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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.

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Thormack 22 June 2019 at 5:17 am UTC
If it happens, I hope they choose Debian as the new default supported distro.

Not really a fan of the RedHat distros.
sprocket 22 June 2019 at 5:18 am UTC
This actually surprises me a bit. But, considering the Wine developers deciding on whether to drop Ubuntu 19.10 support, this decision makes more sense.

Perhaps this is the thing that makes Canonical re-evaluate their decision to drop 32-bit multilib support.
dvd 22 June 2019 at 5:32 am UTC
If Debian won't have the same problem, it would make sense for them to support it, as they already base Steamos on top of Debian iirc.

Last edited by dvd at 22 June 2019 at 5:33 am UTC
chancho_zombie 22 June 2019 at 5:43 am UTC
this obviously means that the bundled ubuntu libraries should come from another distro, thanks ubuntu devs for being such an arr-sholes, years of work to improve distro intercompatibility getting wasted. I remember having problems with openssl bundled libraries and glibc maybe two years ago, now we are having those kind of problems again.

Last edited by chancho_zombie at 22 June 2019 at 5:43 am UTC
ElectricPrism 22 June 2019 at 5:57 am UTC
There needs to be a Ubuntu Devs meme where they are sitting around a round table and are like What Terrible Idea Can We Come Up With This Year?

It's not that 64-bit shouldn't overtake 32-bit in the app / game space, but in the library space it's not a sane solution.

As these problems come up and with developments in ARM, POWER9, RISC I am beginning to think that binary distros are not the way.

What I'm afraid of is what it will cost to switch to a source package manager distro -- I am under the impression that even Gentoo has some ideology and thinking in implementation form that is stuck in 2008.

It's a shame Ubuntu couldn't learn a lesson from Gobo Linux where they organize packages /Programs/X-Library/V.XX/[files] -- if Linux took a page from their book we would have never needed Snaps or Flatpaks because multiple dependency versions could co-exist, and on servers where security matters they could simply require the latest version or have a secure channel of approved versions completely mitigating the necessity of LTS and having the best of Rolling Release and Point Release stability and freshness all while eliminating the necessity to over-engineer solutions that never should have needed to exist to begin with.

Last edited by ElectricPrism at 22 June 2019 at 6:01 am UTC
Satoru 22 June 2019 at 6:29 am UTC
SO Ubuntu has jumped the shark and decided to become the Apple of the Linux world

Hey Ubuntu, you know why Apple is popular? Yeah its not because they're dropping 32-bit. Its also not because they're dropping OpenGL. Do you think imitating all the BAD stuff Apple does is going to make Ubuntu better?
gojul 22 June 2019 at 6:41 am UTC
SteamOS being Debian-based, recommending Debian or Mint/Debian would make a lot of sense. But it is true that Debian is not for beginners.
rustybroomhandle 22 June 2019 at 6:44 am UTC
Wonder how this affects Ubuntu derivatives.
TimeFreeze 22 June 2019 at 6:46 am UTC
With that what will be the new Popular Distro? Arch based distro? Debian?
Thormack 22 June 2019 at 6:46 am UTC
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.....
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