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Re: Defaulting to i686 for the Debian i386 architecture

Konstantin Khomoutov wrote...

> On Tue, 6 Oct 2015 18:52:28 +0300
> Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> wrote:
> > Would it be useful to have something like that script in a package? If
> > so, which package?
> To me, this is something to probably put into the release notes for the
> next release if the original proposition will have been implemented
> for it.

That was too late, assuming too many people will miss that
announcement in the release notes (if they read them at all). Usually,
the punishment for such laziness is broken dependencies or
configurations that need extra handwork to fix. In this case
however, people will find themselves with a completely broken system
once the first essential binaries have been updated and crash for
illegal instructions. This is too harsh.

Therefore there should be an extra safeguard against that situation.

A simple solution was to use base-files in all upcoming jessie point
release as the messenger "It appears your system will no longer be
supported in stretch, do not update".

The sane solution was to bootstrap a new architecture "i686" and use
multiarch cross-upgrade to switch, something that will hopefully be
almost as simple as a regular dist-upgrade by then. Using the "dpkg
--add-architecture" invocation for a CPU capability check and warning
sounds a bit strange, though. There might be better places, as long as
this happens before the first i686-only executable hits the file

Those users who ignore the instructions in the release notes will stay
on stretch until they realize their fault, and no harm done.
Additionally, this leaves the "i386" architecture name for any
volunteers who'd like to continue it as a debian-port.

Indeed I'd prefer the latter, but I'm probably not the one who will
have to implement it :)


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