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Re: dropping 32-bit host support

From: Philippe Mathieu-Daudé
Subject: Re: dropping 32-bit host support
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2023 08:29:02 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.15; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.8.0

Hi Liviu,

On 16/3/23 07:19, Liviu Ionescu wrote:

On 16 Mar 2023, at 02:57, Andrew Randrianasulu <randrianasulu@gmail.com> wrote:

Looking at https://wiki.qemu.org/ChangeLog/8.0

System emulation on 32-bit x86 and ARM hosts has been deprecated. The QEMU 
project no longer considers 32-bit x86 and ARM support for system emulation to 
be an effective use of its limited resources, and thus intends to discontinue.


well, I guess arguing from memory-consuption point on 32 bit x86 hosts (like my 
machine where I run 32 bit userspace on 64 bit kernel) is not going anywhere, 
but what about 32bit userspace on Android tablets, either via Limbo emulator or 
qemu itself in Termux?

or the countless 32-bit Raspberry Pi?

my xPack binary tools, which include qemu arm & qemu riscv, are also available 
for arm 32-bit, and the analytics show about the same number of downloads for 
32-bit as for 64-bit.

given the current chip shortages, I estimate that the 32-bit Arm binaries will 
still be useful for a few more years.

IIUC xPack uses npm -- so work on any environment where npm works --,
and fetch/install existing toolchains. Looking at ARM, all offered
toolchains are 64-bit host [1] and the deprecated [2]. Toolchains for
32-bit hosts are still available but also listed as "deprecated" [3].

[1] https://developer.arm.com/downloads/-/arm-gnu-toolchain-downloads
[2] https://developer.arm.com/downloads/-/gnu-a
[3] https://developer.arm.com/downloads/-/gnu-rm

If QEMU is useful to you for testing installing xPack on a 32-bit
emulated guest, I strongly recommend you to do that on a 64-bit host
rather than a limited performance 32-bit Raspberry Pi 2, it is a much
more pleasant "user experience". IMHO Raspberry Pi 2 was designed for
embedded setup and prototyping with other electronic devices, not
really as a compute intensive build CPU.

At least I hope it will be not *actively* (intentionally) broken, just 
...unsupported (so users who know how to run git revert still will get their 
build for some more time).

I concur, please do not intentionally break support for arm 32-bit, this will 
make a lot of unhappy users, who currently have no choice to upgrade.

thank you,




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