Could an Intel 486 wake up with FC3

Aleksandar Milivojevic amilivojevic at
Mon Jan 31 16:51:17 UTC 2005

Michael wrote:
> You'd probably have better luck with a more minimalist distro as a 
> machine of that kind isn't going to have the resources required to run 
> most of the stuff that comes with Fedora. I'm not every sure if Fedora 
> comes with i386 packages still. (Anyone know? I don't feel like checking.)

All packages, except the kernel are i386.  Instrucion ordering is 
optimized for P4 (if I recall correctly), os things will run even slower 
on i486.  Kernel is available only as i586 (for older Pentium and AMD 
processors) and i686.  i386 version of glibc package (starting with FC3) 
apperently has i486 instructions (so it is not usable on real i386, but 
should run just fine on an i486).  For whatever reason packagers are 
still marking it as i386!?  This glibc anomaly was introduced because 
i486 instructions are required for NPTL support (there's no NPTL 
implementation using i386-only instruction set, apperently it would be 
too slow to be usable?).  Since glibc is distributed as only i386 (in 
reality i486) and i686, this way installations on older Pentium and AMD 
processors also get NPTL (this solved bunch of bugs with Berkely DB that 
simply assumes NPTL is available and packages that depend on it, such as 
Cyrus IMAPD, on older AMD and i586 processors).

So, if he manages to jump over kernel obstacle, he should be fine.  He 
might try installing on newer machine, reinstalling all i686 packages 
with i386 versions (such as glibc) if the newer machine was i686, 
recompiling the kernel (he'll need i486 kernel) and than moving disc to 
old machine.

Basically possible, but lots of work involved.

On the sidenote, since i586 is minimal supported platform, I don't know 
why packages are still built as i386, and not as i586.

Aleksandar Milivojevic <amilivojevic at>    Pollard Banknote Limited
Systems Administrator                           1499 Buffalo Place
Tel: (204) 474-2323 ext 276                     Winnipeg, MB  R3T 1L7

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