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Re: Release status of i386 for Bullseye and long term support for 3 years?

On Mon, 2020-12-14 at 10:02 -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:

> One possible intermediate option shy of dropping the i386 architecture
> would be to drop the i386 kernel and instead help all i386 installs
> switch
> to the amd64 kernel while still running i386 binaries.  (That said, this
> will obviously not work on actual i386 hardware, and I don't know if it
> has other issues that I personally happened not to notice.)

As I showed in my (slightly over dramatic, very over-long) email this
morning, there are more people with i386 kernels than there are total
users of every other release architecture.  Even if you only look at non-
pae kernels, its still about double the total installs for any two other
release architectures.

Since (AFAIK) there is a substantial speed penalty to installing a non-pae
kernel on a -pae processor, I don't see there being a lot of users running
that.  Further, because installations of old distributions still report
popcon information, I can also tell you that the i486, which is even older
than the i586 that was dropped in Stretch, and was deprecated in 2014,
still has more installs than all but 3 of the release architectures:
armel, armhf, amd64, and i386.  

Keep in mind, too, that these are wildly unfair comparisons: I'm comparing
"people with x specific kernel package" to "people with some package from
that architecture".  The point I'm making is that i386 processors are
still incredibly common, and we shouldn't abandon their users.

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