Home >> News >> Linux 5.14 drops old DEC Alpha-specific binary loader used for x86 binary emulation

Linux 5.14 drops old DEC Alpha-specific binary loader used for x86 binary emulation

As a weekend blast from the past, the Linux 5.14 kernel saw some Alpha CPU architecture updates — including various fixes and the removal of an Alpha-specific binary loader for running a decades dated x86 software emulator.

While past the merge window, the Linux 5.14 code this week has dropped “binfmt_em86” from the kernel. This is an Alpha binary loader for Linux focused on running i386/i486 binaries via the EM86 emulator in user-space. This was part of the effort for allowing Intel Linux x86 binaries back in the day to run on DEC Alpha hardware.

How will I run x86 Linux binaries on my AlphaServer ES47 now? What a preposterous commit. Linux is definitely going down the drain.

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