Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.

Canonical planning to drop 32bit support with Ubuntu 19.10 onwards

By - | Views: 28,033

As you might have heard by now, Canonical has made the decision to drop 32bit support from Ubuntu 19.10 onwards.

Writing on the mailing list, as well as this post on Ubuntu's Community Hub, Canonical gave a reminder that the decision isn't coming without warning. It was proposed last year and it was followed up with another post detailing a final decision to be made in the middle of 2019. So here we are, the decision seems to have been made.

The problem isn't hardware, as likely around 99% of people nowadays have a 64bit capable computer. Going by our own statistics, from what 2,254 users told us only 4 are using a 32bit Linux distribution. The issue then, is mainly software and libraries needed to actually run 32bit applications. This is where it sounds like there's going to be plenty of teething issues, with a number of people not too happy about the decision.

Steam, for example, is one such application along with plenty of 32bit games that will likely never get updated, although Canonical did say they're "in discussions" with Valve about it. There's also GOG, Humble Store and itch.io which all provide a number of direct-download 32bit games, which do not supply the required 32bit libraries to run. It doesn't sound like they have been given any thought (at least they haven't been mentioned).

Another of the major problems being Wine, with a discussion now happening on their mailing list. The discussion doesn't seem to be too positive, with developer Henri Verbeet even saying "I think not building packages for Ubuntu 19.10 would be the only practical option.", although Andrew Eikum's idea of using the Steam Runtime could be an interesting way around it.

What are your thoughts?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Distro News, Misc
23 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
185 comments
Page: «7/19»
  Go to:

Ehvis 21 June 2019 at 8:04 am UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
  • Top Supporter
Somehow it sounds like this announcement came late for something that is supposed to happen in 19.10. Could it be that they're just testing the waters?
Mal 21 June 2019 at 8:12 am UTC
Regarding new videogames (and any other general purpose software) there is literally no reason to have 32 bit releases today. On Steam there might be old 32 bit games but its Valve job to keep their runtime retro compatible and they will. While Steam client itself it's about time that it goes 64 bit. Not because it will benefit from the architecture but because of the additional hassle to install it.

Generally speaking though 32 bit OS still have their niche use and are needed. The decision to drop the architecture has a lot more implications outside gaming. But Ubuntu is not Debian, its desktop images are general purpose in their scope. I would say that dropping 32bit is a wise decision.

Ofc Canonical as a desktop OS provider doesn't have the "power" to force software developers hand. But given that most developers that deliver on linux also delivers on mac and Apple already did it for itself I expect this to go quite well for them.
omicron-b 21 June 2019 at 8:12 am UTC
EhvisSomehow it sounds like this announcement came late for something that is supposed to happen in 19.10. Could it be that they're just testing the waters?
non LTS releases are for testing and development, so in general 32bit support ends in 2021 and even then 18.04 will still get security updates till 2023. I don`t feel any decision could be too late for Ubuntu non LTS release.
Spirimint 21 June 2019 at 8:19 am UTC
So i guess then i will switch to Manjaro.

Are there a good choice as it is recommend on Linus Tech Tipps.


Last edited by Spirimint on 21 June 2019 at 8:21 am UTC
TimeFreeze 21 June 2019 at 8:31 am UTC
And one more reason why i dont like Ubuntu.
Ehvis 21 June 2019 at 8:41 am UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
  • Top Supporter
bird_or_cage
EhvisSomehow it sounds like this announcement came late for something that is supposed to happen in 19.10. Could it be that they're just testing the waters?
non LTS releases are for testing and development, so in general 32bit support ends in 2021 and even then 18.04 will still get security updates till 2023. I don`t feel any decision could be too late for Ubuntu non LTS release.

Were almost half way into the 19.10 cycle. I think that is pretty late such a decision. And testing resistance is a good way to find out if it's worth going on with it for another LTS release.
Eike 21 June 2019 at 8:43 am UTC
VodkaChickenIs there a Debian (stable) repo for more recent kernels and nvidia drivers or would I have to install that sort of stuff manually? Maybe it's finally time to give in to the Arch menace.

At the moment, you should install the upcoming stable (buster), which will officially release in some weeks. I'm living fine with Debian stable plus backports repo. Others prefer Debian testing, which is rolling.
Eike 21 June 2019 at 8:48 am UTC
slaapliedjewith the debian-multimedia repo,

Is there still such a thing? I remember big problems with the "usual" Debian multimedia site, and living fine without it since then.
Eike 21 June 2019 at 8:57 am UTC
no_information_hereEdit: Just checking and it looks like most of those work fine. Hmm. Does anyone have any comments on the KDE Debian spin?

Running Debian with KDE for, dunno, two decades? Sure worth a try.
mirv 21 June 2019 at 9:30 am UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
  • Top Supporter
Has anyone actually tried running Ubuntu 18.10 in some sort of containerised environment, as Canonical recommend? Just curious about how well that might work, and if it would be a good option for running legacy applications. Not that I need it myself; I don't use Ubuntu, but I'm curious how well it might work.

But, Canonical have been thinking about this for a while, and look to have thought the matter through. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that some kind of testing on 32bit applications has been done. For 1% (or less) of their install base, with upstream of many areas not really supporting 32bit properly, it makes sense to start the ball rolling on going full 64bit.
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!

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts