Linux Drops 386 Support

Intel's 80386 processors will no longer be supported by the Linux kernel, announced Linus Torvalds.

Back in 1985, the launch of the 386 made quite an impact with technology firms but it was only when the chip was picked up by Compaq's PCs followed by its appearance in an IBM PC that people really sat up and took notice.

Its impressive speeds of up to 33 mHZ was something of a revelation in those days, but by the time Pentium and 489 arrived, 386s dropped out of the radar. Intel continued making them right up until 2007.

Torvalds published the death of Linux on 386 in the post titled: "Merge branch 'x86-nuke386-for-linus' of git://git./linux/kernel/git/tip/tip".

"This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity," wrote the Linux creator, "which complexity has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years."

He added: "I'm not sentimental. Good riddance."

Despite Torvalds appearing to sound pleased to see the back of the kernel, many may not share the same opinion. For those who built embedded systems on 386s, the habit of a Linux lifetime has officially come to an end.

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