i386 finally gone the way of the dodo

The days of Intel’s i386 are finally over as the new version of Linux has dropped support for the ancient chip.

The chip had good innings. It was launched in 1985. It is not clear who is still using one but if they are they must he running Linux as Windows has not been able to use that chip for ages.

Developers of the Linux kernel decided to drop support for it. The 386-CPU’s support was causing a few headaches for developers and killing it off “zaps quite a bit of complexity”.

Developer Ingo Molnar submitted the change to the open source community this week.

According to PC World, he said that the complexity has meant extra work for kernel developers for years. It does mean that starting with Linux 3.8, very old hardware can’t run modern versions of Linux. It will not mean they can’t work.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds was also unconcerned about ancient computers no longer running.

He said he was not sentimental and as far as he was concerned it was good riddance.

The i386 has not been made since September 2007. At that point in their life they were not used in PCs and only had a life in embedded systems and in phones, including the BlackBerry 950 and Nokia 9000 Communicator.

Linux 3.7 is notable for new features including multiplatform ARM support and 64-bit ARM support as well as heightened security, full TCP Fast Open support, and improved drivers for Intel and Nvidia graphics hardware.