considering i386 as a tier 1 architecture

Adrian Chadd adrian at
Mon Apr 1 18:31:33 UTC 2013

Why stop there?

Noone runs FreeBSD on real hardware anymore. Except, say netflix.

Let's just drop actual native hardware support and instead support
only the bare minimum needed to boot inside vmware, virtualbox and

Anyone needing real hardware support can install NetBSD and xen.


On 31 March 2013 21:48, Eitan Adler <lists at> wrote:
> Hi,
> 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
> ARMv8.
> 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
> hardware.
> 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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