Retirement of the lpia architecture

Steve Kowalik stevenk at
Tue Nov 24 05:00:04 GMT 2009


    The state of lpia in 9.10 is largely unusable, and continued support
is expected to require significant effort by many parties, including:

 * upstream developers using launchpad PPAs
 * Ubuntu Developers, including kernel, toolchain, and application
 * Other community members involved in Ubuntu development, either
watching build failures, or working with PPAs.
 * Canonical infrastructure support staff
 * Third-party application vendors providing binary packages

    Recent announcements by Intel indicate that processors supported by
the lpia architecture are expected to remain compatible with the IA32
instruction set, so there is a reduced expectation of the need to retain
a separate architecture to address future requirements.  As of 9.10,
lpia and i386 share the kernel configuration, reducing most of the
benefits potentially available in previous Ubuntu releases.

    During a discussion at the Lucid Lynx Ubuntu Developer Summit on the
future of the architecture, all participants agreed that retiring the
architecture would be a net benefit to Ubuntu.  Several participants
volunteered to investigate the performance and power consumption of lpia
vs. i386, with the intention of bringing these improvements forward in
future releases.

    Existing users of lpia may expect support for the regular support
periods, but will no longer be able to upgrade directly to Lucid or
future releases.  Further, on investigation, upgrades to Karmic are not
recommended due to the limited maintenance performed on the release.
These users are encouraged to test a recent i386 release on their
hardware, and any hardware support discrepancies between the
architectures will be addressed promptly.  Affected users are encouraged
to reinstall affected systems sometime prior to end of life for 9.04.

On behalf of the Ubuntu Mobile team

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