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i386 is a generic designation for all processors backwardly compatible with the Intel 80386; i586 is for all processors backwardly compatible with the Intel Pentium; and i686 is for Intel processors backwardly compatible with the Pentium Pro chip (Pentium II, III, IV, etc).
Distribution: Gentoo 2004.2, Slackware 10, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server
well there was 386 (and that was revolutionary to cpu for some reason.. dunno why) and then 486, 586, 686 and then i believe pentium 1, p2, pentium celeron, p3, and pentium4. some guru correct me if im wrong.
Just an observation.
When I'm booting my Mandy 9.2 it says something about "build i586 running on a i686".
When I've found a coupla of things to install from the internet, I was directed to do use the i386.
Originally posted by tearinox well there was 386 (and that was revolutionary to cpu for some reason.. dunno why) and then 486, 586, 686 and then i believe pentium 1, p2, pentium celeron, p3, and pentium4. some guru correct me if im wrong.
btw.. Amd kicks a$$ compared to intel =P
I'm no guru, but the 386 was revolutionary because it was Intel's first 32-bit processor. Which is why Linux won't run on a 286 or less, which are 16-bit. And it's 386, 486, 586=Pentium, 686=Pentium II and up, so PIII, etc., while Celeron's aren't in the main sequence - they're a discount chip produced alongside the Pentiums. And now some guru can come along and correct me. For instance, I think Pentium Pro is different from and earlier than PII's and is actually the first 686. And there are some references to later chips being '786' and so on, but I believe this has no real standing. And Xeon's are the reverse of Celerons - also off the main line but high-end. But I'm not really sure about that. Basically, a 386 is actually a 386, a 486 is actually a 486, and a Pentium (penta=five) is a 586, while everything else is a 686. And in terms of packages, it's always an 'and up' issue, so that a 386 package will run on anything that will run Linux at all. 586 will run on 586 or 686 but not 486. 686 is only 686.
My understanding is that you have two possible situations: either you download the source files for your Kernel and compile them or you install a precompiled kernel.
When you compile your kernel yourself, the compiler should understand /ask what system it is being compiled for. This should adapt the way the code is compiled to the capabilities of the CPU it is going to be run on.
Compiling your kernel is always preferable as it will make use of more of the capabilities (newer instructions of newer CPU's) of your system, hence make the system run faster, but it is probably not as easy as to let a precompiled kernel install on your PC, at least until you learn how to do it )
they had 386 & 486 cpus, then Intel sued, failed, and made the pentium. Amd made the 5x86, then the k-6, k-6II, k-6 III... I think those are like the Pentium II, then they had the athlon/duron (duron is a scaled down athlon), which is like the PIII, then they have the athlon XP competing against the P4 now.