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

On Mon, Dec 07, 2020 at 07:55:11PM +0000, Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
> Dear release team
> There seems to be only one maintainer.

Still true as far as I can see - others have stepped up to test i386 
executables but no more developers.

> Is i386 going to be supportable for the next 3 1/2 years and buildable for
> that long (given that almost all machines are now 64 bit capable and we're
> having to build some packages on amd64 for i386 - per ballombe)?

>From the discussion: we have some choices:

** Continue building i386 as now

** Build a smaller subsystem to facilitate running old i386 binaries

** Build a system using amd64 kernel and 32 bit userland

** Abandon i386 to VMs and emulation

Security support may well be a problem in any event.

> Also asking because this came up over the weekend when working with the Debian
> Images team - no one has real UEFI hardware for i386 and it's becoming harder
> and hader to justify spending too much time on testing of the images as fewer
> and fewer machines can benefit from them.

Most i386 only hardware is obsolescent: there are some numbers of 64 bit 
processor 32 bit firmware, limited memory netbooks out there limited to 4G 

Numbers from popcon may include VMS and emulation.

Some good people on debian-user have been kind enough to test this on real 
i686 hardware: live CDs and the Calamares installer have problems 
working on low memory machines.

> What are your thoughts, collectively? [I did ask one of you as an individual
> but he suggested respectfully and correctly that I should ask you all - thanks
> to him for the polite response].

Have I outlined the alternatives above correctly from my reading of the list?

Are we any closer to a resolution or suggestion of how best to move forward?

> All the very best to you all and with thanks, as ever, for all your work
> Andy C.
And a happy new year to all as well :)

Andy C

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