regressions in memory or storage requirements.


  • Face


    Josh Triplett hacks on system software, including Linux, X, Git, systemd, BITS, libffi, and Debian. Josh enjoys using software for unconventional purposes, such as porting Python to GRUB2 to test BIOS. Josh has previously presented at Kernel Summit,, Linux Plumbers Conference, and the USENIX Annual Technical Conference. Josh Triplett is Intel’s Chrome OS architect. He still finds himself typoing “Haswell” as “Haskell” and vice versa. (Speaking only for myself.)