80386 support in -current

Andy Farkas andyf at speednet.com.au
Sun Jan 25 13:37:56 PST 2004

Peter Jeremy wrote:

> Interesting.  Does anyone on this list actually use -CURRENT on a 386?
> Is it time to bite the bullet and fully desupport the 80386?  It looks
> like threads don't work and it's likely that other bitrot will set in
> in the absence of active testing.

Yes. Bring on the axes!

This came up almost a year ago (late Feb 2003). Here are some exerps from
a few emails I kept on the subject:

John Baldwin <jhb at FreeBSD.org> wrote:

I personally think that we should not support the 80386 in 5.x.
However when that has been brought up before there were a lot of
theoretical objections.

Poul-Henning Kamp <phk at FreeBSD.ORG> wrote:

Well, unless somebody actually manages to put a -current on an i386
and run the tests I suggested in a couple of weeks, then I think
those theoretical objections stand very weakly in the light of
proven reality :-)

Poul-Henning Kamp <phk at FreeBSD.ORG> wrote:

My main concern would be if the chips have the necessary "umphf"
to actually do a real-world job once they're done running all the
overhead of 5.0-R.  The lack of cmpxchg8 makes the locking horribly

This last point is the clincher. The chip does NOT have enough "umphf". I
actually managed to boot a -current (from back then) on a 80386SX and it
was torturously slow. An ls(1) on my empty home directory took 15 seconds.
My VAX is faster.

Lets here it from *anyone* actually using one.. but I doubt it.


 :{ andyf at speednet.com.au

        Andy Farkas
    System Administrator
   Speednet Communications

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