In the previous post, we’ve discussed about why Raspberry Pi is important. And then we clarified the importance of both Raspberry Pi and ARM processor architecture. Now it’s time to discuss about the importance of x86. I have a few reasons for making a x86 specific version of JabirOS and this post will be covering all of them.
It is still around and vastly used
Believe it or not, x86 was and is one of the most used architectures in the whole history of personal computing. Most of computers older than 2020, are based one of x86 based CPUs manufactured by intel or AMD! So this means we still can rely on the number of users who own at least one x86 machine.
And even better, I still see most of newly built computers are coming with x86 processors. So it is really a good idea to keep OS or software being developed for this architecture.
Old computers are still in use, and we can help people bring them to life
This is another reason I re-started Jabir Technologies. A few months ago, I had a very long conversation with a friend over phone. We talked about our ideas of a simple, reliable and light-weight operating system. It made the first sparks in my head.
I was thinking about how a simple operating system change, can keep you from spending an awful lot of money to get a new machine you probably do not need. And I also remembered that I could run a minimal Debian installation with GNOME on an old machine with only 4 gigabytes of RAM and it worked perfectly!
So, this is one of the best use cases of x86. An old computer which has an intel CPU, can have a brand new operating system and work for 3 up to 5 years more! And I guess this is a win-win game for both parties (us and the computer owners).
It’s easier to gather beta-testers
A beta release is commonly used to find bugs and problems in an operating system (or any other software project). So considering the population of people around me who shown their interest in being a beta-tester, shows me how much opportunity I will lose if I just rely on ARM architecture. So the project needs testers, and it has to be able to get up and running on their computers.
Now, I guess this is why x86 matters even more than before. And there is a final reason, which I will give you.
Let’s develop JabirOS on JabirOS, okay?
This is more like a very personal reason, since you can develop a GNU/Linux system on pretty much every other GNU/Linux system (as long as you have the tools) but I personally prefer to use a machine that runs JabirOS to develop the project.
In conclusion, I can say that x86 is still dominating the personal computer market and success of a “general purpose” operating system which is not licensed for a certain type of computer is depending on how general it can be in terms of the hardware.
We all now that Linux has a good support of most of the hardware products available out there, but when it comes to x86, it’s insanely great (despite having problems with NVIDIA) and this made me seriously think about having an x86 version for the operating system as well.