Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Dec 2012 21:47 UTC
Linux "This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity [...] which complexity has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years. Unfortunately there's a nostalgic cost: your old original 386 DX33 system from early 1991 won't be able to boot modern Linux kernels anymore. Sniff. I'm not sentimental. Good riddance." Almost 21 years of support for a professor. Not bad.
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Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Wed 12th Dec 2012 21:57 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

A lot of embedded developers are going to be upset.

Intel was still producing 386 and 486 processors until 2007 and it was largely used in embedded devices.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by gagol on Thu 13th Dec 2012 00:20 in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
gagol Member since:
2012-05-16

Sure, new embedded projects will use cpu that has not been manufactured for 5 years, let alone requiring the latest kernel. It is not like older versions of the kernel will vanish overnight.

Reply Parent Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

There are plenty of existing devices that might use it. I have no idea on the embedded support. Pretending it doesn't exist is being an arsehole. They were obviously wanted from 1985 to 2007, so I think there are a fair few in existence.

I can understand why Linus wanted to get rid of it. I been coding on a new web project that is only modern web browsers and it has been like taking the shackles away.

EDIT: http://www.reghardware.com/2006/05/18/intel_cans_386_486_960_cpus/

They were still being actively used for ages.

Edited 2012-12-13 00:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

why would they continue to use such an inefficient processor? ARM is much much much better for those systems.

Reply Parent Score: 5

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It doesn't really matter on some machines some are large beasts like washing machines.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by znby on Thu 13th Dec 2012 10:54 in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
znby Member since:
2012-02-03

If you have something like, let's say an aircraft flight computer, or anything that needs to be 100% reliable, you don't want to make any changes to the hardware or software design unless it's absolutely necessary to prevent the reliability being affected by software changes, or even bugs in the hardware (embedded chips for military/avionics applications tend to be older models which have been refined to get rid of errata detected during production for mainstream markets)

This leads to all sorts of problems - There was a rumour a few years ago that NASA was buying up stocks of original IBM PCs (and clones) off eBay because it needed some 8088s for some testing equipment for the space shuttle, and it couldn't get them anywhere else. The folks who manufacture and support the F-22 Raptor jet have the problem whereby the onboard computers use i960s, and the development suite only runs on VAX/VMS.

But I doubt any of the above run Linux, these chips were probably kept in production for 15 years to support things that predated Linux.

Edited 2012-12-13 10:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by gilboa on Thu 13th Dec 2012 06:22 in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

A lot of embedded developers are going to be upset.

Intel was still producing 386 and 486 processors until 2007 and it was largely used in embedded devices.


You do understand that nothing stops developers from maintaining 3.7.x until their last i386 chip dies, right?

... Much like they did w/ 2.4 until the ***interest*** in maintaining it dropped.

Let alone the fact that all the embedded users around me (and I know quite a lot of them) either use ARM or ATOMs these days.

I would venture and guess that the only one upset about this move is, well, you.
Feel free to maintain your own kernel tree. Trust me, its not that hard.

- Gilboa

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by znby on Thu 13th Dec 2012 10:39 in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
znby Member since:
2012-02-03

Ever consider that they may be running an embedded OS that isn't Linux based?

Reply Parent Score: 2