Selling Linux ??

cbbrowne-HInyCGIudOg at cbbrowne-HInyCGIudOg at
Mon Dec 1 13:33:48 UTC 2003

> On Sun, 30 Nov 2003, Howard Gibson wrote:
> >    As far as a central computer is concerned, there is no free lunch.
> No, but you can get a discounted lunch.  Copy-on-write pages, more
> efficient use of cpu (on a single user box the cpu is largely idle), etc,
> allow for far far more efficient use of system resources.

In addition, for applications involving large binaries and/or large sets
of shared libraries, that "stuff" can get shared across multiple users.

For instance, if you have 10 users running 10 GNOME applications, the
binaries for the apps are only loaded once, and shared across all the
users.  Similarly, if they are all running, much of the
app should be shared, saving a pile of memory.

This is NOT a help when running applications that load a lot of their
runtime state using an interpreted language.  

- Multiple instances of Mozilla will be very costly because of the great
  gobs of ECMAScript.

- Likewise, instances of Emacs load ELisp independently, and so a lot of
  that _won't_ be shared.  

- Apps written in Perl that use a whole lot of libraries don't get any
  benefit from this.
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