Question concerning the IDS2016 log

IT Superhack itsuperhack at
Sun Sep 11 11:48:00 CEST 2016


Michael Tremer:
> Hi,
> On Thu, 2016-09-08 at 16:30 +0000, IT Superhack wrote:
>> Hello Michael,
>> hello development-list,
>> I have a question concerning the IDS2016 (URL:
>> /log),
>> where it says: "Dropping i686 + armv5tel - No need for it any more"
> Yeah, we didn't really log everything what we talked about. There was a little
> bit more than that and there is probably a little bit more detail to all of it
> than that.
> But generally we didn't make as many decisions as we used to do since we have
> the monthly telephone conference.
That's okay. The logs of your telephone conferences are mostly very useful. :-)
>> To me, it has not become fully clear if this means the architecture or the
>> whole
>> release format. For example, nearly nobody (Fireinfo says: 0,07%) is running
>> an IPFire system with the armv5tel architecture - these are afaik mostly old
>> systems like the Raspberry Pi which are certainly not suitable for a firewall
>> purpose.
> So to give a little bit more detail:
> The plan is to drop all 32 bit architectures as soon as possible. We do not see
> any point in supporting these any longer.
> That starts with ARM where we never really got a number of users that is high
> enough to justify all the effort that is going into development of this.
> And secondly x86: All hardware that is bought today or in the last ~5 years will
> support 64 bit. If it doesn't and if someone bought an other ALIX device that is
> just bad luck. These are too slow to run an IPFire system decently any ways and
> there is better alternatives on the market.
> That is why we do not see any point whatsoever to continue supporting these
> architectures.
In my point of view, that's really sad. ARM could be a great thing if the vendors
would provide the source codes (which most of them don't) and if the boards would
last for some time.

Personally, I am content with the ARM architecture for firewall purposes since
it is more secure. For example, there is no "Management Engine", which we know from Intel CPUs

Second, it is very hard to find a usable hardware which is only consummating ~ 3
Watts when idle.
> We will keep armv7hl for now because there is a some hardware around and our
> build system use it, but this will probably go away very soon when there is no
> usable hardware around soon.
Hm, I see. Hope devices like Banana Pi and Wandboard will last some time...
>> On the other hand, > 80% run an i686 system, and I guess it wouldn't make
>> sense to make these installations unusable because of EOL. But maybe
>> "dropping"
>> means that you will remove some specific patches for i686, so these will
>> run with i586 afterwards.
> No, this will scrap support for i686 entirely.
>> Within the ARM stuff, the situation is not that clear for me. Are you panning
>> to remove the ARM support at all? Or are you going to remove ARMv5 devices
>> from
>> the "supported ARM devices list"?
> We actually have done that in the past and we did not add any new hardware
> support in the last few years.
> There is neither support nor any requests from the community for this.
> Feel free to leave your comments on this. Would be happy to hear if someone can
> come up with at least one argument to continue 32 bit support. We couldn't find
> a single one.
Well, as Rod wrote in his mail, there might be some networks which consist of
"legacy" systems. Here, it might be useful to post a message on the planet a month
or so before discontinue support so they can upgrade.
>> Sorry if there is a misunderstanding here - got way little coffe today. ;-)
>> Best regards,
>> Timmothy Wilson
> Best,
> -Michael
Best regards,
Timmothy Wilson

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