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Linux Kernel Drops Support For Old Intel 386 CPUs

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  • ninez
    replied
    Originally posted by DeepDayze View Post
    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
    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;
    Originally posted by make menuconfig
    < > ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support (DEPRECATED) --->
    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

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  • DeepDayze
    replied
    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

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  • schmidtbag
    replied
    the thing about ditching other ancient archs that may still be in use (such as i486) is the modern kernel is likely too heavy for them, nearly none of the new features put into the kernel will actually aid old archs, and people who use them probably don't care to update to the latest anyway.

    While it is a little sad that the original arch is being ditched, I'm glad to see the kernel getting cleaned up a bit and making future releases easier to work on.

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  • oliver
    replied
    I wonder how much 486 code is so specific, that removal would improve things.

    At first, I thought, removing i386 support (not 32bit support), that's strange, isn't the i486 and i686 support equal more or less.

    But appearantly, whilst the 32bit stuff is technically still 'i386' at its core, there is weird stuff in the kernel to actually make it work on 80386 CPU's because of missing hardware features (thus emulating it etc etc) and since REAL 80386 are probably REALLY not used by physical hardware anymore.

    As said above, 80486's are still in use and are far more similar to pentiums etc then 80386's isn't it A pentium was just a 80486 with some extra extenions wasn't it?

    80286 actually missed crucial functions and while backports/hacks existed, it simply was even more crippled then many arm CPU's are now (only 16 bits for example).

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  • Ibidem
    replied
    According to the comment (included in the article!), it means less work for SMP support.
    It also means that the kernel developers don't need to maintain i486 emulation in the kernel.

    On the other hand, there's no similar cost for supporting 486.

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  • Hamish Wilson
    replied
    Now what are we going to run on our machines when developing Commander Keen?

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  • curaga
    replied
    Same as with the P5 MMX topic recently, you can still buy embedded 486 variants @ 1 GHz.

    They're also supported by glibc and other parts still. (glibc dropped 386 support several versions ago)

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  • Pallidus
    replied
    why not 486 also?


    doubt there are many working 486 left, let alone working 486's able to run any distro

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  • chuckula
    replied
    Originally posted by ryao View Post
    The removal of 80386 support is sad when we consider that Linux was first developed on this hardware.

    You beat me to it! Yes, the good ol' 386 was the first CPU to ever run Linux.

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  • ryao
    replied
    The removal of 80386 support is sad when we consider that Linux was first developed on this hardware.

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