[Lubuntu-qa] Xubuntu reverting to non-pae kernel?

Yorvyk yorvik.ubunto at googlemail.com
Sat Mar 17 19:13:25 UTC 2012

On Sat, 17 Mar 2012 12:37:48 -0400 (EDT)
Paul Gorski <paul at gorski.info> wrote:

>  I am confused.
> Switch to Non-PAE to make the product more compatible with older hardware, but eliminate the non-SMP kernel and put the older hardware at a slight disadvantage?
> The only difference is that the users won't have the opportunity to choose non-SMP or SMP if the SMP version results in a small performance hit.

There are two issues here.  The first is the PAE kernel which affects x86 CPUs and the second SMP which effects PPC CPUs.
The former is the more important.
The SMP kernel works with G3 PPC onwards and causes a slight performance hit that is only really detectable via benchmarking.  In fact you'd be hard pushed to find a x86 distro that doesn't have an SMP kernel by default and very, very few have complained about performance problems.
The x86 PAE kernel, on the other hand, is a problem as it will not boot an all CPUs available in the last 10 years.  Most notably the Pentium M, of which there appears to be quite a few around.
If Xubuntu are going the non-PAE route, we will not be alone and therefore should go along with them.  This will have advantages come 12.10 when it is proposed to drop the non-PAE kernel.  We, Lubuntu and Xubuntu, may be able to produce some figures that would support keeping the non-PAE kernel.


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