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It depends on the level of functionality you desire. A minimal kernel
with only the basic operations as primitives could be very small. I
wrote a student subset kernel in Z80 assembler which was much less
than 32K bytes, and I believe someone did one for the Apple II of
similar size. You have then moved much of the size of the system off
into interpreted code in the heap. None of the "real" systems are
this small; the MIT handcoded 68000 scheme was around 64K of code.