WebPositive on non SSE2 systems

Anyway to get it to work on non sse2 systems?

Afaik webkit insist to use sse.

But I would like to use all software available to me.

In this case, WebKit isn’t available for your system due to its requirements.

A dual pentium 3 system can’t run it?

Older versions of WebKit, maybe? Current WebKit however likely requires x86 extensions such as SSE2 which aren’t available on your system.

WebKit requires SSE2 for the Javascript JIT. We are already lucky that it is still possible to build it on 32 bit machines at all. In previous versions I had managed to disable some things in WebKit to make it run without SSE2, but:

  1. It makes things slower for everyone else
  2. It is not usable on old machines without SSE2, CPUs are too slow and often there is not enough RAM

So, the recommended solution is to use another browser such as NetSurf, or upgrade your hardware. Any CPU sold since 2003 supports SSE2. I’m all for giving a long life to computers, but running an 18 years old or more machine and expecting it to run modern software is pushing it too far. Imagine yourself in the year 2000 and considering using hardware from 1980 (maybe an Atari 400 or a C64) and expecting to run Windows 2000 or BeOS R5. This would never work. We are looking at a similar time frame here.


I think it would be a good idea to let the software see if sse2 is available I don’t mind if it runs a bit slower pentium 3 clocked 1 ghz x2 with 4GB of ram should be enough.

At that point, it would prolly be better to just compile a patched version yourself. WebKit is unlikely to run well on non-SSE2 processors without tweaks on the hardware side.

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How do I start?

We have not added this error message just to annoy you and force you to get a newer computer. I did my best to keep webkit running on old hardware but it is not possible anymore. This is apparently because their javascript engine is generating sse2 instructions and there is nothing that can be done on our side to fix that.

It’s not that it will run slower, it will just crash with an “undefined instruction” error.


We need to go with the future

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Based on this, it seems like trying to make WebKit run on non-SSE2 systems would essentially be creating a rather substantial or large fork. Maybe not to the same degree as Blink (Chromium), but prolly something that would be extremely difficult for a small team of developers (let alone a single person) to maintain long-term, given the scope and rapid development cadence of modern web engines.

You’re free to do so if you absolutely insist on doing that, but using simpler web browsers (e.g. NetSurf, Kristall, etc) or upgrading to newer hardware are all significantly easier options.

Netsurf’s target already is an extremely difficult one, beeing maintained by a small team of developers, for what ressources they have they are really doing an amazing job too! If you can’t use WebPositive using Netsurf is a good solution imo.


I was hoping it was easier to recompile it myself, and I already spend a bit of money to build this setup. I could wait for reactos to go to beta and hope it becomes stable enough to run in a stable state?

Btw I have ran debian testing on it, and it does runs okay on it. With xfce that is.

Can you point out a mainstream webbrowser which still supports CPUs without SSE2?
I mean FF, Cr, etc have tons of developers, but not even they supports configuations without it. Now isn’t it a bit lunatic (forgive me, but english is not my mother tongue and i am unable to find a better word) to expect that from WebPositive, which was so far basically a one-man show?
Of course some assembly required.

Debian still allows modern web browsers to run on non sse2 computers, not sure how but it does. So?

If that’s the case, then have you considered looking into how Debian’s WebKit enables support for non-SSE2 systems and attempt to adopt it to haikuwebkit?


There’s one patch about SSE2 here, didn’t look into it:

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