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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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Scoopta 22 June 2019 at 4:00 pm UTC
ScooptaNo I don't, I wish there was a way...maybe there is but I don't know it.

I wonder if SteamDB might have this available somehow. Don't know.
Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Some games are easy to tell based on their files. For example Unity games. There are a very rare few that are 32-bit only. The executable for unity games end with .x86 for 32-bit and .x86_64 for 64-bit. If there's only one executable and it's .x86 then you know it's only 32-bit. But that only works for unity games which are mostly 64-bit anyway, most actually come with both so they work everywhere.
Dedale 22 June 2019 at 4:09 pm UTC
The rapidity of that decision make me think Valve thought about the threat before and took it seriously, without having an obvious solution.

What annoys me personally is i will of course drop ubuntu but some non FOSS stuff i use is supported on Ubuntu only. Or poorly supported on other distros.
iiari 22 June 2019 at 4:15 pm UTC
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DedaleWhat annoys me personally is i will of course drop ubuntu but some non FOSS stuff i use is supported on Ubuntu only. Or poorly supported on other distros.
Seriously? Apps that don't have good support on, say, the Arch AUR as well? What titles?
Dedale 22 June 2019 at 4:17 pm UTC
My ID card reader has zero soft for Arch for example.
deathxxx 22 June 2019 at 4:20 pm UTC
Maybe go for Endless OS whitch have already flatpack?
mphuZ 22 June 2019 at 4:22 pm UTC
OK. Let's see if Valve will be consistent in their decision:

TimeFreeze 22 June 2019 at 4:28 pm UTC
libgradevArch, we have the wiki

Gentoo, we also have a wiki
Pikolo 22 June 2019 at 4:42 pm UTC
vectorI say this tongue-in-cheek so don't flame me, but perhaps Ubuntu would like to deprecate support for OpenGL as well; after all, Apple is deprecating OpenGL support

At least Apple

1) CLEARLY communicated that 32-bit and OpenGL was deprecated YEARS in advance
2) Did not hem and haw about 'well maybe we'll get rid of it in 20.04'
3) CLEARLY made an OS update that bugged users about their apps potentially not working in future releases
4) Only after 2-3 years of such updates, notification, etc is 32-bit support finally ending with OSX Catalina
5) OpenGL was declared deprecated last year, it still is not offically dead even in Catalina. yes its likely soon, but Apple has been screaming about converting to Metal for years. to the point where Aspyr and Feral back ported their entire steam library to Metal last year

Canonical's plan

1) "You have 4 months sorry!"

If Canonical is going to copy all of Apple's bad decisions, then they should also copy the part where Apple spent YEARS clearly communicating to both devs and users, with popups and warning. As opposed to dropping a bomb on people with 4 months notice, and then when users upgrade to 19.10 in 4 months suddenly 50% of the Linux games will stop working and Proton/Wine also dies with it.

So much this↑. Seriously, WTF do you mean you're removing an important part of the ecosystem with only 4 months notice? This is not a serious approach. If they wanted to test a 64 bit only Ubuntu, Canonical should have said it's a test. Deprecating 32 bit installers was clearly communicated and few people were taken by surprise. If Ubuntu announced they're marking 32-bit multilib as deprecated, they could have done so, but removing it out of the blue is a terrible idea.

I think one of the reasons steam is a 32-bit application despite supporting only 64-bit OSs is so that users don't notice whether the games themselves are 64 or 32-bit. Since installing the package pulls in 32 bit, you have both anyway.

I would be OK with openSuse Leap becoming the new Linux home for Steam. I remember that installing Nvidia drivers broke the package manager and that's how I ended up with Kubuntu, but I'm sure they could solve it. I head rumours steam was considering Flatpack as a way of cleanly packaging the old steam runtime and moving to a new one, but that was last year so it might have just been rumours.
Orkultus 22 June 2019 at 4:50 pm UTC
Well with 32bit going away, it takes away that famous statement for Linux."Linux makes older computers come back to life". Yeah of course we could still use older versions of Distros, but that support wont be there any more.

Last edited by Orkultus at 22 June 2019 at 4:53 pm UTC
Boldos 22 June 2019 at 5:04 pm UTC
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