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#1 2023-12-20 09:07:22

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,477  

Debian and 32-bit x86

Hello:

News from The Register:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Debian preps ground to drop 32-bit x86 as separate edition
Bad news for several downstream distros, but good news for NetBSD

By Liam Proven Tue 19 Dec 2023 // 16:30 UTC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.theregister.com/2023/12/19/ … op_x86_32/

Liam Proven at The Register wrote:

After a recent meetup in Cambridge, Debian developers are discussing how to start gradually dropping 32-bit x86 support.
---
The news is in a section titled "A future for the i386 architecture":
Insofar as they still do, we anticipate that the kernel, d-i and images teams will cease to support i386 in the near future.

Best,

A.

Last edited by Altoid (2023-12-20 09:08:57)

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#2 2023-12-20 12:15:27

UnixMan1230
Member
Registered: 2023-10-21
Posts: 41  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

I suppose this was bound to happen eventually, but admittedly I was not expecting this to happen this quickly. The last 686 CPUs were released in 2006, and the latter-day ones I have are still reasonably capable for their age...

Interestingly, having read the actual Debian announcement, they do not plan to make it a partial architecture like Ubuntu does -that's up to the package maintainers themselves. And from the sound of it, i386 could also possibly get relegated to the Ports branch. With this in mind, I feel like *maybe* some more-determined distros could continue i386 support at least for Trixie, depending on how bad things get between now and release. Best (read: highly unlikely) case scenario, all they need to supply is a kernel. Not a difficult task, by any means. More Likely case scenario: quite a few packages will bite the dust between now and then, and would need to be re-compiled, if they still can be. I get a feeling the browsers will be the first to go. the feasibility of such an endeavor goes back to the question of: What's the damage gonna be, come release time?

As long as the Init Diversity Team isn't abolished, and Snaps don't become the new default in Debian, we should be ok for now. Though it might be time for Devuan to give a bit more love to its other ports, in i386s' place...


"Less is only more when it's what you're looking for" -Unknown

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#3 2023-12-20 12:29:20

aluma
Member
Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 585  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

Not for the sake of argument, just thinking out loud. smile
It is clear that electronics become obsolete morally faster than physically and the price of used ones falls quickly. Today, when a computer with an i5 on the secondary market costs the same as a couple of cartons of cigarettes, maybe it’s time to retire 20-year-old veterans? They have exhausted their service life, and the likelihood of failures is growing.
Instead, more productive models are thrown into the trash.
And secondly, how much does the work of high-class programmers cost to maintain i386?
Or are there no more problems in Linux?

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#4 2023-12-20 12:54:02

UnixMan1230
Member
Registered: 2023-10-21
Posts: 41  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

@aluma sometimes *a* carton of cigarettes, depending on where you look. You have a good point, for sure. And of course, nothing lasts forever. I keep my i386 machines around in order to have the tooling necessary to do data recovery and other things on other i386 machines that pass by me from various people. But, there again, do I really need the latest and greatest just for that? Its not as if installs from yore aren't still on some level inter-operable with modern installs, when push comes to shove, even in  a post-sysv and post-x11 world.

I guess, deep down, its just a worry in the back of my mind that Debian will go the way of Ubuntu (snaps, etc.). I know that's highly unlikely, as it would be the ultimate identity death of Debian, but the thought still scares me.

Last edited by UnixMan1230 (2023-12-20 12:57:39)


"Less is only more when it's what you're looking for" -Unknown

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#5 2023-12-20 13:15:32

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,477  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

Hello:

... would be the ultimate identity death of Debian ...

If you look carefully and from (just a bit) further away, you will come to realise that such a thing has already started.

Just what do you think systemd and all the Linux friendly moves from the Redmond camp actually amount to?

And just who do you think are bankrolling all of it?

Redmond and their time proven "Embrace, extend, and extinguish" (EEE) never ceased.
It has always been there, laying dormant and now has set the stage to rear its ugly head again.

Meanwhile, the rest of Linuxland is furiously defending choice without coming to terms with the fact that a dead OS has no use for choice.

Yes, I know ...
But it is that time of the year, is it not?

Of course and as always, YMMV.

Best,

A.

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#6 2023-12-20 14:56:19

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 413  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

32bit systems are still supported by the BSDs & Haiku, so they don't need to be thrown out just yet...... wink

Whilst I had been a long time Debian user, (since 1999), I went over to Devuan, to get away from systemd & the like, & will, (if I need to), go over to BSD full time, if it (systemd) becomes the 'Linux way'. big_smile

Last edited by Camtaf (2023-12-20 14:57:06)

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#7 2023-12-21 06:28:35

yeti
Member
From: I'm not here: U R halucinating
Registered: 2017-02-23
Posts: 310  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

Camtaf wrote:

32bit systems are still supported by the BSDs & Haiku, so they don't need to be thrown out just yet......

Nope!

FreeBSD and OpenBSD already announced turning i386 into a 2nd class citizen too.

And with all this steam lining for commerce, it'll be only a question of time until they declare ARM32bitters to trash too?

HaikuOS is a Do-Everything-As-Root-OS, so definitely not a wise choice except inside a really secure LAN.

NetBSD remains.

Camtaf wrote:

wink

I see no reason for a wink:-(


<πš‹πš˜πšπš’ πš˜πš—πš•πš˜πšŠπš='πšπš˜πšŒπšžπš–πšŽπš—πš.πš‹πš˜πšπš’.πš’πš—πš—πšŽπš›π™·πšƒπ™Όπ™»="π™³πš’πšœπšŠπš‹πš•πšŽ π™Ήπš‚!";'>
π”“π”©π”’π”žπ”°π”’ π”©π”’π”žπ”³π”’ 𝔢𝔬𝔲𝔯 π”£π”žπ”²π”©π”±π”° 𝔦𝔫 𝔱π”₯𝔒 𝔰𝔒𝔠𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 π”Ÿπ”’π”©π”¬π”΄ π”žπ”«π”‘ 𝔑𝔬𝔫'𝔱 𝔣𝔬𝔯𝔀𝔒𝔱 𝔱𝔬 π”²π”«π”°π”²π”Ÿπ”°π” π”―π”¦π”Ÿπ”’!

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#8 2023-12-21 09:19:27

aluma
Member
Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 585  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

The laws of the market work.
There will be demand, there will be supply. Someone will definitely occupy the niche of 32 bit OS.

But, as an example of the future.
PClinuxOS, a rolling release without systemd, probably the first to implement the latest changes, abandoned 32 bits more than 5 years ago.

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#9 2023-12-21 09:50:09

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 413  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

yeti wrote:
Camtaf wrote:

wink

I see no reason for a wink:-(

Because there are 32bit systems still available.....so those old computers are still usable/useful, even if a bit slow....not everyone expects instant website access. smile

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#10 2023-12-21 15:41:29

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,477  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

Hello:

I have no intention of bringing such a controversial (and OT) subject to the forum.
So I will limit my comment to this and nothing more:

aluma wrote:

The laws of the market work.

Surely you jest ...  8^Β°
Or are totally unaware of what the 'market' and its supposed 'laws' have done to/with the world's economy since the early 80's.

A.

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#11 2023-12-21 16:55:16

stopAI
Member
Registered: 2023-04-04
Posts: 138  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

Camtaf wrote:

Because there are 32bit systems still available.....so those old computers are still usable/useful, even if a bit slow....not everyone expects instant website access. smile

Totally agree with you mate.

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#12 2023-12-21 17:54:39

aluma
Member
Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 585  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

@Altoid

I have no intention of bringing such a controversial (and OT) subject to the forum.

I agree, let's not do it.
I studied political economy at university, starting with Marx and Engels many, many years ago.

Regards.

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#13 2023-12-21 23:32:05

pcalvert
Member
Registered: 2017-05-15
Posts: 197  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

Alpine Linux still supports 32-bit (i686) systems:

https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/Requirements

And for some other ideas, check out these articles:

15 Linux Distros That Still Support 32-Bit Architecture
https://www.makeuseof.com/linux-distros … t-support/

15 Linux Distributions You Can Rely on for Your Ancient 32-bit Computer
https://itsfoss.com/32-bit-linux-distributions/

Unfortunately, both articles are now out of date, so you'll need to ignore Debian and the Debian derivatives listed in both articles.


Freespoke is a new search engine that respects user privacy and does not engage in censorship.
Another one is called Luxxle.

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#14 2023-12-22 01:33:00

UnixMan1230
Member
Registered: 2023-10-21
Posts: 41  

Re: Debian and 32-bit x86

^I'd just like to pitch in to the above and add, so does Void Linux


"Less is only more when it's what you're looking for" -Unknown

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