[OpenIndiana-discuss] All 32-bit-only X device drivers removed from Hipster -??

ken mays maybird1776 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 5 15:07:37 UTC 2015

Removing 32-bit support was not until another release from now.

     On Thursday, March 5, 2015 6:52 AM, Alexander Pyhalov <alp at rsu.ru> wrote:


I think I have to comment some statements to make them clearer.

On 03/05/2015 10:04, Nikola M wrote:
> I have been reading 'Hipster' change log, posted on Openindiana wiki
> under the page:
> http://wiki.openindiana.org/oi/oi_hipster
> and I noticed that alp did "All 32-bit-only X device drivers removed.",
> just after updating them.

First of all, we removed all old X device drivers. The full list is the 
following: apm, ark, chips, glint, i128, i174, neomagic, rendition, s3, 
s3virge, silliconmotion, sls, tdfx, tga, tseng.

Note, that they were dropped upstream, so I can't even suggest that they 
were tested by Oracle developers. If noone has tested the code, it means 
it doesn't work. If someone wants to support them - I means build with 
new Xorg for BOTH 32-bit and 64-bit Xserver and test that they actually 
work, we'll add them back. Good news is that I haven't seen these 
devices in the wild for ages. Last s3 I've seen was on my Pentium 
133-based workstation. Anyway, vesa should support them. I can test (and 
care about) nvidia, radeon, virtualbox and (now) intel video adapters. I 
haven't tested intel during update (as I didn't have necessary hardware) 
- and you see that it led to breakage.

> As recently it was mentioned on mailing list by alp, that he is thinking
> of removing 32-bit hardware support for no clear reasons,
> Remind you that all Openindiana ISO disks till now both work on 32-bit
> and 64-bit x86 hardware, both as LiveDVD media and after install, with
> most of applications being 32bit on 64bit hardware.
> Removing also such excellent functionality is also questionable.

I think about removing 32-bit hardware support for the following reasons:
- (the main one) it allows us to be closer to upstream and so decreases 
work on porting software from upstream. When only 3 men do something for 
distribution on regular basis, it's a great win (also think about new 
bugs, which can be unique to 32-bit applications, see, for example, 
- 64-bit ABI is cleaner and we should think less about long file names 
compilation environment, ability to use more ram and so on (for example, 
do we really need 32-bit PostgreSQL or Percona Server ?);
- testing... Everyone runs 64-bit systems. When we broke Gnome on 32-bit 
systems, we found out it only two months later, because Jim decided to 
install OI in 32-bit VirtualBox VM... Perhaps, just noone uses Hipster 
on 32-bit systems?

Anyway, it was just a suggestion, not stated goal.

> Those are machines coming brand new with 32-bit OSes in March 2015 with
> no less then 2GB of RAM or 4 with less usabe, that is still considered
> 'just fine' amount for many desktop and small server needs. Also this
> kind of hardware is all around us and it is simply not the case that
> 'every computer in last 7-8 years is 64bit',
> , but also vast amount of them has up to 4GB of RAM and 32-bit OS es
> installed and that is big potential also for OI use that, should not be
> destroyed.

Really, I can't imaging doing something besides basic testing on PC with 
< 2 GB of RAM. Your FF will eat first one, ZFS arc  the second and IPS 
will go in swap... And what for do you need 32-bit server? The last 
32-bit server we had was shut down it seems in 2012. It had 2GB RAM and 
run FreeBSD 6.4.... Oh, no, we still have one gateway which runs FreeBSD 
4.6.2 and has ~ 400M RAM. I hope you are not going to run OI on such 
"server" :)

> If some techical things are in mind here , then OI should firstly have
> at least some or ANY release, following /dev that could fully support
> 32-bit and not, before that move and not letting down existing users.

As I mentioned, I'll help man who wants to do "stable", "release" or 
what else based on current Hipster. But it's impossible in current 
situation when we don't have enough developers.
Best regards,
Alexander Pyhalov,
system administrator of Southern Federal University IT department

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