Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

Amir Eldor amir.eldor at gmail.com
Wed Nov 9 21:53:26 UTC 2011

Hello Tim,

The only reason I see for keeping support of weird old CPUs is for people
who have an old computer and they would like to linux-ize it. I'm not sure
if the "old" of today are computers running with powerpc or non-PAE CPUs,
so my original claim might be void.

I think these kind of computers will probably won't be installed with
Ubuntu at all, but X/Lubuntu might be a choice for them. As I understand
the kernel of Ubuntu is shared between the 'sister-releases', am I right?


On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 11:43 PM, Tim Gardner <tim.gardner at canonical.com>wrote:

> Per discussion at UDS the kernel team is proposing to drop the non-PAE
> i386 flavour. The upgrade path for non-PAE users will be the PAE kernel.
> Those CPUs that do not have i686 and PAE support will be orphaned. To the
> best of my knowledge, these include Intel CPUs prior to Pentium II, 400Mhz
> Pentium M, VIA C3, and Geode LX. As far as I know, there are no laptop or
> desktop class CPUs being produced that do not meet these minimum
> requirements.
> Before I do something that is difficult to revert, I would like to hear
> from the development community why we should continue to maintain a kernel
> flavour that is (in my opinion) getting increasingly low utilization. It is
> my feeling that an extremely high percentage of users of the non-PAE kernel
> have a CPU that is PAE capable.
> If there is sufficient community demand (and support), I would be willing
> to sponsor the first non-PAE kernel upload to Universe.
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/**KernelTeam/Specs/**PreciseKernelConfigReview<https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/Specs/PreciseKernelConfigReview>
> We'll be conducting a similar survey for powerpc.
> rtg
> P.S. For those of you that are totally confused by this email, PAE
> (Physical Address Extension) was an addition to 32 bit x86 CPUs that
> allowed them to address more then 4GB physical memory.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Physical_Address_Extension<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension>
> --
> Tim Gardner tim.gardner at canonical.com
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