Debian's i386 Builds Now Require 686-Class CPUs

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 7 May 2016 at 09:00 AM EDT. 47 Comments
Those running any old VIA C3, AMD K5/K6, or original Intel Pentium CPUs, you'll be losing your Debian support past the current stable (Jessie) series.

The Debian i386 architecture builds now require an i686 class processor for Debian testing (affecting Debian Stretch) and future builds. Support for 586 class and 586/686 class processors has been dropped, similar to the 486 CPUs being dropped previously. This i686 CPU requirement means the end of the line for hardware like the AMD K5 and K6, Intel Pentium / Pentium MMX, and VIA C3 Ezra hardware.

Debian unstable with Linux 4.3 already made a change to require 686 class processors while now GCC for i386 has been upgraded to target 686 class hardware, which will result in crashes if running on older hardware. Should you still be running any 586 hardware, you can find out more via this mailing list post.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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