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Linux Kernel Drops Support For Old Intel 386 CPUs

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  • AJenbo
    replied
    I still have a few p2 that i do some testing on from time to time

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  • smitty3268
    replied
    Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    Might be a bit too close a shave. I am still running Linux quite well on an old AthlonXP.
    You'd want to keep at least the Pentium 3 / Athlon tbird generation working. I think an argument could be made that Pentium 2's are getting pretty darn old.

    Edit: and as mentioned above, if you support the P3 it means you might as well just support back to the original i686 architecture.
    Last edited by smitty3268; 12-13-2012, 04:04 PM.

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  • mangeek
    replied
    Originally posted by Pallidus View Post
    are there real world examples of people really compiling the latest kernel releases and using them on 486's?
    I know there are many embedded controllers that are basically cloned i486 chips. I'm of the mind that they'd be better served running kernel 2.2 or 2.4 with an old revision of the toolchain, though.

    Originally posted by Pallidus View Post
    wouldn't it be better to drop anything prior to pentium4's??
    Well this is where it gets tricky. After the i386, there's not much to be gained by dropping things until you get up to the i686, which encompasses the PentiumPro, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium-M, and Core (not 'Core 2'). Dropping 'up to the Pentium 4' would actually kill-off a LOT of totally viable not-so-old chips, like the first Intel MacBooks!

    Were I the King of Linux, glibc, and GCC, I would push to drop up to (but not including) the PentiumPro architecture (i686), dropping the 486, 586, and some VIA Cyrix/C3 CPUs that need special treatment along the way. Let those old chips get served by older releases, while the 32-bit x86 architecture is kept to only the PentiumPro and the Netburst (Pentium 4) cores.

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  • Hamish Wilson
    replied
    Originally posted by Pallidus View Post
    with the addition of arm code and arm64 and all this new arches wouldn't it be better to drop anything prior to pentium4's??
    Might be a bit too close a shave. I am still running Linux quite well on an old AthlonXP.

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  • thegeek6
    replied
    Dammit.

    Now I have to go out and buy one of those four-thousand dollar Pentiums.

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  • locovaca
    replied
    I have a hard time believing that anyone still using a 386 would be using anything newer than 2.4, maybe 2.6, let alone anything 3.0 or newer.

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  • DeepDayze
    replied
    Originally posted by ninez View Post
    they already do this and this has been the case, for as long as as it has been applicable... When configuring a kernel (make menuconfig), if you have done that before...? (which i assume is probably not the case, based on your above comments), there are still legacy drivers (marked 'deprecated' and disabled). One such example;


    besides that, all of the device drivers (or any other feature) of the linux kernel can be enabled/disabled (compiled or not, builtin or as a module, etc) via what you would call a 'config option'. it's all pretty standard stuff
    The team could at least mark 80386 support Legacy for now though then totally remove the support for the 80386 cpu itself (not to mean the entire i386 architecture!)

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  • alpha_one_x86
    replied
    Linux kernel + small env need 4MB of memory minimum. But this config is mostly under P1 minimum, then drop the 486 can be a good idea. But if not add amount of code and emulation... If the support is same as P4, ... why don't keep it.
    I'm to keep the old compatilibity if newer than 10 years old (else you have older linux -> kernel + OS, or emulation) or if don't block the evolution.

    Wikipedia:
    The instruction set of the i486 is very similar to its predecessor, the Intel 80386

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  • Pallidus
    replied
    are there real world examples of people really compiling the latest kernel releases and using them on 486's????



    how? and why? what for?


    Before switching to a full intel laptop I was trying pretty much all the latest distros in a pentium iv system with 1 gram.


    It's an exercise in masochism, even in that system I had to settle for like kernel v2.6 at most 2.4 working the best.



    with the addition of arm code and arm64 and all this new arches wouldn't it be better to drop anything prior to pentium4's??

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  • balouba
    replied
    Originally posted by DeepDayze View Post
    Who still has the original 80386 machines around? As we know there are times when things come to an end and thus support for the old 386 is ending. It sure has been a great run though for Linux on the old machines though, considering that Linux kernel was born on that architecture.

    It sure is a great time to do some spring cleaning on the kernel, so why not look at purging support for very old devices or at least mark them as Legacy within the tree so all it will take is a config option to turn on legacy device support for those rare cases there happens to be some old device or controller in a particular system

    Dude, you don't say "its a great time to do _spring_ cleaning" in december. Its just not right.

    Regardless, I find it also slightly wrong to drop support for arches. It's just the easy way out. arch support should be sufficiently pluggable that you wouldn't get limited by supporting more architectures, and the API to be reasonably stable enough, that you wouldn't need to maintain arches each release (that totally ISNT the case in Linux and probably the exact reason for the drop: nobody wants to support it)

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