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Proposal: Let's drop i386

On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 11:25 PM, Thomas Ward <teward at> wrote:
> However, killing i386 support globally could introduce issues, including
> but not limited to certain upstream softwares having to go away
> entirely, due to the interdependency or issues with how certain apps
> work (read; Wine, 32-bit support, 64-bit support being flaky, and
> Windows apps being general pains in that they work on 32bit but not
> always on 64-bit).

If 32-bit x86 support becomes mainly a thing that's run on x86_64
hardware as a compatibility measure for things like Wine, it would
make sense to bring the instruction set baseline to the x86_64 level.
Specifically, it would make sense to compile the 32-bit x86 packages
with SSE2 unconditionally enabled.

This would mean dropping support for Pentium Pro and earlier or Athlon
XP and earlier, but it's pretty sad to leave all that performance on
the table in order to support the few computers still in use that have
Pentium Pro or earlier or Athlon XP or earlier.

As upstream software assumes SSE2 as the baseline, it will be less and
less a run-time check and compiling software without SSE2 will mean
shipping it in a damaged form performance-wise.

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at