Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through Paypal, Flattr and Liberapay!

It seems Canonical have done a bit of a U-turn on dropping 32bit support for Ubuntu, as many expected they would do. Their official statement is now out for those interested.

The most important part to be aware of is their new plan:

Thanks to the huge amount of feedback this weekend from gamers, Ubuntu Studio, and the WINE community, we will change our plan and build selected 32-bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS.

We will put in place a community process to determine which 32-bit packages are needed to support legacy software, and can add to that list post-release if we miss something that is needed.

That's not the end of it though of course, eventually 32bit will be dropped which is inevitable really. Just not fully this time. Touching on this, they said in the post about using "container technology" to address "the ultimate end of life of 32-bit libraries" so hopefully by that time everything they need will be in place to make it super easy for users.

I'm glad Canonical have seen some sense on this, they clearly didn't communicate it well enough to begin with but they at least understand when they've made a big mistake like this and owning up to failures is part of what builds trust, so I'm happier now. Next time this happens, I just hope they give a very clear roadmap giving everyone proper time to prepare, which they didn't this time.

Their full statement is here. It will be interesting to see how Valve react, after announcing an end of Ubuntu support for Steam for Ubuntu 19.10 onwards.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
25 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 information here.
133 comments
Page: «8/14»
  Go to:

Gryxx 24 June 2019 at 10:36 pm UTC
F.Ultra
Gryxx
F.Ultra
eldaking
F.UltraNo I didn't say that others did such stuff all the time. What I said was that in the real world companies announce their plans, then they await comments from users and partners to see how said plans will be received after which the plans are either amended or put into production.

The problem here is that the Linux fanbase decided to see the announcement of plans as a foregone conclusion and then run around screaming.

When they "announced" this years ago, did they set a date? Was it fully decided and plotted out? How much did they broadcast their intentions so that people could prepare their transition?

Or was their announcement now still just a "plan" to be discussed, despite the fact the changes takes effect in a few months?

Everyone was surprised by this because information was not communicated clearly enough and in advance enough. Yeah, we are probably overstating the impact... but this a panic Canonical created.

Here is the initial announcement from last year: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2018-May/040310.html so it was just one year ago and not years as I first claimed (shame on me there).

edit: further research shows that they also made an announcement back in 2016: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2016-June/039420.html

Basically, they said in 2016: "What do you think is appropriate?"
In 2018 as i understand they talk about dropping i386 images- not whole legacy 32 bit support, at least in your linked post
In 2019 we get: BANG!, you have 4 months to prepare your software/game/library for 64-bit only Ubuntu. You need 32 bit? Stay on older system until it runs out of support.
There was never a plan to migrate software. There was discussion about dropping, but until recently we had no timelines or guides how to prepare. That's not fair.

Here is a quote from the 2016 post:
Quote18.10+:
* Stop providing i386 port
* Run legacy i386 only application in snaps / containers / virtual machines

And that is exactly what they proposed to do in the now famous 19.10 announcement. And while I agree that 4 months is a very small time frame, it's quite obvious that they consider non LTS versions to be mere testbeds and that people would remain on 18.04 for quite some time:

QuoteQ. I have 32bit 16.04 LTS / 18.04 LTS installed, what are my upgrade options?

18.04 LTS has Standard Security support until 2023. Extended Security Maintenance runs for a further 5 years until 2028. You can stick with your current installed version until then and still be safe and secure.

This should give plenty of time to migrate away from 32-bit legacy applications before the next LTS which will be available in April 2020, or the following LTS in 2022. Alternatively place the legacy application inside an 18.04 LTS i386 container, on top of a newer 64-bit installation of Ubuntu.

I think a major problem here is that many people never read that far or just thought that, well let's worry about that in 2018 and then forgot about it. This whole rally that happened now should have happened back in 2016, perhaps then we could have avoided all the name calling.

QuoteOr some other variation of above things and/or adjusted timelines.
What do you think is appropriate? Can we survey and/or somehow
validate if above would be appropriate or needs to be extended or can
be shortened?
That's not announcment. That's question. And,, beeng quite rude- Why the fuck i need to stay with old distro, that does not support recent hardware? What can i do if i want to play Steam on my Ryzen 7 3500x an RX 5000?
Nocifer 24 June 2019 at 10:43 pm UTC
Mohandevir
F.Ultra
EikeWell, actually "immature" and "world was ending" were part of your statement, too.

I take it that you don't frequent Phoronix and Slashdot much. If so then don't let the curiosity get the better of you, it's not pretty.

I see it as a clash between two diverging factions: From a dev ops (it's larger than that) perspective, 32 bit support is useless and doesn't need to be maintained anymore... On the other side gamers are left with a crippled gaming library. For them, it's just unacceptable.

I think that we all agree that 32bit support has to go, but not yet. The "tooling" required is non existent or not performant enough, from what I understand. The call seems premature.

Am I wrong to think so?

It's not "gamers who are left with a crippled gaming library" that complain about the 32-bit deprecation, Linux doesn't even have that many gamers among its users to begin with; it's people who simply desire a future where Linux is a major player in the desktop OS market, and who realize that the only way to make this possible future into a reality is to make Linux a viable gaming platform, because like it or not, gaming is the #1 reason that Windows is still the #1 OS nowadays.

Canonical being a desktop focused Linux company should have known this better than anyone, so if they really had Linux's best interests at heart, and also if their own interests were really aligned with those of Linux, they should have been best pals with Valve and fighting tooth and nail to realize this dream of making Linux a viable gaming platform, because that would also serve to promote their own interests and increase their market share as Linux's foremost desktop distro. The fact that not only are they not best pals with Valve, but that they also either actively or at least out of ignorance and/or indifference seek to harm Linux's interests by removing 32-bit support and thus break the future of gaming and thus the future of the whole platform in the process, reeks of terrible incompetence - and that's the best case scenario (imho the strange timing of the announcement without any serious warning, along with their weak and not really thought-out arguments against 32-bit support, are more than a bit worrying when one considers their relationship with Microsoft, which of course has every reason not to want Linux to ever become a viable gaming platform).

So, no, 32-bit support does not have to go, at least not until Microsoft itself decides to deprecate it and remove it from Windows; as long as Windows still supports it, which means that vendors still support it, then Linux should also support it, unless the Linux community manages before that time comes to develop a good way to run 32-bit binaries in a pure 64-bit environment with a negligent performance hit. If and when that happens then, by all means, be my guest and deprecate the hell out of it. But not one second sooner.
lectrode 24 June 2019 at 10:43 pm UTC
F.UltraHere is the initial announcement from last year: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2018-May/040310.html so it was just one year ago and not years as I first claimed (shame on me there).

edit: further research shows that they also made an announcement back in 2016: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2016-June/039420.html

Neither of those were announcements, they were proposals/discussions.

The 2016 thread proposed sunsetting support of 32bit ubuntu installs ("host/base OS architecture") in 2021, and sunsetting legacy i386 applications (chrome was specifically mentioned; these are the main software applications that are for use on 32bit installs that are not used on 64bit installs) in 2023.

QuoteIn essence this would mean April 2021 as the sunset for i386 as the
host/base OS architecture. And April 2023 to run legacy i386
applications with security support.


From the 2018 proposal (which, in addition to the aforementioned host architecture and included 32bit apps, also looks to sunset *all* i386 software libraries), it listed 2 main blockers (Steam and Wine), the latter of which they had no idea what they were going to do about, and never actually came up with a plan for before deciding to go forward with dropping the i386 libraries. For steam, they basically just assumed everyone would be fine using a Snap:

QuoteOn the list of known blockers for removing the i386 port are Steam and
Wine. Solus' snapped Steam is progressing nicely and Steam deb is difficult
to maintain as is [See removal bug]. That leaves coming up with a good way
forward for Wine.

There was no formal announcement of exactly what changes would be made until recently, and even then it was confusing, since the wording didn't distinguish between hardware support, application support, and system library/driver support.


Last edited by lectrode at 24 June 2019 at 10:48 pm UTC
F.Ultra 24 June 2019 at 10:45 pm UTC
Gryxx
F.Ultra
Gryxx
F.Ultra
eldaking
F.UltraNo I didn't say that others did such stuff all the time. What I said was that in the real world companies announce their plans, then they await comments from users and partners to see how said plans will be received after which the plans are either amended or put into production.

The problem here is that the Linux fanbase decided to see the announcement of plans as a foregone conclusion and then run around screaming.

When they "announced" this years ago, did they set a date? Was it fully decided and plotted out? How much did they broadcast their intentions so that people could prepare their transition?

Or was their announcement now still just a "plan" to be discussed, despite the fact the changes takes effect in a few months?

Everyone was surprised by this because information was not communicated clearly enough and in advance enough. Yeah, we are probably overstating the impact... but this a panic Canonical created.

Here is the initial announcement from last year: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2018-May/040310.html so it was just one year ago and not years as I first claimed (shame on me there).

edit: further research shows that they also made an announcement back in 2016: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2016-June/039420.html

Basically, they said in 2016: "What do you think is appropriate?"
In 2018 as i understand they talk about dropping i386 images- not whole legacy 32 bit support, at least in your linked post
In 2019 we get: BANG!, you have 4 months to prepare your software/game/library for 64-bit only Ubuntu. You need 32 bit? Stay on older system until it runs out of support.
There was never a plan to migrate software. There was discussion about dropping, but until recently we had no timelines or guides how to prepare. That's not fair.

Here is a quote from the 2016 post:
Quote18.10+:
* Stop providing i386 port
* Run legacy i386 only application in snaps / containers / virtual machines

And that is exactly what they proposed to do in the now famous 19.10 announcement. And while I agree that 4 months is a very small time frame, it's quite obvious that they consider non LTS versions to be mere testbeds and that people would remain on 18.04 for quite some time:

QuoteQ. I have 32bit 16.04 LTS / 18.04 LTS installed, what are my upgrade options?

18.04 LTS has Standard Security support until 2023. Extended Security Maintenance runs for a further 5 years until 2028. You can stick with your current installed version until then and still be safe and secure.

This should give plenty of time to migrate away from 32-bit legacy applications before the next LTS which will be available in April 2020, or the following LTS in 2022. Alternatively place the legacy application inside an 18.04 LTS i386 container, on top of a newer 64-bit installation of Ubuntu.

I think a major problem here is that many people never read that far or just thought that, well let's worry about that in 2018 and then forgot about it. This whole rally that happened now should have happened back in 2016, perhaps then we could have avoided all the name calling.

QuoteOr some other variation of above things and/or adjusted timelines.
What do you think is appropriate? Can we survey and/or somehow
validate if above would be appropriate or needs to be extended or can
be shortened?
That's not announcment. That's question. And,, beeng quite rude- Why the fuck i need to stay with old distro, that does not support recent hardware? What can i do if i want to play Steam on my Ryzen 7 3500x an RX 5000?

It was a clear indication that they where thinking in those terms and incidentally that is exactly what they then announced would happen for 19.10, a problem here is that users, Valve and WINE didn't pick this up in 2016 while the Ubuntu devs apparently thought that they did so when no one complained they went ahead with the plans.

Ubuntu have what they call HWE which basically is when they will release a new kernel in order to support the newest hardware on older LTS systems. So your RX5000 will be supported on 18.04LTS.

Anyway we are all beating a very dead horse right now since Ubuntu have decided to continue with 32-bit support for selected packages. So if we continue this too long we will end up just like the People's Front of Judea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4
Patola 24 June 2019 at 11:42 pm UTC
F.UltraAnyway we are all beating a very dead horse right now since Ubuntu have decided to continue with 32-bit support for selected packages. So if we continue this too long we will end up just like the People's Front of Judea.
Quite the contrary. They clearly said they just postponed the change, but still think their users are wrong and they're right and people who use those 32 bit applications, drivers etc. must be subject to their undetermined russian roulette of which 32-bit components are worthy enough to stay.
mickski56 25 June 2019 at 12:02 am UTC
@Elke

Regarding Ubuntu Studio, it's probably to do with all the 32bit binary only vst plugins that are out there.
doomiebaby 25 June 2019 at 1:13 am UTC
DedaleI care very little. I have read the full statement and it is clear to me that damage control continues.

They still tell me to my face i shouldn't use the 32 bit software i am currently using. Either i am a miscreant or simply an insignificant edge case. And long live to snaps. They are right, we are wrong. They did not fuck up, they are being magnanimous with us. Whether one finds this satisfying or not, it is not a U-turn.

So, i have one year and half to work out a solution with another distro which is plenty enough.

Me too, i am curious about what valve will say. Whether Canonical's compromise will work out well enough or not for steam games, i doubt Valve will accept to depend on Canonical whims.

I would be surprised we get a final answer soon after having read one of their comments about the lack of real desktop distro. My guess is they have already been looking for a while.

indeed this is not a u-turn, but only a postponing of the same "intentions," as Patola rightly pointed out earlier, that were never clearly stated as a public announcement (rather what sounded to nearly everyone like an announcement that i386 install images would be axed, which isn't even close to the same thing).

i also don't think the form this postponing is planned to take is going to go off without many hitches either. users will likely best be served to avoid ubuntu entirely if they don't want to hit any snags.

KaDargoMaybe I'm paranoid but I think this is actually about Canonical trying to force everyone to use Snaps, and they probably think they have the weight to do it, but if that's the case they're delusional.

not paranoia, the evidence is there and being filtered through your experiences to afford you the intuition of a likely answer. it's just your brain functioning, and i'm wondering the same about their angles ;3 it's not like canonical has a history of trying to get people invested in their own separate project ecosystems /s mhmhhaha

the discussions linked by f.ultra also make this rollout of news, etc, and this light-backpedaling look that much more amateur, frankly. the whole thing smacks of carelessness, and not about all topics entirely, but about some very important consequences. are valve and codeweavers not interested? surely if ubuntu desktop adoption and growth are part of canonical's vision, they would be considered fairly important factors. Owo

if canonical wanted valve to support 32-bit-support monetarily, was this the best decided approach? maybe i'm stupid, but i can't tell what parts of any of this make coherent sense.
dos 25 June 2019 at 1:43 am UTC
jasonmJust how many 32 bit apps do you run on your machine? I run one, steam.

The app used to send declarations on Polish taxes electronically is an Adobe Air application which works on GNU/Linux via its old 32-bit runtime.

(OTOH, containerizing it will probably be the easier and safer way to support it, so...)
14 25 June 2019 at 2:42 am UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
I don't think Ubuntu has to maintain a legacy-compatible public image. They can move on. There are lots of other distros to choose from. Think of this as an opportunity. You could fork 18.04 and call it Legbunt. It would be totally retro compatible and hipster (read: no one would donate). Sarcasm aside, there will be other options. If you really enjoyed Ubuntu for gaming all this time, well, that is unfortunate. Sorry.
Prime_Evil 25 June 2019 at 2:58 am UTC
Given that part of the reason for dropping support for 32-bit libraries is the effort required to perform QA, would it be worth running a fundraiser so those who care about continued multiarch support can contribute towards a solution? Would Canonical be open to such a solution - it seems a better use of the community's time and effort than the angst out there at the moment...
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. 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!

Due to spam you need to Register and Login to comment.


Or login with...

Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts