Sorry Intel 386-DX/SX Owners, No New Linux for You!

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News Posted: Thu, Dec 13 2012 12:29 PM
The next version of Linux will not support Intel 386 processors. That's bad news if you haven't upgraded your machine in, oh, 20 years or so, but other than for the sake of nostalgia (and to give those old machines some real-world purpose), the discontinuation of support for old CPUs isn't likely to send shock waves through the Linux community.

"This tree removes ancient 386 CPU support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity, which has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years," Linux developer Ingo Molnar wrote in a message to Linus Torvalds.

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In doing so, Molnar acknowledged that "there's a nostalgic cost" and all those old 386 DX/SX systems from the early 1990s won't be able to boot into a modern Linux environment anymore (starting with Linux 3.8), but that doesn't seem to bother Torvalds.

"I'm not sentimental. Good riddance," Torvalds replied.

So that's it. Starting with Linux 3.8, those old CPUs that first appeared in 1985 will no longer be supported. Torvalds also considered removing FPU emulation support, which would knock out 486 CPUs as well, but ultimately decided against it.

Torvalds on Monday launched Linux 3.7 after a last minute delay that led to an extra Release Candidate.
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RWilliams replied on Thu, Dec 13 2012 1:50 PM

"That's bad news if you haven't upgraded your machine in, oh, 20 years or so"

LOL

I admit i'm surprised even recent kernels have supported it. Haven't thought much about that.

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Dorkstar replied on Thu, Dec 13 2012 1:52 PM

Why did this take so long?  Is there even any reason to run a 386/486 anymore?  I just can't wrap my head around a logical use for these systems.  I can understand the cost being cheap, but so is a P4.

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This is a good thing. It's time to move on people! Heck, if you have an 1386 or a 486 and you still use it, that system is like the terminator! How can it still run? D:

Jk, but they are definitely outdated to the point where I'm dumbfounded at the fact we still had support for them 5 years ago.

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OSunday replied on Thu, Dec 13 2012 11:38 PM

I'm going to say this is a really old CPU since I don't even know what it is...

I don't think PC's from the 1990's would still be in use much anyhow..

I feel like this is the kind of announcement you could not even announce and no one would notice

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Shadizzle replied on Fri, Dec 14 2012 12:22 AM

NOT MY 386!!!

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OSunday replied on Fri, Dec 14 2012 1:20 PM

Sarcasm?

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