IPFire Linux Firewall Discontinues Support for 32-Bit Systems with PAE

IPFire 2.25 Core Update 141 released


A new update to the IPFire Linux firewall distribution has been released today with some important under-the-hood changes, especially regarding the future of 32-bit support.

IPFire 2.25 Core Update 146 was announced today by developer Michael Tremer. This release bumps the Linux kernel to version 4.14.184 LTS, as well as the Intel microcode firmware, to mitigate the recent Intel hardware vulnerabilities dubbed as CrossTalk.

Another important change in this new IPFire update is the discontinuation of support for 32-bit systems with PAE (Physical Address Extension), a memory management feature for the x86 architecture that allows 32-bit CPUs to access more than 4GB of RAM.

IPFire 2.25 Core Update 146 doesn’t ship with the optional PAE kernel. The developers recommend all those using IPFire on pure 32-bit systems to upgrade their hardware to 64-bit as soon as possible.

Other 32-bit systems are still supported at this time, but future IPFire releases will probably be 64-bit only since only a few users are using it these days.

“Since it is becoming more and more difficult to support 32 bit architectures, we have taken the decision to slowly ease it out,” said Michael Tremer. “For now, we will continue to support 32 bit, but it definitely has become a second-class architecture for the Linux kernel developers as well as plenty of other software.”

On top of that, the latest IPFire Linux Firewall update also deprecates the Xen installer tool for 32-bit paravirtualized systems, which was used to support systems that didn’t had hardware virtualization.

IPFire 2.25 Core Update 146 is available for download right now from the official website or by clicking the button below. Existing users need only to update their installations, no need to download the new ISO image, which is made only for new deployments.

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