Feeds

Linux kernel dumps 386 chip support

'Good riddance!' says chief penguin Torvalds

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Linus Torvalds has announced the Linux kernel no longer supports Intel's 80386 processors.

Reg readers will doubtless recall that the 386 debuted way back in 1985 and made something of a splash when the chip found its way into PCs made by Compaq before an IBM PC bearing the processor reached the market.

386s screamed along, by the standards of the day, at up to 33 MHz. At that speed Windows 3.1 did not disgrace itself. By the time the 486 and Pentium came along, 386s dropped out of sight. Intel kept making them until 2007, as we noted in the preceding year.

Torvalds announced the demise of Linux on 386 in this post titled "Merge branch 'x86-nuke386-for-linus' of git://git./linux/kernel/git/tip/tip".

"This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity," the Linux lord writes, "which complexity has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years."

"I'm not sentimental," he adds. "Good riddance."

It's hard not to imagine most Linux users will share those sentiments. Those who built embedded systems on 386s, the most common use for the chip once it became unsuitable for use in PCs, can feel free to kick up a fuss in the comments. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.