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Linux Looks To Retire Itanium/IA64 Support
The GCC compiler deprecated IA-64 support years ago, the IA-64 kernel build has been left busted for extended periods of time, and in 2021 Linus Torvalds orphaned the IA-64 kernel code. Now as 2023 gets underway and two years since the orphaning, it's possibly time already to strip out the Itanium code from the kernel tree.
Linux developer Ard Biesheuvel sent out a request for comments patch series this morning that drops Itanium/IA-64 from the kernel. Ard commented:
"The IA64 port of Linux has no maintainer, and according to a report from its only remaining user, it has been broken for a month and nobody cares.
Given that keeping a complex but unused architecture alive uses up valuable developer bandwidth, let's just get rid of it.
This supersedes my patch proposing to mark it as 'dead', which received no replies from anyone that wants to keep it alive."
Dropping the Itanium/IA-64 code from the Linux kernel tree lightens it by 65k lines.
We'll see if the Itanium/IA-64 support gets removed from the Linux kernel now or if anyone steps up to actively maintain the architecture code and finding any remaining users of Itanium servers wanting to run mainline kernel releases.