Re: FreeBSD 14: Poll armv6 deprecated or removed

From: Warner Losh <>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2022 17:48:24 UTC
Sorry for the lag of a year, it's been a crazy time for me and this fell
through the cracks.

On Thu, Oct 28, 2021 at 9:37 AM Warner Losh <> wrote:

> Greetings,
> Given that the number of available and useful armv6 boards has fallen to
> almost zero, the time has come to look hard at armv6.
> There's a number of options.
> 1. Keep it as is. This will only happen if there's a lot more users than
> we think (and we think there's nearly zero users of FreeBSD 13 and newer
> that would want to run FreeBSD 14).
> 2. Stop building packages. Given it's small to non-existent user base, it
> makes no sense to provide a package building service for it.
> 2a. We should likely do this anyway for all stable branches since it's a
> net negative in terms of cost/benefit analysis: lots of effort to produce,
> very little use.
> 3. Disconnect it from universe: This will mean it will rot, though. It's a
> necessary step in removal.
> 4. Remove support for armv6 in base entirely. This will orphan any RPiB
> and RPi0 users out there. However, the RPiB hasn't been sold in a few
> years, and the RPI0's connectivity is severely lacking given no SDIO
> support.
> So, which of these steps do we do before FreeBSD 14 and which before
> FreeBSD 15?
> My vote would be to do 1-4 for 14 including 2a.

After discussing this offline and distilling the responses here, on IRC,
etc, I'd like to propose we do the following:

(1) Stop building packages for armv6 entirely, on all branches. While there
are some users, they can still use poudriere to build package sets
themselves. Usage data suggests there's not enough demand for these
(2) Move armv6 to an 'EXTRA' target in make universe (eg make universe
EXTRA_TARGETS=t). Powerpc does this today with powerpcspe since it's not
completely supported in base. People that care can continue to build it as
part of universe and we'll fix things that are broken, reported to us and
have patches that don't regress other platforms.
(3) After the stable/14 branch next May or June, we'll remove build support
from ports (very little) and src. We'll also start to tear down armv6
support as we see it and are working in other areas, and expect that work
to be done before stable/15 is branched in a predicted 2025.
(4) Immediately stop including armv6 -current snapshots as generated by re@.
(5) re@ won't create armv6 release images or artifacts for stable/14, 14.0,
etc. Users wishing to build it can do so.

I've send email to re@ asking about #4 and #5.