Linux kernel builders have debated eradicating help for Intel and HP’s now formally defunct Itanium/IA64 platform from the challenge, with the result showing to be a proposal to maintain it alive.

A Wednesday post by Arm principal software program developer Ard Biesheuvel identified that “The IA64 port of Linux has no maintainer, and in keeping with a report from its solely remaining person [0], it has been damaged for a month and no one cares.”

Biesheuvel recommended that set of circumstances makes persisting with help a nasty concept.

“On condition that conserving a fancy however unused structure alive makes use of up useful developer bandwidth, let’s simply eliminate it,” he wrote.

Linux boss Linus Torvalds weighed in along with his opinion that “I am not a fan of IA64 as an structure, however it’s kind of unhappy to take away it fully. It isn’t prefer it’s been an enormous upkeep burden basically.”

However he admitted that “if it does not work, and no one has the time and/or inclination to determine why, I do not actually see any various” to ending help. He later opined that conserving IA64 alive is not rather more onerous than the trouble to maintain one other long-dead structure – DEC’s Alpha – as an choice for kernel customers.

Because the thread contemplating the way forward for Itanium burbled alongside, a savior emerged: Physicist and Debian developer John Paul Adrian Glaubitz posted “I positively have the time to take care of the structure as I’m additionally sustaining it in Debian.”

Glaubitz even admitted “I at all times have an Itanium server prepared for testing kernels that I can energy on and management remotely through its built-in administration system.”

Higher but, he had put aside a few of subsequent weekend to repair the current regression that brought on the kernel to interrupt on the platform.

Dialogue then drifted off into the small print of what is wanted to make the kernel work on Itanium, once more.

Intel formally and eventually retired Itanium in July 2021, bringing to an finish an odd story that began within the mid-Nineties. Again then, Intel and a pre-split HP felt the x86 structure wasn’t a viable inheritor to the Unix-centric minicomputers that functioned because the midrange servers of the period. IA64 was their response – a nasty one because it turned out, as a result of x86 servers did simply positive.

The platform by no means actually took off, and Intel stopped work on it in 2004 – however by then sufficient customers had emerged that Linux kernel help made sense.

A close to twenty-year afterlife as legacy tech ensued.

And due to Glaubitz’s sort supply, that afterlife seems set to proceed. ®

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