On Fri, Jun 20, 2003 at 09:51:07AM +0200, Matthias Klose wrote: > The solution I would favour would be: > > - drop the i386 support > > - keep the i386 architecture name > > - let dpkg-architecture output the new configuration string > (i.e. i486-linux) > > - if anybody wants to start the mini-i386 architecture, we have to > find an architecture name for it. > > changing the dpkg-architecture's ARCH string to i.e. i486 would break > a lot of build scripts ... > > comments welcome. [...] > Hmm... I'm not sure about this as the last time I used assembler was > in the times of real mode DOS, but there is a yet another option: > we can patch the kernel so when an invalid opcode occurs, whatever > instruction was at CS:EIP gets emulated in software, similar to the > way i387 emulation is done. > (arch/i386/kernel/entry.S) > Of course, this would further slow down the speed demon known as 80386, > but since (AFAIK) the 486-specific opcodes get used pretty rarely in > non-kernel code, the performance hit wouldn't be crippling. And, there > is no performance hit at all for >386 machines, as no legitimate process > ever triggers the invalid opcode fault. If this indeed feasible, then this is the solution that appeals most to me personally. * It seems the least intrusive. 80386 users are probably going to want and use an 80386-specific kernel, if they don't already *have* to. * Our hand is forced by the fact that the rest of the Linux distributors in the world, and apparently the GCC folks, don't care about C++ ABI portability to 80386 processors. * This doesn't require recompiling anything except the kernel. The drawbacks: * Someone actually has to write this kernel patch. Also, Herbert Xu, the 80386 kernel-flavor maintainer, would have to be agreeable, and I don't believe I saw him offer an opinion on this approach in this discussion. I believe it would be a mistake to kill off support for the 80386 chip. -- G. Branden Robinson | "There is no gravity in space." Debian GNU/Linux | "Then how could astronauts walk email@example.com | around on the Moon?" http://people.debian.org/~branden/ | "Because they wore heavy boots."
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