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Bug#319878: kernel-image-2.6-686: the entire range of 2.6 debian kernels do not install on m/cs with <= 48mb RAM


On Mon, 25 Jul 2005, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:

hi jurij,

i invite you to think ahead to when the 2.4 kernel is no longer

i invite you to consider where debian will stand at that time with
respect to older hardware.

should debian be possible to install on older hardware in two,
three years time, or should people who are not as fortunate and
as computer literate as yourself, myself and mr horms, either
throw the machine away or utilise an alternative distribution?

I am sure that if you would post a message containing the above
three paragraphs to the debian-kernel mailing list, you could have
started a nice and constructive discussion.

To answer your questions, Debian is dropping support for older hardware all the time. The pure 386 processors are no longer supported. Woody was the last release to support sun4c, older Sun machines, and it looks like support for all 32-bit sparc hardware might be dropped for etch. And there is a chance that for architectures for which 2.6 works well, 2.4 kernel will not be included in it.

In the end of the day, it all comes to the question of whether it is worth to jeopardize the interests of majority of the users in favour of a tiny fraction. Old and low-memory hardware definitely can be supported, however that requires interested, skilled and dedicated people to work on it. Given that most members of the kernel team currently have their hands full, there is not much chance that anyone will be willing to do that. Also, considering how laughably small the price of 16- or 32-megabyte memory stick is these days, I see the demands for support of such extremely-low-memory machines pretty egocentric.

regarding the tone of my second report: you are entitled to
dismiss it, just as mr horms is equally entitled to dismiss
my first report.

dismissal and blatant disregard of reports, however, does not solve

_instant_ dismissal, especially dismissals that contain
assumptions that clearly indicate a lack of thought and
foresight, are guaranteed to drive me absolutely fucking nuts.

This is the quote from your original bug report (#319823):

| From: Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl@lkcl.net>
| To: Debian Bug Tracking System <submit@bugs.debian.org>
| Subject: kernel-image-2.6-686: 2.6 debian kernels do not install on m/cs with <= 48mb RAM!!!
| Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 02:30:41 +0100
| Package: kernel-image-2.6-686
| Version: 2.6.5-2
Feel free to verify in the BTS that it is accurate. This clearly indicates that the kernel-image version you are filing report against is 2.6.5-2, which is older than the version in Sarge (2.6.8). So Horms was absolutely correctly telling you that 2.6.5 is not supported anymore. Yes, the explanation accompanying the closing was somewhat terse, but from my point of view your reaction to it was rude and unacceptable. And you have repeated the obviously incorrect version number in your second report too.

Best regards,

Jurij Smakov                                        jurij@wooyd.org
Key: http://www.wooyd.org/pgpkey/                   KeyID: C99E03CC

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