Join us on our own very special Reddit: /r/Linuxers

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
31 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
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.
144 comments
Page: «8/15»
  Go to:

Redface 23 Jun, 2019
Quoting: DedaleThey 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.
Arten 23 Jun, 2019
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: Nevertheless
Quoting: JaromirMaybe Shuttleworth still plans on a Canonical Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2019. It would make Ubuntu more attractive if they don't focus on the 32 bit libs but on profitable projects instead.

I think that it's time for Arch, Manjaro, Debian or Fedora to become the new leading OS for the desktop.

And I also like Clear Linux OS as a replacement for Ubuntu because it is generally the fastest system and because you have collaboration potential with Intel. And Clear Linux also works very fast on AMD hardware.

There will be some initial problems with Nvidia drivers and other issues but I think that Clear Linux OS can be a perfect replacement for Ubuntu in the long term.

It will become clearer when Clear Linux adopts KDE Plasma.. .. Holy f.. it already has!
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=clear-linux-kde&num=1
Clear Linux becoming more consumer orientated, adopting KDE, Valve hiring for Kwin...hmmm...

I don't like the idea of ​​an intel controlled distro used as a distribution recommended for games. They may try look beter then AMD. Choose optimisation which help them but hurt Ryzen,... Or maybe i'm paranoid.
TobiSGD 23 Jun, 2019
I seriously would like to know how much of a burden maintaining 32 bit libraries there really is for Canonical. After all, they are still getting most of their packages directly from Debian and just recompile them, IIRC, and Debian isn't dropping support for newer versions.

Anyways, I wanted to wait updating my gaming system from 16.04 until 20.04 was released, seems to me that it rather will be Buster then.
deathxxx 23 Jun, 2019
Valve, you'r options are: Manjaro/Pure Arch, Clear Linux, Solus, FreeBSD!


Last edited by deathxxx on 23 June 2019 at 9:05 pm UTC
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: DedaleThey 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: JaromirThe 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.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. 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!
Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts