Thursday, 30 June 2016

Re: Installation Media and supportability of i386 in 18.04 LTS Re: Ubuntu Desktop on i386

Hello Mark,

On 29 June 2016 at 14:37, Mark Shuttleworth <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> Folks, I think we need to understand whether i386 won't be widely used
> for very small IoT devices and hence be important for developers
> targeting those. I accept i386 i no longer relevant for PC's and
> laptops, but I would not be surprised if 32-bit x86 is used in small
> 'embedded' environments. Please factor this in to the discussion, and
> let's circle back to review once there is an assessment that includes
> that insight.
>

Indeed. I believe we will continue to have 32-bit x86 port in 18.04
LTS and we will continue to asses which subsets of it are reasonable
to support and ship in various form factors.

Looking at the SoC and Embedded CPU product lines from Intel (Atom and
launched SoFIA), AMD, VIA - they are all 64-bit capable CPUs.

Is the choice to go i386 there is not due CPU capabilities, but due to
memory constraints?

I think it might make sense to investigate if we can optimise and
reduce our minimal required committed RAM usage on 64-bit, from fixing
software bugs to pulling tricks with compressed RAM and swap. If we
can hit low enough memory usage, a choice to use 64-bit will become
less of issue in such devices. And at the same time improve our
deployment density in the cloud scenarios.

Failing that, is there a sufficient demand in the embedded space for x32 port?

Above are some of the questions to resolve in the coming years.

--
Regards,

Dimitri.

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