oscartheduckin’ around

June 30, 2008

Eleven. Megabytes. Suckers.

Filed under: freebsd — oscartheduck @ 1:43 am

I emailed my mentor yesterday night with the news that I now have FreeBSD available in 11meg.

And I can shrink it further.

There’s really a simple objection to this statement, though. It is implied by this: “James, have you tested that thing yet?” and the answer is, “OHGOTOHELL”. Evidence of the cruftiness of this thing is available in the fact that this tiny 11 meg of nothing sits in a whopping great big 493 meg disk image that I haven’t shrunk down yet.

I imagine I’ve screwed /etc/rc up, too. But that thing’s tiny, really. It’ll be simple enough.

Where am I going from here:

1. verify the functionality. Yeah, I have to do this still. Once I can boot to the command prompt, I’ll be happy.

2. once I have that functionality, evaluate needed binaries and crunchgen ’em. I think of this in a vague way as returning TinyBSD to its PicoBSD roots, though this shouldn’t be read as my hubristically stating I’m as awesome as the TinyBSD developers or PicoBSD.

3. cross compile for ARM. The aim for this has been from the start to build it for non-x86 chips. ARM especially is so huge right now it makes sense as a target.

In a moment of blog type reminiscence, one of my friends was a huge Acorn fan, so working with ARM feels like looking back on my past somehow.

I told my mentor that I felt peculiar about this project because it’s so clearly not the same as many other projects, and as he has many times already he gave me the right advice. This isn’t a development down-on-the-ground-pointing-pointers kind of project, it’s a 10 000 foot view project. I feel daft because it’s not as down in the works as I’d like sometimes, but I feel good because I look at what I’m doing and it’s basically using these fantastic tools that other developers have spent their time making.

Thus far, TinyBSD is the main tool I’ve been working with. Those folks have making a small OS down to such a simple tool, it’s hard for me to imagine doing this without it.



  1. 3. cross compile for ARM.

    When I read that part, I thought to myself, “I wonder if he’ll mention Acorn.”

    In a moment of blog type reminiscence, one of my friends was a huge Acorn fan, so working with ARM feels like looking back on my past somehow.

    And you did! Hurrah! šŸ™‚

    Comment by Robert Hampton — July 3, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

  2. What is the result of your work?

    Comment by Max — September 2, 2008 @ 10:49 am

  3. hi James…this is kanika.
    *sprinkles you with memory dust*
    There, now we can talk.
    what is this computer gibberish blog about;p
    is there any way on a chat thingy?
    I have much to say. please add me on msn at damagemedarling@hotmail.com
    or g talk at sleepymaggie@gmail.com
    or kanika nagpal on facebook.
    Something. Soon.
    much love and a big big hello to juli..

    Comment by Kanika — October 9, 2008 @ 12:15 pm

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