Linux 5.14 Drops Its Legacy IDE Code

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 29 June 2021 at 07:17 AM EDT. 28 Comments
Linux 5.14 has cleared out its legacy IDE code from the kernel that means dropping more than forty thousand lines of code.

Linux's legacy IDE driver code has been deprecated since 2019 and planned for removal in 2021. This is about clearing out the legacy IDE code while IDE driver support remains available via the more modern libata-based code in the kernel. This legacy code is what was commonly associated with the older /dev/hdX devices. Most systems and Linux users have likely not used this legacy code in more than one decade.

Earlier this year was talk of going ahead with the legacy IDE removal The final obstacle was recently resolved with moving old Motorola 68000 system support to libata and off that legacy IDE code. Thus the legacy IDE code removal was cleared to proceed without sacrificing (old) hardware support.

On Monday the removal happened with the nuking of drivers/ide. The old code is removed and it also now allows for future cleaning in the kernel's block subsystem for code that was only there because of the old IDE code.

This removal led to lightening the kernel by more than 41,000 lines of code.
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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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