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#1 2013-06-02 18:03:18

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

[solved] Farewell i686!

https://pierre-schmitz.com/farewell-i686/

Pierre wrote:

Don’t Panic! I don’t see us dropping i686 support this year, but I would not dare to predict anything beyond that date.

Is it an official statement form the Arch Overlords?
(The author of this blog post is an Arch dev.)


initscripts -> systemd transition was very official and IMHO dropping i686 support should get same attention. I hope we won't get into systemd-is-the-devil arguments this time.
I know it's an apples-to-oranges comparison, but it's the best one I came up with. If this indeed is official, I would recommend taking it seriously as the devs are simply going to do what has been announced:

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php … 8#p1044628
2012-01-21: There are no plans of deprecating initscripts.

https://www.archlinux.org/news/end-of-i … s-support/
2012-11-04: End of initscripts support

https://www.archlinux.org/news/final-sy … n-warning/
2013-02-04: Final sysvinit deprecation warning


Even if i686 supports ends early next year, we've got time to prepare for the transition, get new hardware, fork Arch32, move to some other distro, blame Allan / Lennart etc. so don't panic. Please.

Last edited by karol (2013-06-02 19:58:39)

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#2 2013-06-02 18:47:46

ninian
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From: United Kingdom
Registered: 2008-02-24
Posts: 694
Website

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

karol wrote:

so don't panic. Please.

We have a couple of dozen machines running Arch i686, and only a couple are 64-bit capable.
Most of these machines were lovingly resurrected from systems designated 'scrap' by our dear friend Windows.
The original Arch installation is now years old and was cloned to the other machines. All are kept fully updated with Arch i686.
So, we will jolly well panic if we want to!
sad

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#3 2013-06-02 18:59:46

Pierre
Developer
From: Bonn
Registered: 2004-07-05
Posts: 1,950
Website

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

Maybe read th whole post. There is no decision and no plan. It's my personal blog post and not an anouncement. And when I say I wont predict anything beyond next year, then that's because I simply have no idea and not that there is a secret plan.

The whole point of the point was, that i686 is on decline and probably faster than expected. At some point there will be just no users to build Arch on i686. E.g. try to run a Distro on i386 these days.

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#4 2013-06-02 19:34:23

Army
Member
Registered: 2007-12-07
Posts: 1,784

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

One problem is, that most devs fun 64bit installations and signoffs for i686 are hard to get. So the devs already limited the required signoff to 1 (ONE!). What if in the near future no dev runs a i686 installation? In this case, the i686 support might have to go to the community, just like it used to be with 64bit.

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#5 2013-06-02 19:44:02

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

Pierre wrote:

Maybe read th whole post. There is no decision and no plan. It's my personal blog post and not an anouncement. And when I say I wont predict anything beyond next year, then that's because I simply have no idea and not that there is a secret plan.

The whole point of the point was, that i686 is on decline and probably faster than expected. At some point there will be just no users to build Arch on i686. E.g. try to run a Distro on i386 these days.

I did read the whole post and also read the comments. I did read the Wikipedia links you provided and it wasn't clear if you're testing the waters wrt dropping i686 or were you musing how the 64-bit architecture took over computing.
You provided data to back up your statement that

Pierre wrote:

The question is not if 32 bit support might be dropped,  but when.

and did not respond to comments made by users who believed the end of i686 support in Arch is nigh.
If there are no plans, that means i686 is safe for another year or more. Dropping i686 support was once a joke, but the idea is very real now and users should be aware of that.

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#6 2013-06-02 19:53:45

Pierre
Developer
From: Bonn
Registered: 2004-07-05
Posts: 1,950
Website

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

Sorry, for not respoding to the comments; I should really do that.

I think my statement still stands. 32Bit will go away, we just don't know when. So there are really no plans and there is no hidden message or agenda within this blog post. I just found the data and development interesting and wanted to share it.

It is hard to predict the future, but it should be obvious, that you wont be able to provide support for 32bit packages forever. It will slowly get fased out and at some point the usage numbers will be so low that 99% wont care if it has to be dropped. It may be years till this point or sooner; I don't know.

So please, don't panic. But sure, people who use 32Bit CPUs today should know that this is a legacy system.

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#7 2013-06-02 19:58:08

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

Thank you very much, Pierre - both for the clear official response and for the fact that you're not dropping i686 just yet ;-)

Marking the thread as solved.

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#8 2013-06-03 04:04:05

scjet
Banned
Registered: 2011-07-23
Posts: 172

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

The future obvious news is,
when i686 support is finally gone dodo, then more important "resources" (precious development time, ...) will be better spent elsewhere, where it should be.
Thanks for the news, and "Farewell-i686".

64-Bit Hardware Only.
smile

Last edited by scjet (2013-06-03 04:06:18)


The "BSD" things in life are "Free", and "Open", and so is "Arch"

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#9 2013-06-26 17:03:17

STUART
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From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2010-08-19
Posts: 38
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Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

i686 is still prevalent on virtual servers with less than 4GB of RAM.

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#10 2013-06-26 22:27:22

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

STUART wrote:

i686 is still prevalent on virtual servers with less than 4GB of RAM.

It should be noted though that apparently, even if you have <4GB RAM, if you have more than 1GB, you sould probably be using x86_64 anyway.  This is because there is not sufficient virtual address space for the hardware to use the upper 3GB in any kind of resonable fashion.  It should be able to recognize them, but recognition in this case is not the same as functional usage.

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#11 2013-07-16 13:48:39

punkrockguy318
Member
From: New Jersey
Registered: 2004-02-15
Posts: 706
Website

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

I think the one advantage of the i686 builds vs the 64bit builds is that the 32 bit builds typically consume less memory than the 64 bit builds.  While this is becoming less and less of an issue due to the abundance of cheap RAM, RAM is still pricy "in the cloud" and is still limited in embedded devices.

But we will see what happens!  And perhaps in a year or two the number of people utilizes those use cases may dwindle to the point of where it is not worth the time/effort to maintain/build the 32 bit packages.  Only time will tell!


If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.   1 Corinthians 13:2

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#12 2013-07-24 17:32:18

GI Jack
Member
Registered: 2010-12-29
Posts: 85

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

Pierre wrote:

Maybe read th whole post. There is no decision and no plan. It's my personal blog post and not an anouncement. And when I say I wont predict anything beyond next year, then that's because I simply have no idea and not that there is a secret plan.

The whole point of the point was, that i686 is on decline and probably faster than expected. At some point there will be just no users to build Arch on i686. E.g. try to run a Distro on i386 these days.


its not entirely at where i386 is. up until 3 years ago, there were still some 32bit intel atom, and other systems being sold new.

both my laptop and personal server, both atoms are both 32-bit, and both run arch.

If you need to ditch i686 support, go ahead, but please do not drop 32-bit all together, because I'll be SOL on many accounts.

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#13 2013-07-24 17:52:45

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

GI Jack wrote:

If you need to ditch i686 support, go ahead, but please do not drop 32-bit all together, because I'll be SOL on many accounts.

What do you mean by "do not drop 32-bit all together"? If Arch stops providing i686 packages you will have to build them yourself, switch to another distro or use the old ones i.e. stop updating your system.

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#14 2013-07-24 17:56:31

HalosGhost
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From: Twin Cities, MN
Registered: 2012-06-22
Posts: 1,486
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Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

I actually do have an i686 laptop laying around here (original Dell Inspiron 1000 tongue), but I never use it for anything as it is incapable of doing even the most basic tasks at a speed that I find tolerable. I cannot say I would miss i686 too much.

All the best,

-HG


"All errors are ᴘᴇʙᴋᴀᴄ errors—It's just a matter of narrowing down which keyboard and chair." -Trilby
\ldots

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#15 2013-07-24 20:26:14

dag
Member
From: US
Registered: 2013-01-20
Posts: 216

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

It would not bother me neither, but there are people who still use i686 I dont think it should be unsuported completely. arch is capable of being incredibly light great for even the lowest i686 machine. its greate finding some old computer somewhere and being able to bring new life to it. the time will come but I do not think it is here yet I live in a area of high cheap tech yet not every one has that in the world, for cost and availability reasons also the need. I like tech but as long as it is doing what I want how I want I dont buy new things just for the sake of it being new.


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alcoves wonder creates the wonder unto the ages; never lose that.

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#16 2013-07-24 21:13:58

Jristz
Member
From: America/Santiago
Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 921

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

I have a i686 capable only machine, and I not have problems as far, but men this is  from 2011... saller remain sell i686 capable in 2011? oh yes, they are

but me, if Arch Drop i686 I hope that I can remain using abs for build my stuff for a while, this is all that I need to survive... abs


Well, I suppose that this is somekind of signature, no?

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#17 2013-08-08 20:31:00

binaryjay
Member
Registered: 2013-08-08
Posts: 4

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

I hope it isn't dropped for years... I JUST bought and deployed arch on two i686 only hp thin clients that use Atom n280 CPUs... neutral

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#18 2013-08-08 23:50:42

Scimmia
Bug Wrangler
Registered: 2012-09-01
Posts: 4,978

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

binaryjay wrote:

I hope it isn't dropped for years... I JUST bought and deployed arch on two i686 only hp thin clients that use Atom n280 CPUs... neutral

When you start with 5 year old hardware that's also the last release to not support x86_64, you have to expect things to pass you by.

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#19 2013-08-09 00:36:32

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

I think the most common reason for getting hardware that doesn't support 64-bits is the price. If you can get e.g. Atom n280 CPUs for free / very very cheap - why not get them? The worst thing that can happen is you'll have to redeploy all the systems on some new hardware when Arch drops the 32-bit support.

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#20 2013-08-09 10:28:03

DarkCerberus
Member
From: /dev/null
Registered: 2011-12-31
Posts: 246

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

Why is this thread marked as "[solved]" and other users are still responding to this thread? Shouldn't this be classed as a sticky thread or closed.....

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#21 2013-08-09 10:40:27

lolilolicon
Member
Registered: 2009-03-05
Posts: 1,676

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

DarkCerberus wrote:

Why is this thread marked as "[solved]" and other users are still responding to this thread?

Solved because Pierre has answered karol's question clearly; users are still responding because it's not "[closed]", and the discussion can go on.

Shouldn't this be classed as a sticky thread or closed.....

Not sticky because Pierre's article wasn't anything official.


This silver ladybug at line 28...

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#22 2013-08-09 17:13:08

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 12,965

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

Well, the thread is is in a discussion subform as opposed to a technical subforum.   We don't really have a need to close discussions.  We close technical threads because they are often only relevant at a point in time.  Things in Linux are constantly evolving.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Like you, I have no idea what you are doing, but I am pretty sure it is wrong...Jasonwryan
----
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way

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#23 2013-08-11 02:12:50

wstewart90
Member
Registered: 2013-07-13
Posts: 17

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

Lets not forget about third world countries. Most of us living in the US may be running nothing but 64 bit CPUs at home but i686 may be more cost effective for others.

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#24 2013-08-11 02:59:03

Allan
Developer
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,408
Website

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

And those third world countries can afford the internet connection and bandwidth required to keep an Arch install up-to-date?

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#25 2013-08-11 03:22:18

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

Re: [solved] Farewell i686!

There are at least 5 types of computer-related costs:
* hardware
* software
* electricity
* networking
* time (opportunity cost)

The ratio of each of them in the total sum changes with time and is different in different places: urban v. rural etc.
For a kid, the hardware cost may be the big issue, as e.g. his parents are unwilling to buy him a new computer (and, for the sake of this argument, the hand-me-down ones are all 32-bit), but they still pay for electricity and the internet. A kid's time isn't worth much and using cost-optional software means hardware is the only thing he has to worry about.
Somewhat similar issue may be with schools, companies, NGOs etc., but Arch Linux isn't the only distro available and just as it doesn't support i586, it may soon drop i686 support.

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