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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 GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Distro News, Misc
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126 comments
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Asu 23 Jun, 2019
much better.
abelthorne 23 Jun, 2019
Quoting: deathxxxValve, you'r options are: Manjaro/Pure Arch, Clear Linux, Solus, FreeBSD!
They said don't want Arch nor Debian. And I doubt they'd even consider FreeBSD as it's not Linux. I guess their most likely choice would be either openSUSE or Fedora.
vector 23 Jun, 2019
Quoting: Redface
Quoting: GuestThey DID talk about it before and my wild guess is at least Valve took notice of it. Hence their quick declaration afterwards with no much visible bargaining.

Possible Valve was aware and could not change their mind. There is this mailing list post from a year ago that outline this plan, someone on reddit just mentioned it: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2018-May/040348.html?_ga=2.61098156.1624633425.1561246225-23245439.1561246225

This should have been made a lot more public, it reminds me of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy where the announcement of the plan to bulldozer the main characters house was buried in the cellar of the townhall. He could just have objected to it in time.

That's the same (short) email chain discussion where this was said:
quote=[https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2018-May/040316.html]> So with the scope of this email chain, I would like to request a clarification before we go forward much
> more with this email chain: Are we discussing dropping 32-bit for *installer images* this cycle, or are we
> talking about the complete global death of i386 as a supported architecture?

Let's make it simple and reserve this thread for discussion about dropping 32-bit installer images now.

Someone else is welcome to start a separate thread to discuss the more controversial and complex topic of dropping i386 completely.

And maybe dropping armhf completely should be a third thread since that hopefully will be easier than i386.[/quote]
And this:
quote=[https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2018-May/040331.html]
> I've been following this thread for a while, and have some questions. Are we talking about dropping
> Ubuntu x86 images or i386 packages from the repo? If the former, I don't see an issue here, as the
> subs (Lubuntu, core, etc) can still build release images.

The primary Ubuntu flavor already stopped creating 32-bit ISOs before 18.04 LTS. At a minimum, I think this discussion is about whether *any* official Ubuntu flavor should offer official 32-bit ISOs starting now with 18.10.

I believe one proposal is to go a step further and block users from using the normal upgrade tools to upgrade 32-bit installs past 18.04 LTS. The error should explain the situation. This is a bit annoying because we don't support cross-grading from 32-bit to 64-bit.

I was hoping that the question about 32-bit packages would be split off into a separate thread.[/quote]
Not exactly conclusive with regard to where things are now.

I've seen more lengthy discussion written on a toilet stall than what occurred on the ubuntu-devel mailing list. /hyperbole


Last edited by vector on 23 June 2019 at 10:36 pm UTC
gurv 23 Jun, 2019
Quoting: abelthorneThey said don't want Arch nor Debian.
Source?
They did say they're fed up with Debian tooling but they've not stated they don't want Debian itself.

In my opinion:
  • OpenSuse: tumbleweed is a rolling distro and you don't want that for mainstream. Leap is only supported for 18 months that's way too short

  • Arch based distro: come on, be serious, we're talking mainstream here

  • Clear Linux: nope, rolling and controlled by a company that could shut it down without warning

  • Centos or derived distro: with'ppas', why not. Still controlled by Redhat but Redhat has a good track record unlike Canonical. I still doubt Valve would want to be at the mercy of a company though

  • Debian: most logical choice. Stable and with a really good track record, not vendor-controlled. Main problem is indeed some tooling is really showing its age. Apt was awesome back in the days but it's lackluster nowadays. Maybe Valve can contribute improvements?

  • Ubuntu: Canonical has showed once again they can't be trusted. Going with a derived distro (like PopOs) would still be vulnerable to Canonical nonsense




Last edited by gurv on 23 June 2019 at 10:18 pm UTC
Prime_Evil 23 Jun, 2019
I'm saddened by this mess as the LTS release cadence of Ubuntu has always worked for me. However, it may be time to look at an alternative. I've always been wary of rolling release distros on production machines. But I think Manjaro might work well and I'm tempted to try XFCE on modern hardware. Also, it is definitely worth keeping an eye on Clear Linux - There are hints of a push towards the desktop market:

https://www.google.com/www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2019/06/21/intel-drops-2-exciting-clues-about-the-future-of-clear-linux-os-desktop-users/

The real battle is for control of the developer desktop, since this is one factor driving adoption of specific distros in the cloud and datacenter. If developers start abandoning Ubuntu for other distros due to the fact that they can't run stuff they want away from work, you can bet it will hurt Canonical' s market share in the medium term..At the moment, many developers run Ubuntu at work and at home. But this may change, especially if a major industry player such as Intel offers a compelling alternative.
Dorrit 23 Jun, 2019
Quoting: GuestThe problem with MX-Linux is the UI. Windows XP has similar looks and it's from 2001.
Come, come, you're not serious, this is Linux, you can make any Distro look like whatever.
EagleDelta 23 Jun, 2019
Quoting: gurv
Quoting: abelthorneThey said don't want Arch nor Debian.
Source?
They did say they're fed up with Debian tooling but they've not stated they don't want Debian itself.

In my opinion:
  • OpenSuse: tumbleweed is a rolling distro and you don't want that for mainstream. Leap is only supported for 18 months that's way too short

  • Arch based distro: come on, be serious, we're talking mainstream here

  • Clear Linux: nope, rolling and controlled by a company that could shut it down without warning

  • Centos or derived distro: with'ppas', why not. Still controlled by Redhat but Redhat has a good track record unlike Canonical. I still doubt Valve would want to be at the mercy of a company though

  • Debian: most logical choice. Stable and with a really good track record, not vendor-controlled. Main problem is indeed some tooling is really showing its age. Apt was awesome back in the days but it's lackluster nowadays. Maybe Valve can contribute improvements?

  • Ubuntu: Canonical has showed once again they can't be trusted. Going with a derived distro (like PopOs) would still be vulnerable to Canonical nonsense


How would Pop!_OS be vulnerable to Canonical nonsense? They maintain their own repos and have already said they will maintain 32-bit support on their own if they have to. They have a vested financial interest (Being a Desktop/Laptop OEM) in making sure their distro is still stable and usable for their users. I would imagine that similar stances will arise from Elementary and Mint as well due to their desktop focus.
Koopacabras 23 Jun, 2019
got a picture of what ubuntu is doing to the linux desktop! please stop it, it's fuck-ing dead! poor tux




Last edited by Koopacabras on 23 June 2019 at 11:06 pm UTC
mylka 23 Jun, 2019
Quoting: NoxesWell, that could've been handled better. Wonder how much marketshare they lost over past day alone over this.

do you think people really panicked and switched their distrobution because of a news within one day?

even if they have 19.04, they have support until 2020. I would not have done anything until december

and now it seems like i dont have to do anything at all
Koopacabras 24 Jun, 2019
QuoteIn my opinion:
  • OpenSuse: tumbleweed is a rolling distro and you don't want that for mainstream. Leap is only supported for 18 months that's way too short

  • Arch based distro: come on, be serious, we're talking mainstream here

  • Clear Linux: nope, rolling and controlled by a company that could shut it down without warning

  • Centos or derived distro: with'ppas', why not. Still controlled by Redhat but Redhat has a good track record unlike Canonical. I still doubt Valve would want to be at the mercy of a company though

  • Debian: most logical choice. Stable and with a really good track record, not vendor-controlled. Main problem is indeed some tooling is really showing its age. Apt was awesome back in the days but it's lackluster nowadays. Maybe Valve can contribute improvements?

  • Ubuntu: Canonical has showed once again they can't be trusted. Going with a derived distro (like PopOs) would still be vulnerable to Canonical nonsense


come on Debian?? haven't tried it recently but does it still use a ncurses installer?? sorry but it's not user friendly.
OpenSuse has extended community support with the evergreen program, at least for enterprise (paid support). But it's not the same release model as Ubuntu, Leap had 42, 42.1,42.2,42.3, see? small incremental releases that don't break stuff, Opensuse Leap is very conservative, more conservative than Ubuntu. Leap 15.1 that was released a month ago still uses kernel 4.12, how could you be more conservative than that?? the only distros more conservative than SuSE are Redhat and Centos.

in fact being that conservative like SuSE or for that matter CentOS/Redhat, sometimes gives you problems with newer hardware when I got my Ryzen CPU I had to install a newer kernel with another CPU because the default kernel didn't support Ryzen, and it won't boot, but not like that doesn't happen with ubuntu as well, (using out of tree kernel/drivers for freshly released hardware). That's when rolling release distros make sense.


Last edited by Koopacabras on 24 June 2019 at 12:24 am UTC
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