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SubjectRe: Article: IBM wants to "clean up the license" of Linux
On Sat, Jan 02, 1999 at 06:34:27PM -0500, Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH wrote:
> (config.guess rant: *why* the exact processor ID? About half of configure
> scripts fall over in ECE Linux builds because they don't expect "i686".
> This should be "x86". And if it has to be exact, where are AMD and Cyrix?)

If you configure it for i686-unknown-linux-gnu, then the default compiler will
compile code that is tuned for an i686 (ie, Pentium-Pro, Pentium-II), but still
only use instructions common to all members of the x86 family. Similarly if
you configure it for i386-... it will default to compiling code for a 386
target. I do wish RedHat, S.U.S.E, et al would deliver compilers configured
for a 686 (that being the common computer sold now adays -- also there in the
argument you want the default to be schedule for the high end computers since
those are the users paying the most for performance). Of course it would be
nice if anybody who packages the compiler puts in links to the assembler,
linker, etc. in the install directory so that cross compilers are easy to

Since the GNU model of the world is more towards everybody downloading the
compiler and building it for his/her own machine, this is a reasonable default.
I believe its been in place for some time (I seem to recall it in the 2.6 era,
when I breifly was the x86 coordinator, and you only had two choices 386 or

> IOW the correct config.guess triple *should* be "x86-pc-linux". Or
> "x86-gnu-linux"; an accurate statement, since the userspace code is
> something like 85% FSF code (and this nicely ends the current argument).
> "i?86-pc-linux-gnu" is silly, and "i?86-{redhat,suse,...}-linux{,-gnu}" is
> sillier.

It is a can of worms to open this debate again. Yes, you have valid points,
but I suspect the political (between egcs, FSF, linux, etc.) aarguments will
dward the technical ones.

Michael Meissner, Cygnus Solutions (Massachusetts office)
4th floor, 955 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA, 617-354-5416 (office), 617-354-7161 (fax)

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