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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It's the right move
by ingraham on Wed 12th Dec 2012 23:57 UTC
ingraham
Member since:
2006-05-20

I absolutely think this is the right move. While support for old machines is definitely an advantage for Linux, is anybody actually trying to boot a modern distro like Ubuntu or Fedora on a 386? No! Anybody who needs a machine that old for some reason does not also need the most modern software. I wouldn't mind if they dropped 486 support. We're coming up on 20 years since the introduction of the Pentium. Naturally, there will be a very vocal minority that feels removing 486 support signifies the start of the apocalypse, but I think the actual re-world impact of such a move would be negligible.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's the right move
by Kivada on Thu 13th Dec 2012 04:19 in reply to "It's the right move"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Well they actually could, anyone looking to make their own unlicensed x86 based CPU can already start at the i586 iirc, theres a little known x86 manufacturer called Xcore86 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xcore86 that produces 1Ghz i586 based SoCs with DDR2 and PCIe support.

The board looks pretty interesting http://www.vortex86dx.com/?page_id=286

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: It's the right move
by Morgan on Thu 13th Dec 2012 11:09 in reply to "RE: It's the right move"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Reminds me of the AMD Geode based thin client I have in the closet. 16MB of onboard storage with no upgrade path there (proprietary flash based "disk") so it's limited to a 2.4 series Linux based OS, or its original WinCE software.

For a time I had Tiny Core Linux running on it, and it was very fast for what it was. But it had no practical use once I got my first Raspberry Pi so now it collects dust.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: It's the right move
by Luke McCarthy on Sat 15th Dec 2012 00:13 in reply to "It's the right move"
Luke McCarthy Member since:
2005-07-06

If it were me I would drop 32-bit x86 altogether, but I guess that is too radical a step at the moment and I guess someone is probably still using 32-bit machines.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: It's the right move
by zima on Wed 19th Dec 2012 14:18 in reply to "RE: It's the right move"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, that would be too soon - only 2 or 3 years ago Intel was still selling 32bit CPUs (netbook Atoms); not sure if all mobile Atoms (in phones running Android) are 64 bit...

Then there's also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X32_ABI & https://sites.google.com/site/x32abi/ project, apparently from Intel (for mobile phone Atoms?), which I guess depends somewhat on the continuing existence of 32bit x86 support in Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 2