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Old 02-14-2011, 09:23 AM
Bastian Blank
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

Hi folks

I'd like to drop the i686 non-pae kernel. Currently we have sometimes
-686 with PAE; only the normal kernel is without PAE. I'd like to get
rid of this problem. Also this enables the use of the NX bit if supported
by the CPU.

There are some i686 processors without PAE support. This are some of the
Pentium M (all of the Banias line and some of the Dothan line) and the
Via C3 Nehemiah. All of them are released 2005 and earlier.

There are several possibilities to do this:
* Change name of meta-package:
- Breaks nothing
- Needs manual intervention by anyone using it
* Don't change the name:
- Breaks some systems
- No manual intervention by the rest

Bastian

--
Earth -- mother of the most beautiful women in the universe.
-- Apollo, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" stardate 3468.1
 
Old 02-14-2011, 10:34 AM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On Mon, 2011-02-14 at 11:23 +0100, Bastian Blank wrote:
> Hi folks
>
> I'd like to drop the i686 non-pae kernel. Currently we have sometimes
> -686 with PAE; only the normal kernel is without PAE. I'd like to get
> rid of this problem. Also this enables the use of the NX bit if supported
> by the CPU.
>
> There are some i686 processors without PAE support. This are some of the
> Pentium M (all of the Banias line and some of the Dothan line) and the
> Via C3 Nehemiah. All of them are released 2005 and earlier.

Also Geode LX.

Are there any changes we could/should make to the 486 flavour that would
make it perform better on 686-class processors? Should we consider also
dropping 486 support and making it a 586 flavour with corresponding
optimisations?

> There are several possibilities to do this:
> * Change name of meta-package:
> - Breaks nothing
> - Needs manual intervention by anyone using it
> * Don't change the name:
> - Breaks some systems
> - No manual intervention by the rest

Rename 686-bigmem to 686. Keep the 686-bigmem metapackage as a dummy
package depending on the 686 metapackage (for one release). When the
686 metapackage is upgraded on a system that doesn't support PAE,
display a warning with debconf.

Ben.

--
Ben Hutchings
Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it makes it worse.
 
Old 02-14-2011, 11:11 AM
Bastian Blank
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 11:34:51AM +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> On Mon, 2011-02-14 at 11:23 +0100, Bastian Blank wrote:
> > There are some i686 processors without PAE support. This are some of the
> > Pentium M (all of the Banias line and some of the Dothan line) and the
> > Via C3 Nehemiah. All of them are released 2005 and earlier.
> Also Geode LX.

Ah, yes.

> Are there any changes we could/should make to the 486 flavour that would
> make it perform better on 686-class processors? Should we consider also
> dropping 486 support and making it a 586 flavour with corresponding
> optimisations?

The 486 flavour have only 8% of the usage of the 686 and steadily
dropping. Which CPU types would be affected?

> Rename 686-bigmem to 686. Keep the 686-bigmem metapackage as a dummy
> package depending on the 686 metapackage (for one release). When the
> 686 metapackage is upgraded on a system that doesn't support PAE,
> display a warning with debconf.

Okay.

Bastian

--
"... freedom ... is a worship word..."
"It is our worship word too."
-- Cloud William and Kirk, "The Omega Glory", stardate unknown


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Old 02-14-2011, 12:05 PM
David Goodenough
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On Monday 14 February 2011, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> On Mon, 2011-02-14 at 11:23 +0100, Bastian Blank wrote:
> > Hi folks
> >
> > I'd like to drop the i686 non-pae kernel. Currently we have sometimes
> > -686 with PAE; only the normal kernel is without PAE. I'd like to get
> > rid of this problem. Also this enables the use of the NX bit if supported
> > by the CPU.
> >
> > There are some i686 processors without PAE support. This are some of the
> > Pentium M (all of the Banias line and some of the Dothan line) and the
> > Via C3 Nehemiah. All of them are released 2005 and earlier.
>
> Also Geode LX.
There are also the Vortex86SX based boards which are showing up in a variety
of little embedded boards. I am not sure these will run with -586 (but I may
be wrong).

There are many embedded boards with Geode SC1100 boards out there as well,
PCEngines WRAP boards, and one of the Microtik boards. The Geode LX appears
in places like the PCEngines Alix boards which are very much still
current. Although some of these are are no longer manufacturered
they are still in the field. I have some 8 year old boards still doing
sterling service, and I would not like to be blocked from using current
software. In fact I have just upgrade one (an old Wrap card) to Squeeze
because it was easier to do that and then install the extra package I needed
that to search through the archives looking for old copied of the package
that were current at the time I build the system image.

David
>
> Are there any changes we could/should make to the 486 flavour that would
> make it perform better on 686-class processors? Should we consider also
> dropping 486 support and making it a 586 flavour with corresponding
> optimisations?
>
> > There are several possibilities to do this:
> >
> > * Change name of meta-package:
> > - Breaks nothing
> > - Needs manual intervention by anyone using it
> >
> > * Don't change the name:
> > - Breaks some systems
> > - No manual intervention by the rest
>
> Rename 686-bigmem to 686. Keep the 686-bigmem metapackage as a dummy
> package depending on the 686 metapackage (for one release). When the
> 686 metapackage is upgraded on a system that doesn't support PAE,
> display a warning with debconf.
>
> Ben.


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Old 02-14-2011, 12:33 PM
Bastian Blank
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 01:05:33PM +0000, David Goodenough wrote:
> There are also the Vortex86SX based boards which are showing up in a variety
> of little embedded boards. I am not sure these will run with -586 (but I may
> be wrong).

The website does not tell anything about supported instruction set.
Rumors tells me, that is is in fact a plain 486 instruction set.

> There are many embedded boards with Geode SC1100 boards out there as well,
> PCEngines WRAP boards, and one of the Microtik boards. The Geode LX appears
> in places like the PCEngines Alix boards which are very much still
> current.

The Geode LX only fails the PAE constraint. In theorie it should run fine with
a 586-kernel.

Bastian

--
Yes, it is written. Good shall always destroy evil.
-- Sirah the Yang, "The Omega Glory", stardate unknown


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Old 02-14-2011, 01:35 PM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 01:11:02PM +0100, Bastian Blank wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 11:34:51AM +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
[...]
> > Are there any changes we could/should make to the 486 flavour that would
> > make it perform better on 686-class processors? Should we consider also
> > dropping 486 support and making it a 586 flavour with corresponding
> > optimisations?
>
> The 486 flavour have only 8% of the usage of the 686 and steadily
> dropping. Which CPU types would be affected?
[...]

According to the Kconfig help, anything called 486 plus UMC U5D and U5S.
According to Wikipedia, the Cyrix 5x86, 6x86 and MediaGX and the
NatSemi/AMD Geode GX1 and SC1100 processors also use a 486-class core.
Kconfig has an option for GX1 which is the same as 486 modulo some bug
workarounds.

Ben.

--
Ben Hutchings
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.
- Albert Camus


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Old 02-14-2011, 01:37 PM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 02:33:38PM +0100, Bastian Blank wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 01:05:33PM +0000, David Goodenough wrote:
> > There are also the Vortex86SX based boards which are showing up in a variety
> > of little embedded boards. I am not sure these will run with -586 (but I may
> > be wrong).
>
> The website does not tell anything about supported instruction set.
> Rumors tells me, that is is in fact a plain 486 instruction set.
[...]

The Wikipedia article describes it as 586-class except for the lack
of FPU.

Ben.

--
Ben Hutchings
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.
- Albert Camus


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Old 02-14-2011, 10:14 PM
Cesare Leonardi
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On 14/02/2011 13:11, Bastian Blank wrote:

Are there any changes we could/should make to the 486 flavour that would
make it perform better on 686-class processors? Should we consider also
dropping 486 support and making it a 586 flavour with corresponding
optimisations?


The 486 flavour have only 8% of the usage of the 686 and steadily
dropping. Which CPU types would be affected?


Yes, but if you decide to drop the 686-non-pae flavour, you should
expect 486 raising. For example my notebook use a Pentium M Dothan
without pae support. :-(


But please, don't raise too much the system request of the basic 486
kernel: Debian's kernel is one of the few that i can run on very old
cpus. For example i've many K6-2 cpu that cannot run many live-CDs
because they need cmov support. Debian-live works good.
Switching from 486 to 586 i see the risk to cut out old hardware that is
still able to use Debian.


Ciao.

Cesare.


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Old 02-14-2011, 11:32 PM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On Tue, 2011-02-15 at 00:14 +0100, Cesare Leonardi wrote:
> On 14/02/2011 13:11, Bastian Blank wrote:
> >> Are there any changes we could/should make to the 486 flavour that would
> >> make it perform better on 686-class processors? Should we consider also
> >> dropping 486 support and making it a 586 flavour with corresponding
> >> optimisations?
> >
> > The 486 flavour have only 8% of the usage of the 686 and steadily
> > dropping. Which CPU types would be affected?
>
> Yes, but if you decide to drop the 686-non-pae flavour, you should
> expect 486 raising. For example my notebook use a Pentium M Dothan
> without pae support. :-(

Yes, that's what we expect.

> But please, don't raise too much the system request of the basic 486
> kernel: Debian's kernel is one of the few that i can run on very old
> cpus. For example i've many K6-2 cpu that cannot run many live-CDs
> because they need cmov support. Debian-live works good.
> Switching from 486 to 586 i see the risk to cut out old hardware that is
> still able to use Debian.

K6-2 is 586-class, so no problem for you. And of course some old PC
hardware would no longer be usable - just like the Alpha and PA-RISC
systems we dropped support for in squeeze.

Ben.

--
Ben Hutchings
Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it makes it worse.
 
Old 02-15-2011, 01:12 PM
Bastian Blank
 
Default Dropping 686 non-pae kernel

On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 11:34:51AM +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> Should we consider also
> dropping 486 support and making it a 586 flavour with corresponding
> optimisations?

I think we need to discuss that with -toolchain and -release.

Bastian

--
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100% Damage to life support!!!!


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