considering i386 as a tier 1 architecture

Eitan Adler lists at
Mon Apr 1 04:48:45 UTC 2013


I am writing this email to discuss the i386 architecture in FreeBSD.

Computers are getting faster, but also more memory intensive.  I
can not find a laptop with less than 4 or 8 GB of RAM.  Modern
browsers, such as Firefox, require a 64bit architecture and 8GB of
RAM.  A 32 bit platform is not enough now a days on systems with
more than 4 GB of RAM.  A 32 bit core now is like 640K of RAM in
the 1990s.  Even in the embedded world ARM is going 64 bit with

Secondly, the i386 port is unmaintained.  Very few developers run
it, so it doesn't get the testing it deserves.  Almost every user
post or bug report I see from a x86 compatible processor is running
amd64.  When was the last time you booted i386 outside a virtual
machine?  Often times the build works for amd64 but fails for i386.

Finally, others are dropping support for i386.  Windows Server 2008
is 64 bit only, OSX Mountain Lion (10.8) is 64-bit only.   Users
and downstream vendors no longer care about preserving ancient

I hope this email is enough to convince you that on this date we
should drop support for the i386 architecture for 10.0 to tier 2
and replace it with the ARM architecture as Tier 1.

Eitan Adler

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