Older Hardware Architectures Not Being Supported in Debian 9 “Stretch”

A Debian project is a group of individuals responsible for one of the largest Unix-like operating system ever created.

Debian is forged entirely of free and open source software and divided into three categories each signifying the level of development.

The three stages are unstable, testing and stable. All new developments are uploaded with the unstable tag, meaning the programme is in its very early stages of development. After all the parts are put together in the unstable phase, the software is then migrated to testing where it is tested to see how the parts function together. All Debian releases go through these stages before becoming stable and released to the public.


First introduced in 1993 by Ian Murdock, Debian has grown exponentially and has access to an online repository that sports over 50,000 software packages making it one of the largest adopted bases in the world.

One of the Debian project developers has announced recently that the project is going to drop support for older 32-bit hardware architectures for the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

According to the announcement, the decision to push aside older hardware support for the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux operating system 9.0 which is codenamed “Strech” has brewed up since last year.



“Last year it was decided to increase the minimum CPU features for the i386 architecture to 686-class in the stretch release cycle. This means dropping support for 586-class and hybrid 586/686 processors[1].(Support for 486-class processors was dropped, somewhat accidentally, in squeeze.)”

The move has already been implemented in the Linux Kernel 4.3 which has been uploaded to the unstable repository during December of 2015.


“In case you missed that change, gcc for i386 has recently been changed to target 686-class processors and is generating code that will crash on other processors. Any such systems still running testing or unstable will need to be switched to run stable (Jessie).”

Older hardware will be continuously supported under Jessie at at least until 2018 and that length can increase to 2020 if i386 is added to the Jessie LTS.

The processors getting the boot are:

* AMD K5, K6, K6-2 (aka K6 3D), K6-3
* DM&P/SiS Vortex86, Vortex86SX
* Cyrix III, MediaGX, MediaGXm
* IDT Winchip C6, Winchip 2
* Intel Pentium, Pentium with MMX
* Rise mP6
* VIA C3 ‘Samuel 2’, C3 ‘Ezra’


About The Author
Lamin Kanteh
Lamin loves smartphones and was introduced to the world of mobile devices with Android. Ubuntu is new to him, but he is enjoying writing about it so far.

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