Removing vm86 support?

Andrew Lutomirski luto at
Wed Jul 8 18:29:42 UTC 2015

On Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 6:48 AM, Adam Jackson <ajax at> wrote:
> On Tue, 2015-07-07 at 16:20 -0700, Andrew Lutomirski wrote:
>> I'm asking here because Fedora seems to one of few distros that
>> enables CONFIG_VM86 on 32-bit kernels.
>> Would anyone object if the upstream kernel (and hence Fedora) removed
>> vm86 support?  This would break 16-bit real mode programs under
>> dosemu.  It would have no effect on 16-bit protected mode programs
>> under dosemu (i.e. anything that works on a 64-bit kernel), on dosbox
>> (which you should be using instead of dosemu anyway) or on KVM (which
>> is also a much better option than dosemu).
> We don't even have dosemu packaged.  Haven't since RHL 7.1 power tools,
> if brew is to be believed, certainly never in Fedora.

Ah, it's in rpmfusion, not Fedora.

> I have occasionally appreciated the ability to compare vm86 to x86emu
> when debugging vesa failures, but that's rapidly ceasing to be a thing
> I need to care about.  I do wonder why its something that needs to be
> removed entirely instead of locked in a disused filing cabinet in the
> basement, but I'm not going to shed any tears if it goes away.

It may not end up going away.  I want to mark it BROKEN, which means
that basically everyone's config will disable it.  The problem is that
it's buggy and probably full of security holes.


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