32-bit Linux: Bright Future Or End Of Life? background image

32-bit Linux: Bright Future Or End Of Life?

Arnd Bergmann

It is easy to be misled into thinking that all 32-bit technology is obsolete given the news cycle for processors and system-on-chip (SoC) products these days is all about 64-bit cores powering the latest computers and smartphones. In many ways it would make life much easier for Kernel Developers if support for 32-bit hardware was removed entirely. However, a large portion of embedded systems today still use 32-bit processors which raises the question - will this ever change? Or will 32-bit continue to be the best option for devices that do not require significant resources?

In this LWN article, Arnd Bergmann rakes a look at the different types of systems supported in Linux today, examining how they have evolved over time with the introduction of 64-bit processors, why they remain popular, and what challenges these face today and in the future.