hendrikboom ([personal profile] hendrikboom) wrote2009-07-08 02:19 pm

ls is huge

hendrik@lovesong:~$ ls -l /bin/ls
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 92312 2008-04-04 10:22 /bin/ls


I remember the day when I could use ls on a 48K PDP-11.
That was total memory, including the OS, code space, static data space, and writable data space. Processes could be swapped, but weren't paged, so that really was all the (virtual or real) RAM it could use.

Today's ls wouldn't even fit on that machine 30 years ago. We had entire C compilers that could run on that machine. And generate code that would fit on it, too.

What has happened to software?

What could ls possibly be doing that takes 92K of code?

Not to mention four shared libraries!

hendrik@lovesong:~$ objdump -x /bin/ls | grep NEEDED
  NEEDED      librt.so.1
  NEEDED      libselinux.so.1
  NEEDED      libacl.so.1
  NEEDED      libc.so.6