Re: FreeBSD 14: Poll armv6 deprecated or removed

From: Warner Losh <>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2022 19:23:53 UTC
On Tue, Dec 13, 2022 at 10:48 AM Warner Losh <> wrote:

> 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
> packages.
> (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.

Oh, and #6: Demote armv6 (but not armv7) to tier 3. It's been kinda
de-facto there for a while anyway, and this will make the signalling clear
that the runway for armv6 is running out.

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