The most recent i686 system I have running (and want to still consider
runnable) is an LFS-7.7 with gcc-4.9.2. I had already patched the kernel to
4.1.42, then recently 4.4.110. The most recent patch level I saw today is
4.4.114, which I suppose has "nicer" patches. I've installed this system with
the original kernel on a 1 MHz low-power (~10W) VIA C7 "Esther" (P3 equivalent)
system, but while compatible the CPU can be painfully slow. Not today, Esther.
I worked on my "development box", on a 2.66 MHz Core-2 Duo "Conroe" 6700.
I generally followed Ken's path, with the excption that in compiling gcc-7.3 I
added --target=i686-pc-linux-gnu to make double sure there was no confusion on
this x86-64 capable CPU to build i686 code.
The compile went fine, and when I patched the kernel I agreed to the
"retpoline" option. But when I use a version of my usual kern-build script
modified with the PATH change as Ken used it, going first through menuconfig
(there *was* some change that prompted a rebuild, right?) PAGE_TABLE_ISOLATION
was missing from Security Options, so apparently the Meltdown mitigation hasn't
made its way into 4.4 i686 kernels yet.
No use building Spectre mitigation if Meltdown is wide open, so I bailed out at
that point. I'm still hoping for Meltdown patches!
Rogers' Second Law: "Everything you do communicates."
(I do not personally endorse any additions after this line. TANSTAAFL :-)
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