Old Motorola 68000 systems can now be free of Linux’s deprecated IDE code

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The Motorola 68000 “m68k” series is still popular with some enthusiasts and found in early Apple Macintosh computers. Two m68k class drivers not having libata equivalents was one of the rare scenarios where the legacy IDE code within the Linux kernel is still used.

Earlier this year was talk of Linux finally removing its legacy IDE subsystem that has been deprecated for years in favor of just maintaining the still-supported libata code for IDE support. The libata path is much better supported and matured for nearly two decades, but one of the holdouts was some Motorola 68000 series hardware — like early Macintosh computers — not being supported outside of the legacy context. That is finally set to change with Linux 5.14 so in turn the legacy IDE code will likely be able to be removed soon.

But, a few months later, there is now a solution queued for the next kernel cycle. Thanks to Finn Thain of the Linux m68k project there is replacing the q40ide driver to instead use pata_falcon and falconide code. As well from Finn is replacing macide with generic platform drivers. The macide replacement has been tested with a Macintosh Quadra 630 to success for using the modern libata code instead.

Replacing those m68k era IDE drivers with libata equivalents was queued into the block-next code this week, which means it is material for Linux 5.14. Though not yet queued is the removal of the legacy IDE code so we’ll see if that still squeezes into the 5.14 cycle or is pushed off longer but at least now there are even less uses for it.

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  • Old Motorola 68000 systems can now be free of Linux’s deprecated IDE code
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