Hi all, As someone who runs amd64/i386 multiarch, this statement from Adrian: > 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: intrested me. I wondered just how many there were. Popcon lists 17281 people with i386 installations, but I bet that includes those who (like me) installed multiarch. So I grep'ed through the popcon output a bit, looking for kernel packages. I figure that, if you have an i386 kernel pacakge, you don't belong in the first group of people. Obviously you all can easily replicate this, and this only applies to users with popularity-contest installed, but here are my results: For a baseline, there are 181,863 amd64 users who are regularally sending popcon reports. Of those, 171,916 have the linux-image-amd64 package installed. I assume the remaining 5.4 percent are selecting what kernel package they are running manually, or perhaps are in a VM. The 13th most popular linux-image package is linux-image-686-pae, at 12,736 installs. It places ahead of every single 5.x kernel, indicating that there are more people running i386 (with some extensions) than there are running Testing or Unstable. Continuing down the list, the standard linux-image-686 package (no PAE) has 877 popcon installs. None of the other release archetecures have appeared yet: which isn't supprising, since every other popcon archetecure has a combined total of 1636 installs, the largest being armhf at 636 installs. I assume these people are the ones who would lose support: while some of them may have PAE capable computers, I don't think it's a significant fraction. Clearly, I have already proved Adrian's point: I can say, with certainty, that there are an order of magnitude more people with i386 kernels (and thus presumably i386 hardware) than there are for every other non-amd64 release archetecture combined. Further, there are more people with old i386 hardware than there are for any other arch. My point is that we would lose less people if we dropped all ARM support than if we dropped the oldest supported i386 kernel. But lets keep going! See, we haven't seen any arm kernal images yet, so who knows if they even exist? Remember, the ARM archectures are the biggest ones after i386. Next up, we hit linux-image-586, with 403 installs. That means there are 403 people who were unable to upgrade to stretch, but are still running Debian and popcon. That's presumably the lower limit for the number Adrian referenced as people who were upset with the increase in baseline, since again, all of those 403 people have used their 586 machine in the past month. Continuing down, we see linux-image-486, 310 installs. That's still more installations than arm64's total popcon. It's also been unsupported since 2014, but hey. Then we hit linux-image-marvell, which (as I understand it) is one of the arm versions. At 225 installs, its not terribly impressive. Its also the first non-amd64/i386 kernel that I hit on this list, and where I stop. This is supported as a first-class Debian citizen: and yet, the now dropped 486 still has more installations. Of course, the pace of technology marches on, and the 586 is an ancient chip. We were right to end support for it: it's not like any modern software would run well on such a processor. But there is still a large section of the debian userbase using the older 686 versions. Adrian is right to say that ending support for them isn't right. Wall of text meticulously analyzing the output of two commands aside, this was a bit fun to make! Now I'm off to bed in my bed: thanks for reading! Calum M : Okay, that's not strictly true: the total number of people reporting packages from each of the arm architectures is 1256. However, that involves three seperate sub-archetecures, and I am willing to bet there are a fair number of multi-arch arm users. But for strict correctness, pretend I said "all armhf and arm64 support", since those two total to only 10 more than the subset of i386 in question.
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