Dropping pre-i686 from the archive
diablod3 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 14:07:09 GMT 2006
On Tuesday 03 January 2006 10:13, Jeff Bailey wrote:
> One of the last issues on the ToolchainRoadmapNg spec to be resolved is
> whether or not we should keep support for older than i686 processors.
> The issue arose during BOFs at both UDU and UBZ for two main reasons:
> 1) In practise almost everyone has one, so the libc6-i686 gets quite a
> bit of exercise, and the plain libc does not. libc6-i686 is installed
> as part of ubuntu-minimal.
But does this make it incompatible with 386s?
> 2) Upstream GCC authors primarily develop on and test for i686 rather
> than i486. GCC lists "i686-pc-linux-gnu" specifically as a Primary
But gcc automatically compiles things compatible for us. Rarely does anyone
have to manually tweak a program designed to work on 386s to work on 386s.
> Ubuntu has so far had support for the older architectures based partly
> on our Debian heritage but more specifically because we wanted to make
> sure that we are accessible in areas where modern hardware isn't
> available and because Ubuntu should be usable on small systems like
486s are starting to become less and less common, due to the hardware
literally dying of old age, but Pentiums and non-686 newer processors are
still quite common. As such, K6s, which are not 686 compatible, are still
> With Dapper being supported for 3 years on the desktop on 5 years on the
> server, the Dapper+1 release seems a logical place to revisit these
> policies. The counter arguments to each of these are:
> 1) The Pentium Pro (the first i686) was released in 1995. At the
> point when Dapper expires, it will have been around for 16 years.
> Hardware older than that seems to be stretching the definition of
> "Modern" slightly. =) From a desktop point of view, OpenOffice2
> performs extremely poorly on relatively recent hardware, so our
> desktop target is generally not older hardware anyway.
Actually, a friend of mine still uses a dual ppro with a gig of memory, and
even OO2 flies on it.
> 2) i486 for small / embedded systems like routers is an ideal target for
µbuntu is an ideal for platforms with less than 256 megs, actually. Even now,
the default Gnome desktop in Ubuntu is painful on my Duron 1ghz /w 256 megs.
I could see people running it on machines a mere 5 years old.
I propose this, if you want ubuntu-desktop to be optimized further,
optimization should be done for 586s, and µbuntu should be optimized for 486s
and have a very light desktop environment that works in 64 megs or less.
Patrick "Diablo-D3" McFarland || diablod3 at gmail.com
"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids,
we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and
listening to repetitive electronic music." -- Kristian Wilson, Nintendo,
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