Tag Archives: Discuss

Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping x32 Support


LINUX KERNEL --

It was just several years ago that the open-source ecosystem began supporting the x32 ABI, but already kernel developers are talking of potentially deprecating the support and for it to be ultimately removed.

The Linux x32 ABI as a reminder requires x86_64 processors and is engineered to support the modern x86_64 features but with using 32-bit pointers rather than 64-bit pointers. The x32 ABI allows for making use of the additional registers and other features of x86_64 but with just 32-bit pointers in order to provide faster performance when 64-bit pointers are unnecessary.

While the x32 support was plumbed through the Linux landscape, it really hasn’t been used much. Kernel developers are now discussing the future of the x32 ABI due to the maintenance cost involved in still supporting this code but with minimal users.

Linus Torvalds is in favor of sunsetting x32 and many other upstream contributors in favor of seeing it deprecated and removed. However, there are some users still of this port although no known enterprise users, so we’ll see what ends up happening with Linux x32.