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Re: Dropping 386 support

On Sat, Oct 02, 2004 at 06:01:31PM -0400, Andres Salomon wrote:
> The kernel team is considering dropping 386 support (the 80386
> processor, not the i386 arch) from Debian.  Currently, in order to
> support 386, we include a 486 emulation patch (the patch can be viewed
> Comments?  Thoughts?

I think the following should pretty much outline the current opinion
of the release team (at least vorlon and me agreed explicetly on it):

We're in favor of keeping a -386 kernel image that is compiled with
the patch activated and therefor runs on real i386 machines. It
should be mentioned in the release notes and in the description
of the option in the kernel config that it has known security risks
and that there may no fix for this available in the near or even far
future. That leaves i386 users the choice whether they want to accept
the risk or if they want to stay on older software (which probably has
its own risks). As the patch doesn't has any affects on all other
machines we think this is an acceptable solution.

Has the current image compiled the patch in? (I haven't checked
that yet)
If yes, there should be no problem at all to implement this solution
(as long as the patch works). If no, the d-i team will have to speak
up and say if a new kernel image could still be added before release
with reasonable effort. As most 386 machines will already fail to
satisfy other requirements of d-i (as RAM), it may even be acceptable
only support 386 via upgrades or manual installation...

I will begin next week with some upgrade tests from woody on a 386
machine and could then handle the further steps like creation of
a upgrade-i386 directory with backported modutils, initrd-tools
and a current kernel-image.

Any objections against this?

Frank Lichtenheld <djpig@debian.org>
www: http://www.djpig.de/

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