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Linux Might Better Plan Its Code/Hardware Obsolescence From The Kernel

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  • Linux Might Better Plan Its Code/Hardware Obsolescence From The Kernel

    Phoronix: Linux Might Better Plan Its Code/Hardware Obsolescence From The Kernel

    One of the many interesting discussions for this week's virtual Linux Plumbers Conference is on planning code obsolescence moving forward. While this is about kernel features too, it's also about the steps and when to phase out old hardware support...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...e-Obsolescence

  • #2
    Is 32-bit support getting dropped for any architectures?
    So then it is 64-bit only?
    Maybe that can clean up some code and legacy 32-bit workarounds and quirks?

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    • #3
      I feel the need to point out the irony of this article and the article three down about a 20 year old AGP graphics card getting support.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
        I feel the need to point out the irony of this article and the article three down about a 20 year old AGP graphics card getting support.
        To be fair, that card is still in production today, and used in the majority of servers released to the world. Its age is not relevant if it is still used and sold, I would think. Now, if you want to talk about the irony of the server world market, the main user of Linux to date, using 20 year old AGP cards, that would be more notable, especially considering the newest tech is what usually goes into them, such as the 400 Mb/s Networking gear, 4th gen SAS disks, or SAS disks in general, Optane style drives etc.

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        • #5
          I said it before and I'll say it again:
          What would make for a fantastic Linux distro is one built around the idea of supporting obsolete devices. It could offer the newest applications with the latest kernel drivers and security updates, but is maintained strictly for devices that were dropped from the mainline kernel. Then to reduce bloat (since if you're using an obsolete platform, chances are you have limited disk space), get rid of everything meant for modern architectures.

          That way everybody wins: antique enthusiasts get a special like-minded community-driven effort, and everyone else gets a clean and easy to maintain kernel for modern devices.

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          • #6
            The vast majority of "hardware" (go ahead and name the exceptions) are proprietary and closed. So, even open source contributions, even ones not dependent on closed firmware blobs (which can also be rare), are somewhat at the mercy of manufacturer supported contributors. And as the manufacturer desires to deprecate their fully functioning devices, while Linux sometimes supports such devices and in some cases for many years longer than, for example, Windows, eventually there comes a time where it can no longer be supported adequately without the "now missing" vendor support. And thus, you have to do some sort of garbage collection.

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            • #7
              I have an acer laptop with a Intel Celeron (32 bits) with i915 integrated graphics.

              The i915 driver works fine, even that card have 2 options, classic or gallium driver.
              The driver exposes OGL 2.1 version if you drop some configuration to .drirc

              the kernel part I think is DRI1 and they are proposing to remove it.

              I wanted to know what I have to do to keep mesa and the kernel supporting that legacy hardware.

              Of course I have more laptops and more systems in my home, but that one refuses to break. I installed gentoo on that laptop for many years and that laptop is capable of being one week 100% cpu non stop and it still works like a boss.

              I would like more people to share his experiences with not too old hardware that is refusing to break and works perfectly with >= 5.4.x kernel

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              • #8
                Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                I said it before and I'll say it again:
                What would make for a fantastic Linux distro is one built around the idea of supporting obsolete devices. It could offer the newest applications with the latest kernel drivers and security updates, but is maintained strictly for devices that were dropped from the mainline kernel. Then to reduce bloat (since if you're using an obsolete platform, chances are you have limited disk space), get rid of everything meant for modern architectures.

                That way everybody wins: antique enthusiasts get a special like-minded community-driven effort, and everyone else gets a clean and easy to maintain kernel for modern devices.
                and how many users do you expect for this distribution?
                the kernel already has a very long support an most hardware. i am not even sure it has dropped anything ever which is used by people.

                imho... with really old hardware it is better to keep old software. new software tend to use more resources anyway.
                get a raspi with an http proxy and disable js on that machine

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by flower View Post
                  and how many users do you expect for this distribution?
                  the kernel already has a very long support an most hardware. i am not even sure it has dropped anything ever which is used by people.
                  Not sure; it is definitely niche, but so are people who still like to use outdated hardware. Otherwise yeah, you might as well just use some random distro's old repos.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
                    I feel the need to point out the irony of this article and the article three down about a 20 year old AGP graphics card getting support.
                    Yes its a 20 year card. Problem here is particular server motherboard vendors licensed the right to make Matrox g200 chip. Yes right down to complete silicon design. There are quite a few server motherboards with a vga port that behind that port is a matrox-g200 and that is new server motherboards released this year. Yes some are stupidly behind a pci to agp bridge chip at as well even that matrox g200 was able todo direct pci.. Yes this leads to a wacky stack of bridges AMD EPIC cpu pcie then pcie to pci bridge chip then pci to agp bridge chip then the matrox g200. Yes there is a real AMD EPIC motherboard with that wacky and of course the UEFI default output is the matrox g200 and ingnores other insert graphics cards unless told otherwise so you still need a vga supporting monitor to set up a 2020 motherboard.

                    Really I think that the Matrox G200 would be the oldest design graphics card chip you can buy new on something. Mind you Matrox g200 is kind of upgrade to about 4 years ago when you had some new server boards with pcie to pci bridge then pci to ISA and then a ISA vga card this was for board construction sanitised to a single soc. Some of the stuff you find on server boards that are basically obeying the rule its not broke don't fix it.



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