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I'm not saying 586 or 686 is bad at all. I'm saying it seems like most of the stuff for RH is i386 and THAT is bad, as in SLOW. I don't understand why RH doesn't ship with pre compiled i486, or better yet, i586 series rpms.
Because not everybody is running Pentium or better and RH wants as many customers as they can get, figuring that asking Pentium+ users to use their ability to compile and tweak is better than making it impossible for a 486 user to get Red Hat at all?
Checkinstall works for rpms, too, I think - get it and compile from source and it'll still show up as a regular rpm. That can be even more optimized than a generic i686 rpm.
I don't know the history, so I could be wrong, but Mandrake's a 586 or better distro and nearly went broke while RH is rolling in it.
Distribution: K/Ubuntu 12.04/14.04, Scientific Linux 6.3/6.4, Android-x86, Pretty much all distros at one point...
The i686 RPMs are the Pentium 4 class RPMs. There is actually nothing wrong with running i386 RPMs, and in fact sometimes they are faster... i386 compilers are often more worked over and therefore can compile code that runs well. Some Pentium class processors actually process the i386 code better than their own native code...