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Update: Canonical are now saying 32bit libraries will be "frozen" and not entirely dropped.

Original article:

Things are starting to get messy, after Canonical announced the end of 32bit support from Ubuntu 19.10 onwards, Valve have now responded.

Speaking on Twitter, Valve dev Pierre-Loup Griffais said:

Ubuntu 19.10 and future releases will not be officially supported by Steam or recommended to our users. We will evaluate ways to minimize breakage for existing users, but will also switch our focus to a different distribution, currently TBD.

I'm starting to think we might see a sharp U-turn from Canonical, as this is something that would hit them quite hard. Either way, the damage has been done.

I can't say I am surprised by Valve's response here. Canonical pretty clearly didn't think it through enough on how it would affect the desktop. It certainly seems like Canonical also didn't speak to enough developers first.

Perhaps this will give Valve a renewed focus on SteamOS? Interestingly, Valve are now funding some work on KWin (part of KDE).

Looks like I shall be distro hopping very soon…

To journalists from other websites reading: This does not mean the end of Linux support, Ubuntu is just one distribution.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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263 comments
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chancho_zombie 22 June 2019 at 6:48 am UTC
it's clear that whatever distro they choose there has to be some commitment involved. Maybe cut a deal with some distro? I don't see that happening on Debian, they can change their policies anytime, debian is a bit of anarchic, it's not entreprise level where there is a clear hierchacy . If you are looking at enteprise level distros there only a few, red hat, opensuse, ubuntu and centos. There has to be some compromise at the management level, otherwise this could happen again.
Miles 22 June 2019 at 6:50 am UTC
YYYyyyah.... I'll be considering switching to another distro too. If I'm an enterprise user, I would VERY much look toward something else like Debian right now too.
raneon 22 June 2019 at 6:53 am UTC
It is amusing how clueless a company like Canonical can act ;-) Are they really not capable to check the effect upfront? Anyway I welcome Valve's answer! It is not the first time Canonical produced damage and slowed down development of Linux desktops. I hope that Valve selects a distribution with regular updates, Debian is way too old for gaming.


Last edited by raneon at 22 June 2019 at 6:55 am UTC
Liam Dawe 22 June 2019 at 6:55 am UTC
rustybroomhandleWonder how this affects Ubuntu derivatives.
System76 already said Pop will continue 32bit, becoming maintainers themselves if they have to. System76 are smart, their users are the desktop, they at least understand their own market.
doomiebaby 22 June 2019 at 6:59 am UTC
at first i thought that debian would surely be what they settle on, as i thought that's what steam os was based directly on; but indeed a recommendation ought to be something noob-friendly, and they know that. on that note, i also do wonder what will become of distros like pop and mint. i know mint has their "just in case" debian-based experiment... maybe this is that case? what a shakeup Owo

what one 'humbug' in the discussion at phoronix shared

fascinating...
chancho_zombie 22 June 2019 at 6:59 am UTC
MilesYYYyyyah.... I'll be considering switching to another distro too. If I'm an enterprise user, I would VERY much look toward something else like Debian right now too.

lol good point.
gojul 22 June 2019 at 7:00 am UTC
Another thing to know there :
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Steam-Linux-Network-One-Line

If you're affected (I am with recent kernel fixes) launch Steam this way :
steam -tcp
lectrode 22 June 2019 at 7:10 am UTC
doomiebabywhat one 'humbug' in the discussion at phoronix shared

fascinating...

Indeed. If they decided not to go with anything Debian-based, that would be very interesting. Wonder what distro "tooling" currently sparks their fancy...
gojul 22 June 2019 at 7:11 am UTC
Thormack
gojulSteamOS being Debian-based, recommending Debian or Mint/Debian would make a lot of sense. But it is true that Debian is not for beginners.

Agreed. Pure Debian is tricky to install, configure and maintain (compared to Ubuntu).
Perhaps Mint-Debian then...

Who knows.....

Installing Debian is tricky for newbies. Maintaining it is not harder than Ubuntu provided you're using stable.

Looks like Valve may not use a Debian-based distro : https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/155794864305471497/591834042437992448/Screenshot_20190622_053640.png

It's true that from a packager perspective RedHat tools are much more handy than Debian tools.
aFoxNamedMorris 22 June 2019 at 7:24 am UTC
Things are moving fast and heavy, these days. Paradigm shift, much?
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