Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

As an update to the situation around Canonical planning to drop 32bit support (and Valve saying bye-bye to Ubuntu 19.10+ support), apparently they're not. Instead, the 32bit libraries will be frozen. Are you confused yet? I sure am.

Canonical's Steve Langasek has attempted to clarify the situation. Here's what they said:

I’m sorry that we’ve given anyone the impression that we are “dropping support for i386 applications”. That’s simply not the case. What we are dropping is updates to the i386 libraries, which will be frozen at the 18.04 LTS versions. But there is every intention to ensure that there is a clear story for how i386 applications (including games) can be run on versions of Ubuntu later than 19.10.

That's at least a little better, isn't it? They also said a little further:

[…] since the vast majority of i386-only software is also legacy (closed-source, will never be rebuilt), it also does not generally benefit from newer libraries […]

There's a pretty big difference from not being "included as an architecture", to having them available but frozen and still possible to use, isn't there? It's confusing, since that's not how it was originally explained. This is something that should have been said very clearly from the start.

Perhaps this might not be the epic disaster many people (myself included) thought it might turn out to be. We still have to wait and see how exactly they implement all this, and how it will affect gaming.

There's still going to be confusion and issues though, like upgrading drivers. Touching on that, Langasek said:

32-bit mesa will be available in the Ubuntu 18.04 repository. Note that mesa already gets updates in 18.04 which track the versions from later Ubuntu releases, as part of hardware enablement. If incompatibilities are introduced beyond 20.04 (which is the cutoff for hardware enablement backports for 18.04), we will need to address them on a case-by-case basis.

So it sounds like you're still going to be stuck in some ways. Seems like the proposal is still no good for Wine either (and so Steam Play too).

Article taken from
Tags: Distro News, Misc
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
Page: «3/13»
  Go to:

sub Jun 23, 2019
I really hope this won't stop Valve going for a new reference Linux distribution.
vector Jun 23, 2019
Quote...that's not how it was originally explained
To my eye, it doesn't read too terribly different than the last paragraph of the original announcement, perhaps a little bit clearer. But if the original announcement didn't suffice for Wine and Steam developers, I'm not sure why the restatement would.

Original announcement:
"...we will not provide 32-bit builds of new upstream versions of libraries..."

"What we are dropping is updates to the i386 libraries, which will be frozen at the 18.04 LTS versions"

Original announcement:
"there are a number of ways that 32-bit applications can continue to be made available to users of later Ubuntu releases, as detailed in [4]. We will be working to polish the 32-bit support story over the course of the 19.10 development cycle."


"...there is every intention to ensure that there is a clear story for how i386 applications (including games) can be run on versions of Ubuntu later than 19.10."


It's not clear that anything has really changed, other than some wording.

For example, this doesn't really address:
Quoting:"Reading more carefully: their suggestion is to use a containerized 18.04 environment (snaps) to run Wine on a 19.10 system. This would use the 18.04 packages. But since there's no expectation of long term support for the environment containing 32-bit packages, I can't see any point in putting much effort into this temporary solution.
Nanobang Jun 23, 2019
What's that you say Canonical's Steve Langasek? You're backpeddling as fast as you can? Come now, surely you'll need to go faster than that if you ever hope to go backwards in time!

On an entirely different note, looks like it's pretty straightforward to install my VPN's client on Solus. Yes Mr. Langasek, I think that's great news too!


Last edited by Nanobang on 23 June 2019 at 5:59 pm UTC
14 Jun 23, 2019
I wonder if this is going to make an impact to the GoL user statistics next month or not. I wonder how many will be hasty. I mean, even if the future looks a bit bleak, it's not going to affect the current releases.
Hamish Jun 23, 2019
The Seven Stages of Grief come to mind. Canonical seems to have reached denial.

Just like with Mir and Unity all over again.
Shmerl Jun 23, 2019
Quoting: GuestPersonally, i do not expect Valve's decision to come quickly. If one of their devs says there is no real desktop distro after having ditched ubuntu so rapidly, i guess it means they were thinking about it for quite a while ad still haven't found what they were looking for.

Their investment in KDE/KWin looks interesting. I wonder if it's part of their plan to improve Linux desktop experience.
finaldest Jun 23, 2019
I am off to the shop to grab some popcorn:D as this is going to be fun to watch.

So I see this is the first step in the eventual backtrack however the damage has already been done. I have removed Ubuntu from my laptop and put Manjaro on it for now until Valve decide what to do next.

Canonical, Please get your house in order.
Krovikan Jun 23, 2019
Quoting: GuestI think that it's time for Arch, Manjaro, Debian or Fedora to become the new leading OS for the desktop.

Don't forget openSUSE. ;-)
Dorrit Jun 23, 2019
If Valve considers Debian as an Ubuntu alternative there's MX-Linux as an easy to install/newer kernels and drivers/newer apps in repos Debian-based distro.
Also the devs behind MX and antiX would probably work with Valve in a smoother way than Canonical.
Liam Dawe Jun 23, 2019
Sounds like Wine still won't work: - added a note to the article on it.

Last edited by Liam Dawe on 23 June 2019 at 6:55 pm UTC
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.