This is an excerpt from the chat that I had with Frank Eigler the other day:
<fche> machatap, so that's one scenario. another one is all the work
elfutils appears to do when just opening a big fat vmlinux file
<fche> (one built with "allyesconfig" for example)
<fche> it would be nice to find out whether some of that prep work --
applying all those relocations -- is really necessary that early
<fche> because as it is, we page in a huge file, and proceed to dirty
lots of it, so we eat RAM
Before I start digging in elfutils to see what's even going on when
elfutils processes kernel files, does anyone have any thoughts or tips?
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vmlinux has no ELF relocs to process, only .ko files do.
For those, eu-make-debug-archive --kernel --sudo is your friend.
(I think systemtap@sourceware has my past postings when that was new.)
For "big fat vmlinux", an actual profile of the use case would be good
before possibly chasing a red herring that Frank misidentified.