Fedora 31 Looking At No Longer Building i686 Linux Kernel Packages
Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 25 June 2019 at 06:00 AM EDT. 76 Comments
FEDORA --
Not to be confused with Ubuntu's varying stance on dropping 32-bit packages beginning with their next release later this year, Fedora 31 now has a proposal pending to discontinue their i686 kernel builds but they will still be keeping with their 32-bit packaging.

This Fedora 31 change proposal by Justin Forbes, one of Fedora's kernel hackers, is just about ending i686 kernel builds beginning with this Fedora release due out in October. The i686 kernel-headers package would still be offered in order to satisfy necessary dependencies for 32-bit programs needing those headers. Of course, users will have to be running off a 64-bit kernel. All 32-bit programs should continue to work on Fedora 31.

Two years ago they evaluated a similar proposal to do away with their 32-bit kernel. At the time an i686 Special Interest group was established to handle x86 32-bit specific issues. However, that i686 SIG has become "largely unresponsive" with no real activity this year. As a result, for Fedora 31 we're likely to see this 32-bit kernel dropped.

The benefit to dropping the i686 kernel build is that it no longer carries any maintenance burden and less to maintain by the Fedora kernel team and thus can expedite kernel updates in some scenarios. More details in this change proposal still to be evaluated by FESCo for making the final decision.

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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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