Linus Torvalds To 386: “I’m Not Sentimental, Good Riddance.”


All old things must come to an end

If there is one thing we can all count on in the open source blogosphere, it’s Linus Torvalds no bullshit approach to communicating with the world.  That same no bullshit approach was not absent today when Linus moved to officially axe “ancient 386 support” from Linux.  Ancient?  You bet.  Support for the 386 architecture has been lingering along within the Linux Kernel since day one, 1991. Well now it seems that it is ready to jump into a binary casket, finally, long after it’s relevance and usefulness have passed.

Ingo Molnar disagrees, claiming:

Unfortunately there’s a nostalgic cost: your old original 386 DX33 system from early 1991 won’t be able to boot modern Linux kernels anymore.  Sniff.”

Linus Torvalds claims that “This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity.

As far as nostalgia is concerned, Linus had the following to say, in no uncertain terms:

I’m not sentimental.  Good riddance.

The exchange is every bit as entertaining as a middle finger to Nvidia if you keep up with this sort of thing, and is certainly worth a read.  In the meantime, it might be a good time to upgrade from your 386sx that you’ve been clinging onto since the Cosby sweater era.

In my opinion, axing support for a processor that only connects to motherboards that don’t offer enough RAM to load the kernel, is an obvious one.  You want nostalgia?  Fork Linux.

Check it out below, or hit up the source link

Merge branch 'x86-nuke386-for-linus' of git://git./linux/kernel/git/tip/tip

Pull "Nuke 386-DX/SX support" from Ingo Molnar:
 "This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit
  of complexity:

    24 files changed, 56 insertions(+), 425 deletions(-)

  ... which complexity has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted
  to change SMP primitives, for years.

  Unfortunately there's a nostalgic cost: your old original 386 DX33
  system from early 1991 won't be able to boot modern Linux kernels
  anymore.  Sniff."

I'm not sentimental.  Good riddance.

* 'x86-nuke386-for-linus' of git://
  x86, 386 removal: Document Nx586 as a 386 and thus unsupported
  x86, cleanups: Simplify sync_core() in the case of no CPUID
  x86, 386 removal: Remove CONFIG_X86_POPAD_OK
  x86, 386 removal: Remove CONFIG_X86_WP_WORKS_OK
  x86, 386 removal: Remove CONFIG_INVLPG
  x86, 386 removal: Remove CONFIG_BSWAP
  x86, 386 removal: Remove CONFIG_XADD
  x86, 386 removal: Remove CONFIG_CMPXCHG
  x86, 386 removal: Remove CONFIG_M386 from Kconfig

Source | Git

About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.