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Old 11-11-2011, 01:59 AM
Tim Gardner
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

On 11/10/2011 08:14 AM, Tim Gardner wrote:

On 11/09/2011 03:14 PM, Colin Watson wrote:

Does KVM work properly with PAE kernels at the moment? I've had trouble
with it within the last six months, and when running server
installations I've had to tweak them on the fly to install the generic
kernel in order that I could boot the installed system.



This just seems like a bug. If we don't address it early in this cycle,
then what incentive would we have to address it during the 12.10 dev cycle?



I tested this on Precise today using testdrive on a 32 bit PAE server
kernel to host a 32 bit Precise PAE guest kernel. Similarly, I also
tested using a 64 bit host and a 32 bit PAE guest kernel.


Are those combinations sufficient ?

rtg
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:03 AM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

On Wed, 2011-11-09 at 14:43 -0700, Tim Gardner wrote:
> 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.

Assuming that '400Mhz Pentium M' means the 'Banias' models with a
400 MHz FSB, this agrees with my understanding of PAE support.

> 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.

I agree. In Debian testing/unstable we replaced the '686' flavour with
'686-pae', with a check on installation to tell people if it won't work.
There's been very little complaint about this, though of course we do
maintain a non-PAE flavour.

> If there is sufficient community demand (and support), I would be
> willing to sponsor the first non-PAE kernel upload to Universe.
[...]

Coincidentally, none of those non-PAE processors support SMP (at least
not in the standard way Linux supports). So if you have a specifically
non-PAE flavour it's a useful optimisation to configure it as !SMP.

Ben.

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Old 11-11-2011, 06:02 AM
Julien Lavergne
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 08:14:14 -0700
Tim Gardner <tim.gardner@canonical.com> wrote:

> As far as I can tell there hasn't been a mass produced non-PAE cpu in
> over 5 years that we (as a distro) care about. The consumer grade
> electronics lifecycle is _well_ below 5 years. Furthermore, the distro
> focus has been desktop with high performance 3D graphics and servers.
> Where do non-PAE CPUs fit in that world? There are better distro choices
> to fill that niche.

This type of hardware is the main target for Lubuntu. After reading some replies, it seems that more hardwares are affected by this. Depending of this list of affected hardwares, it may just kill the idea of Lubuntu (keeping people in Ubuntu universe, even if they use an old computer).

I also don't think it's wise to do it just before an LTS. Last time hardware support was dropped, it was for 10.10, making possible to send people affected to 10.04 with its LTS support.

Regards,
Julien Lavergne

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Old 11-11-2011, 06:19 AM
Martin Pool
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

On 11 November 2011 04:01, Mackenzie Morgan <macoafi@gmail.com> wrote:
> Among gamer nerds or among people whose needs ubuntu can actually fill: the
> ones who just need a web browser and a word processor?
>
> My experience with the latter group is that until the hardware craps out,
> they have no intention of spending money on a new one. Dad got rid of the
> pentium 2 when the motherboard died less than a year ago. Mom still has a c
> 2002 system running Ubuntu, and I'm pretty sure the last time any of their
> friends asked me to fix a windows blue screen it was well over 5 years old
> too.
>
> Computers are replaced as frequently as refrigerators by people who don't
> care how quickly it loads a page or makes ice: when it stops turning on.

Those people are probably not upgrading their refrigerator firmware
all that often either. They may not want a major new OS release.
They might install an update/backport of a particular app.

There is a group of people who want the latest-and-greatest software
on old or small hardware, but they're necessarily the crowd you're
describing here.

m

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Old 11-11-2011, 11:18 AM
John Arbash Meinel
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

...


Computers are replaced as frequently as refrigerators by people who don't
care how quickly it loads a page or makes ice: when it stops turning on.


Those people are probably not upgrading their refrigerator firmware
all that often either. They may not want a major new OS release.
They might install an update/backport of a particular app.

There is a group of people who want the latest-and-greatest software
on old or small hardware, but they're necessarily the crowd you're
describing here.

m



I think you mean 'not necessarily'. I agree, though I know we dealt with
a lot of this in our 'bzr python-compatibility' discussions. In that
particular case it was "we don't want to upgrade the OS, or even the
system libraries/python version, but we do want to upgrade a given
application". Which is a different level than "we don't want to upgrade
our hardware, but we do want to upgrade all of the OS and applications."


Certainly it is a bit different when one upgrade is $$ and the other is
free.


Still, it seems an open question for how to handle users that want the
latest-and-greatest X, but don't want the latest-and-greatest Y, even
though X depends on Y.


John
=:->

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Old 11-12-2011, 06:50 AM
Martin Pool
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

On 11 November 2011 23:18, John Arbash Meinel <john@arbash-meinel.com> wrote:
> ...
>
>>> Computers are replaced as frequently as refrigerators by people who don't
>>> care how quickly it loads a page or makes ice: when it stops turning on.
>>
>> Those people are probably not upgrading their refrigerator firmware
>> all that often either. *They may not want a major new OS release.
>> They might install an update/backport of a particular app.
>>
>> There is a group of people who want the latest-and-greatest software
>> on old or small hardware, but they're necessarily the crowd you're
>> describing here.
>
> I think you mean 'not necessarily'.

Yes, it was just a typo.

> I agree, though I know we dealt with a
> lot of this in our 'bzr python-compatibility' discussions. In that
> particular case it was "we don't want to upgrade the OS, or even the system
> libraries/python version, but we do want to upgrade a given application".
> Which is a different level than "we don't want to upgrade our hardware, but
> we do want to upgrade all of the OS and applications."
>
> Certainly it is a bit different when one upgrade is $$ and the other is
> free.
>
> Still, it seems an open question for how to handle users that want the
> latest-and-greatest X, but don't want the latest-and-greatest Y, even though
> X depends on Y.

Right, that's why I think many of those people are better served by
updating whatever particular apps they care about. That's why we
provide current-stable and current-beta bzr ppas going back to quite
old OS releases: telling them to upgrade the whole thing won't fly.

Few of those apps are are not going to need or even notice a newer kernel.

Upgrading the kernel and X on old hardware that's already running a
supported OS release is generally a risk with little reward.

m

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Old 11-13-2011, 03:13 PM
Dotan Cohen
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 09:19, Martin Pool <mbp@canonical.com> wrote:
>> Computers are replaced as frequently as refrigerators by people who don't
>> care how quickly it loads a page or makes ice: when it stops turning on.
>
> Those people are probably not upgrading their refrigerator firmware
> all that often either. *They may not want a major new OS release.
> They might install an update/backport of a particular app.
>

I am not aware of replacement refrigerator software. I do know of
people who for a variety of reasons continue to use perfectly
serviceable hardare from the early 2000S. In fact, one library that I
service is still using some ancient machine for their catalog that was
running on Windows 98 until a few months ago. It is now an Ubuntu
machine running wine. I do not remember which version of Ubuntu, but
it runs perfectly fine on that 13-year-old hardware.


> There is a group of people who want the latest-and-greatest software
> on old or small hardware, but they're necessarily the crowd you're
> describing here.
>

I doubt that these people need latest-and-greatest software, but they
do need supported software. That is the argument for keeping the
non-PAE kernel in the LTS release.


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Old 11-13-2011, 04:58 PM
John Meinel
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

If the hardware is from 2000+ then it is likely to have PAE support. And running Win 98 just means it wasn't older than that. Win 2000 was a business version, and XP as the next consumer version didn't come out until Oct 2001.



What I saw on Intel's site is that roughly 1999 is when everything had PAE.


So the question is how old is too old, eventually there will be a cutoff, 12 years is pretty long. Plus the time that O is still supported. So close to 15 years total.


John

=:->

On Nov 13, 2011 6:21 PM, "Dotan Cohen" <dotancohen@gmail.com> wrote:
On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 09:19, Martin Pool <mbp@canonical.com> wrote:

>> Computers are replaced as frequently as refrigerators by people who don't

>> care how quickly it loads a page or makes ice: when it stops turning on.

>

> Those people are probably not upgrading their refrigerator firmware

> all that often either. *They may not want a major new OS release.

> They might install an update/backport of a particular app.

>



I am not aware of replacement refrigerator software. I do know of

people who for a variety of reasons continue to use perfectly

serviceable hardare from the early 2000S. In fact, one library that I

service is still using some ancient machine for their catalog that was

running on Windows 98 until a few months ago. It is now an Ubuntu

machine running wine. I do not remember which version of Ubuntu, but

it runs perfectly fine on that 13-year-old hardware.





> There is a group of people who want the latest-and-greatest software

> on old or small hardware, but they're necessarily the crowd you're

> describing here.

>



I doubt that these people need latest-and-greatest software, but they

do need supported software. That is the argument for keeping the

non-PAE kernel in the LTS release.





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Old 11-13-2011, 08:26 PM
Dotan Cohen
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

On Sun, Nov 13, 2011 at 19:58, John Meinel <john@arbash-meinel.com> wrote:
> If the hardware is from 2000+ then it is likely to have PAE support. And
> running Win 98 just means it wasn't older than that. Win 2000 was a business
> version, and XP as the next consumer version didn't come out until Oct 2001.
>
> What I saw on Intel's site is that roughly 1999 is when everything had PAE.
>
> So the question is how old is too old, eventually there will be a cutoff, 12
> years is pretty long. Plus the time that O is still supported. So close to
> 15 years total.
>
> John

Thanks, John. The next time I am in that library I will check exactly
what hardware is in there, and which Ubuntu it is running. I think
that the point was made, though: Ubuntu is
often/sometimes/occasionally used to breathe new life into working
hardware. Please do not take that benefit away.

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Old 11-14-2011, 12:15 AM
Dan Chen
 
Default Dropping i386 non-PAE as a supported kernel flavour in Precise Pangolin

On Nov 13, 2011 6:03 PM, "Dotan Cohen" <dotancohen@gmail.com> wrote:

> that the point was made, though: Ubuntu is

> often/sometimes/occasionally used to breathe new life into working

> hardware. Please do not take that benefit away.


Given the points in this discussion, I think that it's reasonable to propose that a non-PAE kernel remain supported for 12.04 LTS. At some point the maintenance burden on the Canonical kernel team far outweighs the common use case of current minus three years of computing hardware.



Cheers,

-Dan

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