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Old 11-20-2011, 06:40 AM
Raphael Hertzog
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

On Sat, 19 Nov 2011, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> Also possibly:
> 6. DM&P/SiS Vortex86 and Vortex86SX. These supposedly have all
> 586-class features except an FPU, and we could probably keep FPU
> emulation for them.

FWIW, I do run Debian on such systems albeit with a custom kernel.
Given those CPU tend to be used in an "embedded" context I guess
it's ok if the official kernel does not support them. But it would be
nice if Debian's userspace could be kept compatible. Not sure what this
requires though...

Cheers,
--
Raphaël Hertzog ◈ Debian Developer

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Old 11-20-2011, 09:10 AM
David Goodenough
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

On Saturday 19 Nov 2011, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> The i386 architecture was the first in Linux and in Debian, but we have
> long since dropped support for the original i386-compatible processors
> and now require a minimum of a 486-class processor.
>
> I think it is time to increase the minimum requirement to 586-class, if
> not for wheezy then immediately after. (Later it should be increased
> further, and eventually i386 should be reduced to a partial architecture
> that may be installed on amd64 systems.) This would allow the use of
> optimisations and new instructions throughout userland that improve
> performance for the vast majority of users.
>
> The 486-class processors that would no longer be supported are:
> 1. All x86 processors with names including '486'
> 2. AMD Am5x86
> 3. Cyrix/IBM/ST 5x86, 6x86 and MediaGX
> 4. UMC U5D and U5S
> 5. AMD/NSC Geode GX1, Geode SC1100, Elan SC4xx and SC5xx
I am still running a bunch of systems with SC1100 processors on them.
They are (and always have been) running off the shelf Debian kernels
and I would much rather keep it that way.

David
> Also possibly:
> 6. DM&P/SiS Vortex86 and Vortex86SX. These supposedly have all
> 586-class features except an FPU, and we could probably keep FPU
> emulation for them.
>
> So far as I know, all processors in groups 1-5 have been out of
> production for several years. Soekris still advertises boards using the
> Geode SC1100 and Elan SC520, but they seem quite uncompetitive with
> ARM-based systems and at least the SC1100-based products are being
> EOL'd.
>
> Starting from version 2.6.24 or earlier (early 2008), Debian '486'
> kernel packages had a bug that caused them to crash on boot on 486-class
> processors, but this was not reported until early 2009 (#511703),
> suggesting that there were few users with such systems. Debian 7.0
> 'wheezy' should be released in late 2012 or early 2013 and in the
> intervening 4 years the numbers of running systems with such a processor
> will have declined still further.
>
> Ben.


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Old 11-20-2011, 10:39 AM
Goswin von Brederlow
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org> writes:

> Hi!
>
> On Sat, 2011-11-19 at 22:42:11 +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
>> The i386 architecture was the first in Linux and in Debian, but we have
>> long since dropped support for the original i386-compatible processors
>> and now require a minimum of a 486-class processor.
>>
>> I think it is time to increase the minimum requirement to 586-class, if
>> not for wheezy then immediately after. (Later it should be increased
>> further, and eventually i386 should be reduced to a partial architecture
>> that may be installed on amd64 systems.) This would allow the use of
>> optimisations and new instructions throughout userland that improve
>> performance for the vast majority of users.
>
> It seems gcc has been targetting i586 instruction set by default since
> gcc 4.4.0-1~exp1, although the triplet was not changed to match. On the
> discussion regarding multiarch tuples I proposed we should switch the
> triplet back to i386-linux-gnu to avoid this kind of confusion, fix the
> internal inconsistency and the one with other architectures (which do
> not track the base instruction set in the triplet) and so that we can
> use them directly as the multiarch tuples.
>
> For more details please see:
>
> <http://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2011/02/msg00061.html>
> <http://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2011/02/msg00039.html>
>
> regards,
> guillem

While I agree that the triplet should be unique for all the reasons
stated in the two mails I have to disagree with your conclusion to
change the gcc triplet to i386-linux-gnu.

A gcc compiling for i486-linux-gnu, i585-linux-gnu or even
i686-linux-gnu is not compiling for the i386-linux-gnu ABI. You would be
making the same mistake that arm does on i*86 too, making the triplet
not unique. You could have a "normal" gcc and a i386-linux-gnu-gcc
on your system.

MfG
Goswin


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Old 11-20-2011, 10:39 AM
Goswin von Brederlow
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org> writes:

> Hi!
>
> On Sat, 2011-11-19 at 22:42:11 +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
>> The i386 architecture was the first in Linux and in Debian, but we have
>> long since dropped support for the original i386-compatible processors
>> and now require a minimum of a 486-class processor.
>>
>> I think it is time to increase the minimum requirement to 586-class, if
>> not for wheezy then immediately after. (Later it should be increased
>> further, and eventually i386 should be reduced to a partial architecture
>> that may be installed on amd64 systems.) This would allow the use of
>> optimisations and new instructions throughout userland that improve
>> performance for the vast majority of users.
>
> It seems gcc has been targetting i586 instruction set by default since
> gcc 4.4.0-1~exp1, although the triplet was not changed to match. On the
> discussion regarding multiarch tuples I proposed we should switch the
> triplet back to i386-linux-gnu to avoid this kind of confusion, fix the
> internal inconsistency and the one with other architectures (which do
> not track the base instruction set in the triplet) and so that we can
> use them directly as the multiarch tuples.
>
> For more details please see:
>
> <http://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2011/02/msg00061.html>
> <http://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2011/02/msg00039.html>
>
> regards,
> guillem

While I agree that the triplet should be unique for all the reasons
stated in the two mails I have to disagree with your conclusion to
change the gcc triplet to i386-linux-gnu.

A gcc compiling for i486-linux-gnu, i585-linux-gnu or even
i686-linux-gnu is not compiling for the i386-linux-gnu ABI. You would be
making the same mistake that arm does on i*86 too, making the triplet
not unique. You could have a "normal" gcc and a i386-linux-gnu-gcc
on your system.

MfG
Goswin


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Old 11-20-2011, 10:39 AM
Goswin von Brederlow
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org> writes:

> Hi!
>
> On Sat, 2011-11-19 at 22:42:11 +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
>> The i386 architecture was the first in Linux and in Debian, but we have
>> long since dropped support for the original i386-compatible processors
>> and now require a minimum of a 486-class processor.
>>
>> I think it is time to increase the minimum requirement to 586-class, if
>> not for wheezy then immediately after. (Later it should be increased
>> further, and eventually i386 should be reduced to a partial architecture
>> that may be installed on amd64 systems.) This would allow the use of
>> optimisations and new instructions throughout userland that improve
>> performance for the vast majority of users.
>
> It seems gcc has been targetting i586 instruction set by default since
> gcc 4.4.0-1~exp1, although the triplet was not changed to match. On the
> discussion regarding multiarch tuples I proposed we should switch the
> triplet back to i386-linux-gnu to avoid this kind of confusion, fix the
> internal inconsistency and the one with other architectures (which do
> not track the base instruction set in the triplet) and so that we can
> use them directly as the multiarch tuples.
>
> For more details please see:
>
> <http://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2011/02/msg00061.html>
> <http://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2011/02/msg00039.html>
>
> regards,
> guillem

While I agree that the triplet should be unique for all the reasons
stated in the two mails I have to disagree with your conclusion to
change the gcc triplet to i386-linux-gnu.

A gcc compiling for i486-linux-gnu, i585-linux-gnu or even
i686-linux-gnu is not compiling for the i386-linux-gnu ABI. You would be
making the same mistake that arm does on i*86 too, making the triplet
not unique. You could have a "normal" gcc and a i386-linux-gnu-gcc
on your system.

MfG
Goswin


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Old 11-20-2011, 10:56 AM
Adrian Knoth
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

On Sun, Nov 20, 2011 at 08:40:47AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:

Hi!

> > 6. DM&P/SiS Vortex86 and Vortex86SX. These supposedly have all
> > 586-class features except an FPU, and we could probably keep FPU
> > emulation for them.
>
> FWIW, I do run Debian on such systems albeit with a custom kernel.
> Given those CPU tend to be used in an "embedded" context I guess
> it's ok if the official kernel does not support them. But it would be
> nice if Debian's userspace could be kept compatible.

On behalf of the multimedia camp, I'd like to point out that we'd love
to see SSE as the lowest common denominator on the x86 platform.

I'm fully aware that we can't, not even with i586 being the baseline.
Since many multimedia applications don't do runtime CPU detection, only
amd64 generally provides decent SIMD support to Debian users on x86
these days.


Long story short: userspace i386 compatibility would suck for
multimedia.


Just my €0.02

PS: That's basically why we have packages like ardour-i686.

--
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:04 PM
Vincent Danjean
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

Le 20/11/2011 12:56, Adrian Knoth a crit :

On behalf of the multimedia camp, I'd like to point out that we'd love
to see SSE as the lowest common denominator on the x86 platform.

I'm fully aware that we can't, not even with i586 being the baseline.
Since many multimedia applications don't do runtime CPU detection, only
amd64 generally provides decent SIMD support to Debian users on x86
these days.


Long story short: userspace i386 compatibility would suck for
multimedia.


Partial multi-arch aware architectures would be the perfect answer here.
(ie a i686 archive with only package/libs that are improved by using
the i686 instruction set)

<rant on>
When will dpkg multi-arch aware be available in sid ?
<rant off>

Regards,
Vincent

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Old 11-20-2011, 01:09 PM
Goswin von Brederlow
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

Adrian Knoth <adi@drcomp.erfurt.thur.de> writes:

> On Sun, Nov 20, 2011 at 08:40:47AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
>
> Hi!
>
>> > 6. DM&P/SiS Vortex86 and Vortex86SX. These supposedly have all
>> > 586-class features except an FPU, and we could probably keep FPU
>> > emulation for them.
>>
>> FWIW, I do run Debian on such systems albeit with a custom kernel.
>> Given those CPU tend to be used in an "embedded" context I guess
>> it's ok if the official kernel does not support them. But it would be
>> nice if Debian's userspace could be kept compatible.
>
> On behalf of the multimedia camp, I'd like to point out that we'd love
> to see SSE as the lowest common denominator on the x86 platform.
>
> I'm fully aware that we can't, not even with i586 being the baseline.
> Since many multimedia applications don't do runtime CPU detection, only
> amd64 generally provides decent SIMD support to Debian users on x86
> these days.
>
>
> Long story short: userspace i386 compatibility would suck for
> multimedia.
>
>
> Just my ?0.02
>
> PS: That's basically why we have packages like ardour-i686.

That's why you would have an i686 partial architecture with all the
multimedia stuff in there optimized.

MfG
Goswin


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Old 11-20-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

On Nov 19, Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> wrote:

> I think it is time to increase the minimum requirement to 586-class, if
> not for wheezy then immediately after.
I agree, it's time to weight the costs and benefits of supporting
obsolete hardware at the expense of most users.

> (Later it should be increased
> further, and eventually i386 should be reduced to a partial architecture
> that may be installed on amd64 systems.)
Yes, but how much later? :-)

--
ciao,
Marco
 
Old 11-20-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Default Increasing minimum 'i386' processor

On Nov 19, Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> wrote:

> I think it is time to increase the minimum requirement to 586-class, if
> not for wheezy then immediately after.
I agree, it's time to weight the costs and benefits of supporting
obsolete hardware at the expense of most users.

> (Later it should be increased
> further, and eventually i386 should be reduced to a partial architecture
> that may be installed on amd64 systems.)
Yes, but how much later? :-)

--
ciao,
Marco
 

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