Re: Release status of i386 for Bullseye and long term support for 3 years?
Then there was the short netbook boom, but AFAIR some early ones
had 64bit CPUs but 32bit-only firmware.
My memory is that at the height of the boom the dominant processors
were the N270 and N280, which are 32-bit only. By the time 64-bit
netbook processors showed up the boom was on the decline.
There are at least two more:
5. People running Debian on virtual machines.
You can run an i386 VM with vmware or virtualbox with no special
hardware support. An x86-64 VM on the other hand requires VT-x
(or the AMD equivilent). While processor support for this is
the norm nowadays it's still often disabled by default
which can be a pain if you need to get IT support to access
bios setup on a machine.
i386 hardware is so numerous and widely spread, that every tiny fraction
of i386 users might be more users than half of our release architectures
combined. It is not even clear whether this is just an exaggeration or
might be literally true:
i386 still gives 17281 popcon submissions, that is about
a tenth of amd64, but it's also over 10 times the next highest port
Now that probably doesn't reflect true usage, in particular
users who install using images tend to miss out on the popcon
question, but I still suspect that i386 is up there in the top
few most used architectures.