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

Tim Gardner tim.gardner at canonical.com
Wed Nov 9 21:43:28 UTC 2011

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.


We'll be conducting a similar survey for powerpc.


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.

Tim Gardner tim.gardner at canonical.com

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