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Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs

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  • #41
    Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
    I guess it is just my way of explaining to people why old platform support remains in the Linux kernel well beyond our lifespans.
    I was around before Linux was a thing, and platform support has come and gone during that time, so, obviously no. Dead platform support that is unused is eventually removed, much faster than an average human lifespan.

    Because luckily most other engineers think the same way as me.
    Ah, the good old "lurkers support me in email" defense. But not to worry; if you're correct there will be no problem finding people to step up to the plate and maintain support for these platforms now tentatively scheduled for removal. Problem solved! And if nobody steps up, well, nothing of value was lost then upon removing that support from the kernel.

    And is why I think it is absurd that many people moan about Linux supporting x86 and yet not their silly little locked down ARM gizmo.
    Well, as I said, ultimately it's because somebody is prepared to implement and maintain support for that stupid little locked down ARM gizmo. What you or I think about the value of said gizmo is beside the point.

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    • #42
      Just as a practical matter, I'm curious if you can put enough RAM into something like a 486 machine to make booting a reasonable modern kernel possible. I know that the 486SX board I have only supports up to 32MB. When I tried to boot Yellow Dog years ago on a PPC601 with either 80 or 96MB and it didn't work, the response from the developers was that I needed more memory.

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      • #43
        Hopefully the deprecation of the SH2 core does not affect the J2 project.

        https://j-core.org/

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        • #44
          Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
          Yes. When was the last time you installed Linux on a mobile?
          What does that have to do with Linux supporting and being shipped on billions of devices? Just because you don't like those devices doesn't mean they aren't a very real part of the ecosystem.

          Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
          You misunderstand, I like Linux. I dislike locked down gizmos and phones.
          If you don't like the devices they are meaningless. Got it.

          Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
          Removing older CPU support (i.e x86 < i686) because it is "less common" than aarch64 is an incorrect thing to do. What you would be ending up doing doing is decreasing the number of "open" platforms that can run Linux and leaving only locked-down sh*tware.
          Many of those platforms being considered for removal are for old embedded systems, precisely the kind of "locked-down sh*ware" you are worried about. Also, did you not read the mailing list post? If users of those platforms speak up and/or if developers say they will support the platform, it won't be removed. You're romanticizing these platforms that essentially no one uses, and then catastrophizing by claiming that only locked-down systems will remain. There's clearly no evidence that the major platforms (arm, arm64, i686, x86_64, power, risc-v, z etc) are going to be removed.

          Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
          Mobile operating systems are meaningless and should not get counted in any decision when it comes to Linux.
          Back to "I don't like them so they are meaningless". If you keep repeating it I'm sure it will be more convincing.

          Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
          Linux will end up being the greatest OS that no-one but OEM companies can run XD
          You're just making things up and arguing in bad faith. It's obvious that you do not like Linux or the community and want to spread misinformation.

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          • #45
            Originally posted by pierce View Post
            Hopefully the deprecation of the SH2 core does not affect the J2 project.

            https://j-core.org/
            From the mailing list post:
            SuperH SH-2: We discussed removing SH-2 (not J2 or SH-4) support in the past, I don't think there were any objections, but nobody submitted a patch.

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            • #46
              PowerPC/AmigaOne
              I assume most people who own an AmigaOne are running AmigaOS, but unless I'm mistaken, the AmigaOne X5000 was still available to buy new up until about a year or so ago. Seems crazy to drop it already, but again, maybe no one is actually running Linux on them.

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              • #47
                Originally posted by strtj View Post
                Just as a practical matter, I'm curious if you can put enough RAM into something like a 486 machine to make booting a reasonable modern kernel possible. I know that the 486SX board I have only supports up to 32MB. When I tried to boot Yellow Dog years ago on a PPC601 with either 80 or 96MB and it didn't work, the response from the developers was that I needed more memory.
                Sorry, my memory was off, I was trying to install a modern Gentoo and ended up falling back to Yellow Dog (2.0, I think?).

                What is the lowest memory device that anyone has running on a 5.x kernel?

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by strtj View Post

                  Sorry, my memory was off, I was trying to install a modern Gentoo and ended up falling back to Yellow Dog (2.0, I think?).

                  What is the lowest memory device that anyone has running on a 5.x kernel?
                  I've got a Pentium Pro 200 with 128MB on NetBSD, but I've never tried Linux on it. It just seemed like it'd be asking for trouble with that little RAM and that slow of a CPU.

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                  • #49
                    About the argument of whether it makes sense to replace an old 486 or whatever with a Raspberry Pi: You're assuming that the software is able to be ported over to a different architecture, in this case ARM, and that the same interfaces exist for a Raspberry Pi that exist for a machine doing mechanical tasks. Let's say I have a 486 doing industrial automation, connected to a GPIB (IEEE-488) interface. This is a very common scenario. To replace it with a Raspberry Pi (or similar board) I would have to get the Pi, an IEEE-488 shield, probably a whole bunch of rugged casing for the Pi for my dirty shop environment, and then port all of my software to ARM because I can't use my x86 binaries. Already we're well above $100 in hardware costs. If I wrote my own software, great. If I didn't and I don't have the source code, I'm SOL and this project is going nowhere.

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by thunderbird32 View Post

                      I've got a Pentium Pro 200 with 128MB on NetBSD, but I've never tried Linux on it. It just seemed like it'd be asking for trouble with that little RAM and that slow of a CPU.
                      Just for giggles I tried booting a 5.4.80 kernel Gentoo x86 admin CD on a Dual PPro-200 with 224MB of RAM; it loaded the kernel and then just hung. Not promising even for x86 hardware from 1996.

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