While many Linux enthusiasts like to cite Linux’s stellar support for older hardware platforms, in reality that isn’t always the case. For instance with many old X.Org user-space mode-setting drivers for powering old graphics cards at least for display purposes, they can no longer even build with with modern toolchains/software components. Given the lack of bug reports around such issues, there are very likely few users trying some of these vintage hardware combinations.
Longtime X.Org developer Alan Coopersmith of Oracle recently looked at going through all of the available X.Org drivers that aren’t in an archived state and seeing how they fare — with a goal of at least setting them up for simple continuous integration (CI) builds on GitLab.
This is the inevitable result of hardware that was often already obscure and rare when it was new – let alone now, decades later. All we can hope for is a few people still carrying this hardware to donate either time or hardware to aid in keeping these drivers building and running.