I’ll answer in reverse order:
It’s a microkernel, so I could easily see the ISOs downloaded only containing things specific to the target platform, whereas I hear Linux has EVERYTHING, just that most of it isn’t seen. That’s what people say slow it down. If this is a microkernel, maybe you could select the drivers you need during setup - they all run in userspace anyway!!
That’s a misconception. Linux is actually a modular kernel, and most of it is never loaded. Time spent by the kernel’s own initialization is probably dominated by detecting hardware and loading and initializing drivers. Redox won’t spend time on that because it doesn’t yet have those drivers to begin with. Of course, with linux, you can avoid that overhead by compiling the necessary modules into the kernel, and disabling everything you don’t need. Gentoo users in particular have an obscene interest in custom configuration of everything. It can be done, and it’s not even very difficult.
Do you guys think Redox will become a large OS
Maybe yes, maybe no. It’s too early to tell.
Would the system NEED the same amount of junk loaded on startup to function the same way?
In short, yes. The amount of unnecessary junk is almost always proportional to the complexity of the system, because reasons. On the other hand, making a new system that functions the same way as Linux would be madness.
So, if we brought Redox up to feature-completion with Linux all in Rust, what would the benchmarks be like?
That’s a heck of a question. Benchmarks of what exactly? Disk I/O? CPU-bound computation? IPC messaging? TCP/IP stack? There are a million little pieces, each of which can be a faster or slower than the Linux’s analog, and each of which affects real-life applications in a different way. Can Redox be “faster in general”? Sure. Any system can be, if written/configured right. Can Redox be “slow as hell”? Also sure. The question doesn’t really have any answer except “wait and see”.