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#1 2022-10-25 08:40:51

levi
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From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 1,179

Linus muses on the end of 486 support

Here, Linus considers dropping support for 486 class chips at some point potentially as soon as this year.

We got rid of i386 support back in 2012. Maybe it's time to get rid of
i486 support in 2022?

That way we could finally get rid of CONFIG_MATH_EMULATION too.


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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#2 2022-10-25 14:58:34

abaumann
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From: Zurich
Registered: 2019-11-14
Posts: 810
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Re: Linus muses on the end of 486 support

This would effectively put an end to the i486 branch IMHO.

Lately I even had issues running NetBSD on 486, so, maybe it's time to put a Windows 3.11 on those machines. :-)

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#3 2022-10-25 17:55:49

abaumann
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From: Zurich
Registered: 2019-11-14
Posts: 810
Website

Re: Linus muses on the end of 486 support

Loud thinking: we can keep a linux-lts kernel around, just blacklist linux from 6.1 upwards on i486 (anyway, if it requires rust, there is currently no rust
for i486 anyway). This would at least keep some things running on 486. Other things to be dropped on 486 likely are the fatter window managers:
Gnome, KDE, etc. Anything remotely modern like vulkan, wayland. But having a running old window manager like fvwm2, icewm, xfce even around on
old X11 based machines would still have some benefit. Firefox and Chromium are also out, midori is the only one somewhat usable, so there things
look worse.

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#4 2022-10-25 21:16:43

levi
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From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 1,179

Re: Linus muses on the end of 486 support

Don't forget netsurf; that originated on old 26-bit program counter ARM processors running an old single user OS, although I think the linux port depends on GTK, but as I recall XFCE uses GTK so that should be okay as well.

I assume the LTS kernels will still build for i486 but still get the latest security patches for a few months more, and as Linus says later in the linked thread, ancient computers deserve an ancient kernel anyway.  I guess those are still usable and actually secure provided your userspace doesn't do anything unusual like run any javascript and run only somewhat trustworthy software.

I note someone's has opened a bug (not me) with a similar intent: https://bugs.archlinux32.org/index.php? … ask_id=302

Edit: Yes, you've seen that already and linked back here.

Last edited by levi (2022-10-25 21:19:13)


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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