PowerPC 40x Processor Support To Be Dropped From The Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 6 May 2024 at 09:54 AM EDT. 22 Comments
In addition to Linux 6.10 expected to drop support for very old DEC Alpha processors (EV5 and earlier), it looks like the PowerPC 40x (early PowerPC 400 series) processor and platform support will be retired too.

Back in 2020 was a proposal for dropping PowerPC 40x support from the Linux kernel given that the code was orphaned for a long time with no apparent users. The PowerPC 40x processors were found in thin clients, set-top boxes, and other devices during the 90's. Finally now it looks like that the PowerPC 40x removal is set to happen.

PowerPC 405

Michael Ellerman sent out the patch series today for removing the 40x processor support. This removes the PowerPC 401/403/405 support while leaving the PowerPC 440 and later processor support. Ellerman explained in the patch series:
"The 40x platforms & CPUs are old and have been unmaintained for years, and as far as we can tell have no users.

Note 44x and 476 are not affected.
So unless anyone steps up to maintain it, remove 40x as unused. RIP."

Dropping this early PowerPC code from the Linux kernel clears out 4.4k lines of old and unmaintained code. We'll see if these patches get queued in time for the upcoming Linux v6.10 merge window.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

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.

Popular News This Week