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Subject says it all.
Just wondering because all I can seem to find is i386 versions for download. I ordered the personal edition but I am getting tired of waiting for it to show so I thought I would download it and mess around.
This is my first time trying it and I have been doing some research and I am ready to give it a try. I posted in the general forum and had some good advice given there and will refer to that thread when I do install.
The i386 rpms for RedHat work just fine on higher level processor machines. The problem comes in when trying to do the opposite such as installing i586 packages on lower level processor (i.e., 486) machines.
If you just recompile the kernel for i686 you'll optimize the most important part of your OS. Other precompiled distros, like Mandrake just provide a i686 kernel, and everything else is compiled for a i386 (unless they've recently change this policy).
If you have to have a fully i686 optimized Linux distribution, you might want to look at the ones you compile yourself like Gentoo, Soccorer, or Linux-From-Scratch. If you do this, move up to the 3.2 version of the GNU compiler, it is said to compile about 20% faster code! (Check into the details about this, I might be wrong)