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Upgrades Linux

Linux Nukes 386 Support 464

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the upgrade-time dept.
sfcrazy writes with news that Linus pulled a patch by Ingo Molnar to remove support for the 386 from the kernel. From Ingo's commit log: "Unfortunately there's a nostalgic cost: your old original 386 DX33 system from early 1991 won't be able to boot modern Linux kernels anymore. Sniff." Linus adds: "I'm not sentimental. Good riddance."
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Linux Nukes 386 Support

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  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @11:38AM (#42260965) Journal

    The historical significance of this of course is that Linux was originally written to specifically target the 80386, and it was written with the 386 with *no* portability in mind. So it no longer supports the CPU it was originally written for.

  • by Sique (173459) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @12:17PM (#42261409) Homepage
    The last original 80386 from Intel was made in 2007.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @12:27PM (#42261527)

    Every second missive from our dear leader seems to underline how little sentimentality he has or, conversely, how single-mindedly he is focused on practicality. Either he is a heartless bastard (which isn't impossible given the cruel tone of some of his public talks, especially his infamous Git talk at Google), or he is a soft-hearted mope trying to cover up, probably to gain approval from his father.

    Either way, I don't trust a person who says 'good riddance' to the processor that started him out in life.

  • Look at the patch. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bored (40072) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @12:42PM (#42261737)

    Sometimes, it seems these "removal" patches are more for religious reasons (aka break it on purpose) than any kind of technical ones. Same thing when firefox removed PPC or windows 2k support.

    In fact I bet if you compiled a non SMP linux kernel it probably still works (assuming it does actually still work on a 486/pentium), as the majority of the patches are related to CAS and page invalidation, which aren't really necessary anyway.

  • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @12:49PM (#42261849) Homepage
    Mac SE/30 (1989) as my home webserver [homeunix.net]. But it's running NetBSD.
  • by Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @01:01PM (#42262079)
    A couple of years ago I installed Damn Small Linux on a Gateway 2000 I pulled out of a dumpster. It was a 486 machine, and DSL worked reasonably well. DSL came with vim and I installed elinks from a .deb and compiled Pine and pretty soon had the same setup I did in the computer lab back in 1992. In September 2012 DSL put out their first release in 4 years, with very minimal changes from their 2008 release. I assume that it will still work on a 486. I don't know if a distro with a 2.4.31 kernel can be called "modern", but at least it's "recent".
  • Re:Dammit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by weiserfireman (917228) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @02:19PM (#42263143) Homepage

    I worked for Micro in the early 90's. I loaded up a 386 with 256MB of RAM. We made expansion slots that fit into the ISA slots. I filled every ISA slot with a fully loaded expansion card.

    When the PC booted, I had the AutoExec.BAT create a Huge RAM drive, then copy the contents of the Windows directory to the RAM drive and launch Windows from the RAM drive. When we shutdown, we ran a batch file that copied the RAM drive back to the Hard drive.

    It was the fastest Windows 3.1 system in the company.

    First time I ran a computer with a Flash Drive on it, it felt like that old system.

  • Re:Dammit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by demonlapin (527802) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @04:07PM (#42264559) Homepage Journal
    While I don't know the product line, Wikipedia says the S81 had a minimum of two processors, making that 192 MB/processor. Still, impressive at the time. I remember buying a 486/66 in 1993 with 16 MB of memory and a 540 MB hard drive (Connor, may they rest in hell, that sucker was fast but never played nice on an IDE bus with another drive). That was a hardcore piece of work for the average Joe at the time and cost me almost $5000.

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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