Re: [PATCH v14 08/14] mm: multi-gen LRU: support page table walks

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Fri Oct 21 2022 - 12:50:50 EST

On Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 8:38 PM Matthew Wilcox <willy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 07:10:46PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> >
> > We got rid of i386 support back in 2012. Maybe it's time to get rid of
> > i486 support in 2022?
> Arnd suggested removing i486 last year and got a bit of pushback.
> The most convincing to my mind was Maciej:

Hmm. Maciej added to the cc.

I suspect we can just say "oh, well, use LTS kernels".

> but you can see a few other responses indicating that people have
> shipped new 486-class hardware within the last few years (!)

Hmm.. I can only find references to PC104 boards with Bay Trail
(Pentium-class Atom core, iirc), and some possible FPGA
implementations through MISTer.

There's apparently also a Vortex86DX board too, and I don't know what
core that is based off, but judging from the fact that it has a
dual-core version, it had *better* support cmpxchg8b anyway, because
without that our 64-bit atomics aren't actually atomic.

(Trying to google around, it looks like the older Vortex86SX was a
486-class CPU and did indeed lack CX8)

Intel had some embedded cores (Quark) that were based on the i486
pipeline (as can be seen from the timings), but they actually reported
themselves as Pentium-class and supported all the classic (pre-MMX)
Pentium features.

So I *really* don't think i486 class hardware is relevant any more.
Yes, I'm sure it exists (Maciej being an example), but from a kernel
development standpoint I don't think they are really relevant.

At some point, people have them as museum pieces. They might as well
run museum kernels.

Moving up to requiring cmpxchg8b doesn't sound unreasonable to me.