Legacy IDE Driver Now Deprecated, To Be Removed From Linux In 2021

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 9 May 2019 at 07:04 AM EDT. 30 Comments
The Linux kernel's legacy IDE driver has been officially deprecated as of Linux 5.2 and is expected to be removed entirely in 2021.

Christoph Hellwig and David Miller went ahead with officially deprecating the legacy IDE driver in the Linux kernel. With Linux 5.2+, a warning will now be emitted on registering IDE hosts using this driver over the deprecation.

Before getting too emotional over your ribbon cables, this is not the removal of IDE support from the Linux kernel. Rather, this is only about the legacy IDE driver. IDE hardware support will remain available in the Linux kernel via the libata layer. The Linux kernel for years has used libATA as its preferred library for supporting ATA controllers and devices. There are libata-based drivers for all the popular hardware of the time while it's just the previous legacy IDE driver that is set to be removed from the kernel in two years time.

Most Linux distributions transitioned to libata-based storage drivers more than a decade ago (e.g. Ubuntu back in 2006). Chances are for any systems out there still using the legacy IDE driver, they aren't being routinely updated anyhow for new kernel/software releases and given the age of the hardware is likely running into other software support issues with today's Linux/open-source software requirements. So it's approaching the end of an era but not that many people will be directly impacted, if you are still using IDE drives chances are there is libata-based driver support available. So the legacy IDE driver is now deprecated.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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