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When should i386 support for Ubuntu end? Help Canonical decide

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Are you running i386 (32-bit) Ubuntu? We need your help to decide how much longer to build i386 images of Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and all the flavors.

There is a real cost to support i386 and the benefits have fallen as more software goes 64-bit only.

Please fill out the survey ONLY if you currently run i386 on one of your machines. 64-bit users will NOT be affected by this, even if you run 32-bit applications.

You can read the discussion that promoted this here. Article taken from
Tags: Hardware, Ubuntu
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slaapliedje 30 Jun, 2016
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Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: soulsourceActually they are contemplating the removal of multilib, and supporting 32bit only through Snap/Flatpak/Virtual Machines.
* Stop providing i386 port
* Run legacy i386 only application in snaps / containers / virtual machines

So terrible... just... no....
Errr, isn't Steam only 32bit?

Yup, sure is.

dpkg -l|grep steam
ii steam:i386 i386 Valve's Steam digital software delivery system
ii steam-devices all Device support for Steam-related hardware
ii steamcmd:i386 0~20130205-1 i386 Command-line interface for Valve's Steam
denyasis 30 Jun, 2016
Out of Curiosity, what is the actual cost of support? I was under the impression most of the builds are automated? or does it require substantial code modification to switch between 32 and 64 bit?

I use 32-bit on my HTPC - its an 10 year old laptop running Kodibuntu that we use for streaming. I suppose I could switch to a Pi3 if hardware support ended.

I have a family member who used a 32-bit Gateway PIII as a home file server until the past year or so (lasted 16+ years) so I can imagine a good number of people who use older hardware where they can't afford new hardware to play around with or replace. That was my case growing up. We had an 8086 until 1994 and I used my 286 all through school until 2002.
slaapliedje 30 Jun, 2016
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I think you're absolutely correct. The builds of the ISO are automated. The only work that is required is when it's a non-x86 port, in which case there are potential areas of code clean up and such that are required. It's one of the reasons the Debian m68k port is Unofficial, but if it can still be supported by an off-shoot group, why can't Canonical keep on supporting i386? Probably because they don't give a crap about old hardware and are trying for the Server/Phone/Heavy Desktop arena.

Maybe I should vote they drop i386, this way more people will move to Debian proper :D
gbudny 30 Jun, 2016
I think that all the comments about Linux users who use Ubuntu 32-bit because they only have the old computers don't make any sense. In my view, this is only one of the many reasons.

I want to remind you that many Linux users want to use Ubuntu 32-bit on their new computers in order to run old applications and classic games for Linux. I believe it is much easier to install those old apps and games on new versions of Ubuntu 32-bit than on Ubuntu 64-bit.

I also use Mac, and I hate the situation when Apple remove something from the system because they do not care about the old applications or classic games. Those radical changes do not help Mac become the more popular operating system among Windows users.

Why are Linux users expecting the same decisions from companies like Canonical?
myrrdin1975 1 Jul, 2016
Here's the deal. I agree with everyone that 32 bit should no longer be a thing as far as building a 32 bit version of the OS. However, there are 2 things that concern me.

1. I still run old games on linux therefore it would be nice if the 32 bit librarys were not lost to the computing abyss.

2. If there is going to be a push to 64 bit entirely, then the powers that be need to get their stuff together and produce a version of wine that can run a 64 bit install of games and or clients like Steam so that we can install games like The Witcher 3 that require 64 bit systems :)
F.Ultra 1 Jul, 2016
Just strange that they use a survey for this when they have download stats for their ISOs and their i386 repository. And "solving" multiarch via snap, please no.
14 29 Oct, 2016
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Quoting: PublicNuisanceIn my opinion 32 bit support should have died back in 2005. We have had 64 bit CPUs and operating systems for ages but they haven't killed off support yet. Think of the progress that could have been made elsewhere if resources and money weren't allocated to 32 bit support ?
But virtualization features necessary to host 64-bit guests haven't been around as long.
MaCroX95 29 Oct, 2016
32bit applications are dying at the speed of light, from day to day there are always fewer applications that run on 32bit OSs and the functionality is getting to the point where it would be better to put those resources in maybe something new... it is almost 2017, we need to move forward probably :)
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