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-   -   Why is 13.1 RC1 still compiled for 486 support? (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/why-is-13-1-rc1-still-compiled-for-486-support-808221/)

delta_waves 05-16-2010 07:08 PM

Why is 13.1 RC1 still compiled for 486 support?
 
I read this on Patrick's twitter:

Quote:

Considering compiling future 32-bit x86 Slackware packages for i686 and finally leaving i486 and i586 support behind... any thoughts?
http://twitter.com/volkerdi

Would the devs mind sharing why the change hasn't been made? I'm guessing there must be a lot of Slackware users with 15-20 year old computers that want to run the latest software. :p

slakmagik 05-16-2010 08:19 PM

I'm not a Slackware dev but my guess is that the minimal gains to be had from restricting the arch just haven't outweighed the cost of cutting off entire classes of computers from current Slackware.

Seems like a moot point to me - most people who care about such things will be on x86_64 and using Slack64 anyway. I'd just leave it alone. No reason for Slack to drop it if the tools still support it. 486 should probably be handled like 386 was.

I still have a K6 and a Pentium, though I don't use them. I'm sure many more active souls have similar machinery running as file servers or whatever. However, I think 8.1 still gets updated and 13.x certainly will for years to come, so they could keep running 486 Slacks. So I don't see either move being too catastrophic and neither bothers me too much.

hitest 05-16-2010 08:40 PM

Well, I am very happy that PV supports older hardware. My main Slackware work station is an Intel Core Duo, but, I do have several PIII units happily running 13.0 and -current. :)

delta_waves 05-16-2010 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hitest (Post 3970919)
Well, I am very happy that PV supports older hardware. My main Slackware work station is an Intel Core Duo, but, I do have several PIII units happily running 13.0 and -current. :)

For what it's worth, PIII is considered i686 generation.

hitest 05-16-2010 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by delta_waves (Post 3970924)
For what it's worth, PIII is considered i686 generation.

I know. I'm glad that PV is supporting older machines like my PIII units by maintaining the 32 bit development line. :)

dugan 05-17-2010 12:10 AM

Just a couple of months ago we had someone report that he or she was running Slackware on a 486.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-sites-789086/

delta_waves 05-17-2010 01:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dugan (Post 3971014)
Just a couple of months ago we had someone report that he or she was running Slackware on a 486.

He also said that his 486 has 2 gigs of RAM and is running Windows 7.

AND that it boots and runs faster than his girlfriends box with 4 gigs of ram and dual core processor.

velikij 05-17-2010 01:20 AM

I'm not currently a slackware user (though it was my first Linux, on a 386SX, a dozen years back!). But I do have a couple of quite serviceable 800 mHz systems with VIA cpus which are 1 or 2 instructions short of being 686es, which I use as test systems for new Ubuntu and Debian releases. Generally I try live CDs first, before installing. Some distros have live CDs which are 686-only - which means I don't bother to try them.

IMHO install disks should have 486 kernels, with the option to install or build whatever level of kernel works on a given system.

I'm glad to know that you can start with a 486 kernel on Slackware - I might be inspired to install Slackware on one of my VIA systems, then.

Alien Bob 05-17-2010 05:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by delta_waves (Post 3970869)
I read this on Patrick's twitter:

http://twitter.com/volkerdi

Would the devs mind sharing why the change hasn't been made? I'm guessing there must be a lot of Slackware users with 15-20 year old computers that want to run the latest software. :p

Lack of replies from Slackware users to his query perhaps?

Eric

sjampoo 05-17-2010 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by delta_waves (Post 3970869)
I read this on Patrick's twitter:

http://twitter.com/volkerdi

Would the devs mind sharing why the change hasn't been made? I'm guessing there must be a lot of Slackware users with 15-20 year old computers that want to run the latest software. :p

My thoughts: Since you're only guessing.. you are probably NOT a 486/586 user. Since I too am not a 486 or 585 user, that makes us 2 not the people Pat is hoping to get a reply from.

486: We all know what those where.
586: Pentium, series I: you know, the 60 75Mhz up to 300 Mhz
(Pentium, derived from Penta => 5)

And from Pentium Pro and II up = minimal i686

I vaguely remember I had a Cyrix/IBM 6x86 P166+.. I must have worked on that machine most of my university life. It's been for ages. I presume there probably won't be many of them left,. I, personally, can't imagine I will in the nearby future obtain/get my hand on/find anything pre-Pentium III, and do anything with it, other than use it as a door-stop.

If Pat won't get any input from real 486/586 users,.. He's got my blessings :)

samac 05-17-2010 10:01 AM

You also have to remember that in the developing world the computers tend to be older than in the more developed nations. It is only fair to give everyone a chance to use Slackware.

samac

bgeddy 05-17-2010 10:14 AM

Quote:

You also have to remember that in the developing world the computers tend to be older than in the more developed nations. It is only fair to give everyone a chance to use Slackware.
Hey I never thought of that! I responded to Pat's original tweet at the time going along with him possibly scrapping 486 support - (as did others) - now I feel bad - just as well he made his own mind up anyway :doh: !

sjampoo 05-17-2010 10:51 AM

In the developing world, computers tend to be older.. 15+ years older? I doubt, but still: If so: should 'they' be running '-current' or could 13.x be 'new' enough,, for the following 5 years?

PS: I drive 28+ years old cars, so yeah, I know nice it is if old stuff is still supported (brakediscs, pads, fuel, timingbelts and stuff).. but you won't hear me complaining they haven't offered me A/C, cupholders, airbags or a-symetrical foldable rear-seats :)

LuckyCyborg 05-17-2010 11:15 AM

I have a 25MHz I486SX, with 8MB RAM and a 250MB harddrive and I use this oldie as a home router.

But I seriously doubt that it can run Slackware 13.1 with KDE-4.4.3 as desktop. ;)

We should live with idea that a modern Linux, like Slackware-13.1, it's too bigger and want too much resources to be used in a i486 hardware without bloodish tuning.

For older hardware you need special designed distributions, with a very little resources requirement.

I don't see the sense to tune a blue whale with several gigabytes size for a target that never by usable. The I486 target I seriously doubt to have sense.

However, a I586 target is common sense, to rearch a reasonable old hardware.

hitest 05-17-2010 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LuckyCyborg (Post 3971582)
For older hardware you need special designed distributions, with a very little resources requirement.

Older versions of Slackware run very well indeed on old hardware. I ran Slackware 10.2 on PII 266 MHz with 128 MB RAM and XFce; it ran very well.
I started with Slackware 10.0, but, Slackware 10.2 is my oldest screen shot. :)

http://www2.citytel.net/~gnielsen/snapshot5.jpg

Edit, added later. My oldest Slackware box at the moment is a PIII 667 MHz IBM 300 PL, it has a 20 GB HD and 256 MB RAM; it is running Slackware 13.1 RC1 (Fluxbox). :)


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