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Linux Kernel Drops Support For Old Intel 386 CPUs

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  • phoronix
    started a topic Linux Kernel Drops Support For Old Intel 386 CPUs

    Linux Kernel Drops Support For Old Intel 386 CPUs

    Phoronix: Linux Kernel Drops Support For Old Intel 386 CPUs

    Yet another change for the upcoming Linux 3.8 kernel is the removal of support for the old Intel i386 processors...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTI0OTg

  • locovaca
    replied
    Originally posted by ryao View Post
    Any architecture should benefit from the algorithmic improvements and bug fixes.
    Unless said improvements exceed the capabilities of the hardware, which is very much a possibility with a true 386.

    Leave a comment:


  • gens
    replied
    Originally posted by alpha_one_x86 View Post
    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.
    386 memory access was different
    instruction set not so much

    everything above till amd64 is almost the same

    Leave a comment:


  • ryao
    replied
    Originally posted by oliver View Post
    Two the two above posts:

    but not to an i386. It will be to slow to do most if anything really.

    486 is quite a different beast though imo and actually is used more commonly (though 586 even more so) in the embedded x86 world.

    As for your G3 ... I'm pretty sure you can safe yourself quite some money, bye investing in some cheap arm based router or the like (mele a1000 even) and safe a boatload on electricity. Just because old technology can and does work, doesn't make it the smartest choice straight away. I know, I speak from experience. While it is extremely cool having some old box humming about still performing work, it simply can cost way more then its worth due to the higher energy bill generated from it.
    Any architecture should benefit from the algorithmic improvements and bug fixes.

    Leave a comment:


  • oliver
    replied
    Two the two above posts:

    but not to an i386. It will be to slow to do most if anything really.

    486 is quite a different beast though imo and actually is used more commonly (though 586 even more so) in the embedded x86 world.

    As for your G3 ... I'm pretty sure you can safe yourself quite some money, bye investing in some cheap arm based router or the like (mele a1000 even) and safe a boatload on electricity. Just because old technology can and does work, doesn't make it the smartest choice straight away. I know, I speak from experience. While it is extremely cool having some old box humming about still performing work, it simply can cost way more then its worth due to the higher energy bill generated from it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ryao
    replied
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    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.
    Improvements to hardware independent things like filesystems, network protocols, scheduling, etcetera would still benefit older architectures.

    Leave a comment:


  • tux9656
    replied
    I can't believe that some of you would want to drop support for 586 class CPUs. There are still some good uses for older machines, such as a router/firewall/low volume email server. I am still using an old PowerMac G3 as a server for active port forwarder and ssh tunneling. Also, there may very well be some 586 and 486 class machines still in use for login/password authentication or running ATMs. Drop support for these machines and we could have a small data security pandemic.

    Leave a comment:


  • mangeek
    replied
    Originally posted by oliver View Post
    So does anyone know anybody who actually still uses 80386? Anybody? Anyone at all?
    I think that's the same thing the kernel folks asked, and the answer was 'no'. Between that and the advantages of not needing to program around that processor's limitations, it made sense to remove it.

    You have to remember that Linux support doesn't center on the desktop, it spans from giant NUMA systems to tiny embedded controllers on appliances. Here's an example of a recently-sold board that DOES use an honest-to-goodness i386:

    http://www.dmp.com.tw/tech/m6117d/

    Realistically, it's probably about time for some policies about hardware support to start being made. It might make sense to deprecate older hardware options right after 'long-term support' kernels are spawned.

    Leave a comment:


  • oliver
    replied
    So does anyone know anybody who actually still uses 80386? Anybody? Anyone at all?

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:

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