considering i386 as a tier 1 architecture

Joe Holden lists at
Tue Apr 2 02:12:12 UTC 2013

Adrian Chadd wrote:
> 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
> xen.
> Anyone needing real hardware support can install NetBSD and xen.
The irony being that NetBSD runs on really obscure hardware but nothing 
that anybody anywhere uses? ;)

> Adrian
> 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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