CPU, Main Boards, and Video Support
Complete information concerning supported peripherals can be found at
Linux Hardware Compatibility HOWTO.
This section merely outlines the basics.
Nearly all x86-based (IA-32) processors still in use in personal computers
are supported, including all varieties of Intel's "Pentium" series.
This also includes 32-bit AMD and VIA (former Cyrix) processors, and new
processors like the Athlon XP and Intel P4 Xeon.
If your system has a 64-bit AMD64, Intel EM64t or Intel Core 2 Duo processor,
you will probably want to use the installer for the amd64 architecture instead
of the installer for the (32-bit) i386 architecture.
However, Debian GNU/Linux &releasename; will not run
on 386 or earlier processors. Despite the architecture name "i386", Debian
Sarge has dropped support for actual 80386 processors
(and their clones), which were supported by earlier releases
We have long tried to avoid this, but in the end it was necessary due a
unfortunate series of issues with the compiler and the kernel, starting
with an bug in the C++ ABI provided by GCC. You should still be able to
run Debian GNU/Linux on actual 80386 processors if you compile your own
kernel and compile all packages from source, but that is beyond the
scope of this manual.
. (No version of Linux has ever supported the 286 or earlier
chips in the series.) All i486 and later processors are still
Many Debian packages will actually run slightly faster on modern computers
as a positive side effect of dropping support for these old chips. The
i486, introduced in 1989, has three opcodes (bswap, cmpxchg, and xadd)
which the i386, introduced in 1986, did not have. Previously, these could not
be easily used by most Debian packages; now they can.
The system bus is the part of the motherboard which allows the CPU to
communicate with peripherals such as storage devices. Your computer
must use the ISA, EISA, PCI, the Microchannel Architecture (MCA, used
in IBM's PS/2 line), or VESA Local Bus (VLB, sometimes called the VL
bus). Essentially all personal computers sold in recent years use one