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Linus Acknowledges 32-Bit Linux As Less Important

Linux Kernel

Published on 04 November 2013 02:06 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
33 Comments

The Linux 3.12 kernel was released on Sunday evening but prior to that was a last-minute pull request that got rejected by Linus Torvalds and with it he reaffirmed the focus of Linux on 64-bit.

Al Viro had sent in a late pull request for ExportFS to fix 32-bit NFSD handling of 64-bit inode numbers. Linus rejected the pull on the grounds that he wanted to ship Linux 3.12 on Sunday and the fix for a problem that has always existed.

In a follow-up response, Linus went on to reaffirm the general feeling amongst most developers: newer hardware is more important (in this case, 64-bit support) than old (32-bit). Linus had said, "32-bit is less important."
Yeah, I think the circumstances have changed. 32-bit is less important, and iget() is much less critical than it used to be (all *normal* inode lookups are through the direct dentry pointer).

Sure, ARM is a few years away from 64-bit being common, but it's happening. And I suspect even 32-bit ARM doesn't have the annoying issues that x86-32 had with 64-bit values (namely using up a lot of the register space).

So unless there's something hidden that makes it really nasty, I do suspect that a "u64 i_ino" would just be the right thing to do. Rather than adding workarounds for our current odd situation on 32-bit kernels (and just wasting time on 64-bit kernels).

At least now most Linux distribution vendors are onto promoting their x86_64 images, albeit it took Ubuntu until recently to do so.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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