Linux News Today: Debian Is Dropping Support for Older 32-bit Hardware Architectures in Debian 9
Debian developer and Linux kernel maintainer Ben Hutchings announced this past weekend that the project is dropping support for older 32-bit hardware architectures in the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.
The decision to drop support for i586 and hybrid i586/i686 processors in the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9.0 “Stretch” operating system, which is now in heavy development, known as Debian Testing, was taken last year, because of recent GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) releases, which only target i686-class processors.
“In case you missed that change, gcc for i386 has recently been changed to target 686-class processors and is generating code that will crash on other processors. Any such systems still running testing or unstable will need to be switched to run stable (Jessie),” said Ben Hutchings in the announcement.
The change has already been implemented to the Linux kernel 4.3 packages, which have been uploaded to the Debian Unstable repositories last year. And today users are being informed to move to Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” if they’re still using Debian on older computers powered by i586 or i486 processors.
Supported processors in Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie”
The current stable, and also long-term supported release of the Debian GNU/Linux operating system is Jessie, a.k.a. Debian GNU/Linux 8, which will be supported with security patches and software updates until the year 2020. Therefore, it will also offer support for older processors until at least 2018.
If i386 support is to be included in the Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” release, which should enter LTS (Long Term Support) stage from May 2018, the operating system will then support older 32-bit processors until the year 2020. Below is a list of the supported processors, which won’t be available for the Debian 9 “Stretch” release.
The processors that will still be supported in Debian 8 “Jessie” and not in Debian 9 “Stretch” are AMD K5, K6, K6-2 (aka K6 3D), and K6-3, DM&P/SiS Vortex86 and Vortex86SX, Cyrix III, MediaGX, MediaGXm, IDT Winchip C6 and Winchip 2, Intel Pentium and Pentium with MMX, Rise mP6, VIA C3 ‘Samuel 2’ and C3 ‘Ezra’ i386.