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developerWorks: Linux, Outside the (x86) Box

May 27, 2005, 05:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Seebach)

"In the early days, Linux ran on just a narrow range of systems, mostly processors compatible with the Intel® 80386 processor. But the drive to get the first shell prompt on a new piece of hardware motivates people to do crazy things, targeting a variety of processors that "everyone knows" are not viable Linux platforms, such as handheld computers, watches, game consoles, and a variety of workstations and servers.

"Some people tend to dismiss non-x86 Linux as an idle amusement (it isn't; it's actually more than just a lot of fun). Linux development for other-than-x86 hardware has led to improvements in the quality of the Linux kernel, even for x86 users. Today, the main Linux kernel has code for 22 architectures, although not all of them are equally well supported or mature..."

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