[CentOS-devel] Why does CentOS 5 claim to be i386 compatible when it's really not?

Paulo Martinez

martinezino at googlemail.com
Mon Dec 13 00:09:00 UTC 2010

Am 12.12.2010 um 22:35 schrieb Martin Jungowski:
> Hi everybody,
> I've tried to install CentOS 5.5 i386 on an AMD Geode LX 800  
> processor.

Installing SL5 on AMD Geode LX80


> That processor, being of the much more recent i586 family, is fully  
> i386-
> compatible. However, my attempt was brutally shattered when I had to

"brutally shattered" - What does that mean? Maybe a thermal issue ?)

> This is more of a general issue. i386 does not generally refer to
> "whatever x86-compatible processor is the most recent" but a very well
> defined and standardized architecture. Specifically, i386 refers to
> Intels 80386 processor and its 32-bit x86 architecture (which is why  
> x86
> are i386 are often used interchangeably when x86 should instead be
> referring to the 8086 architecture). Code that claims to be i386
> compatible has to run on any given microprocessor that claims to be  
> i386
> compatible. It's as simple as that: if it doesn't run on i386  
> processors
> then it's not i386 compatible. That's industry standard and thus
> universally valid. If one would claim i386 compatibility but require a
> x86_64 compatible processor, which of course would be capable of
> executing standard i386 code, it'd be the exact same issue. It'd be  
> more
> radical but at its core not different from CentOS's unmet claim of  
> i386
> copmpatibility.
> I guess my question is thus quite simple: why does CentOS 5 claim to  
> be
> i386 when it's not even remotely i386 compatible? And shouldn't the  
> name
> reflect code and/or processor family compatibility and affiliation?
> And in a closely related question of more personal interest: what  
> exactly
> is it that makes CentOS require an i686 processor?
> Thanks,
> Martin

Sorry Martin but the rest reads like a pressure blowout.



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