Debian Dropping Its 32-bit MIPS Little Endian "mipsel" Port

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 2 September 2023 at 03:11 PM EDT. 19 Comments
Debian developers will be discontinuing their 32-bit MIPS little-endian "mipsel" CPU architecture port moving forward.

Debian 12 "Bookworm" is the last of the line supporting the MIPS little-endian architecture. MIPSEL is now removed from Debian unstable/experimental moving forward. MIPSEL had been one of the oldest architectures remaining in Debian with only i386 being older and now AMD64 the second oldest.

The justification for Debian dropping the MIPS little-endian architecture is due to the Year 2038 "Y2038" problem unresolved there, the 2G user-space memory limit, and lack of manpower on part of the Debian developers for maintaining the architecture. As such it's being dropped from the official Debian release architectures while MIPS64EL as the 64-bit little-endian variant will continue to be maintained.

MIPSEL being removed from Debian unstable/experimental was also announced today on the mailing list.

D-Link router with MIPS 32-bit CPU, the Ubicom IP3023
MIPS 32-bit CPUs can be found in old consumer routers and other embedded devices.

Those still running 32-bit MIPS little-endian are likely doing so on old embedded devices like routers and as such also not likely to be updating to newer Debian releases so frequently, if at all. Thus dropping it now from experimental/testing after the recent Debian 12 release makes sense given the lack of developer resources and other mentioned technical limitations.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

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

Popular News This Week