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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.
Tags: Steam, Valve
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263 comments
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Termy 22 June 2019 at 8:54 am UTC
Uh, i did not realize ubuntu wants to drop multilib - from the headlines i thought they would only scrap the 32bit installer

But i highly doubt the alternative will be Debian, much to conservative with new versions. And packing a PPA with recent Kernels and Mesa for Debian seems kind of the wrong way.

Given they are working on KWin, maybe OpenSUSE? Manjaro might also be a good call...
Anyway, switching away from gnome is a good thing imho xD
TheSHEEEP 22 June 2019 at 8:59 am UTC
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Too bad, really. I doubt Canonical will stick with their decision, since Valve not moving away from 32bit pretty much guarantees most gamers won't use newer Ubuntus any more.
Seems like we will have to drag along the 32bit legacy even longer. *sigh*


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 22 June 2019 at 9:01 am UTC
doomiebaby 22 June 2019 at 9:16 am UTC
ryadCanonical should rename their distro in TrumpOS or something..

no no, something political and inflammatory! /s
Leopard 22 June 2019 at 9:19 am UTC
TheSHEEEPToo bad, really. I doubt Canonical will stick with their decision, since Valve not moving away from 32bit pretty much guarantees most gamers won't use newer Ubuntus any more.
Seems like we will have to drag along the 32bit legacy even longer. *sigh*

I don't understand that comment , really.

You're implying that is a bad decision but then also saying 32 bit legacy will stick on even longer.

When i look at your profile , it says you're dualbooting with Windows. So you also want MS to kill 32 bit support which will end miserably like Ubuntu's proposal, same games are also 32 bit on that side? Or just asking it on Linux side? Don't you have any 32 bit games?

Killing 32 bit compat is not something MS will do like Canonical does ; without a solution at all.
Liam Dawe 22 June 2019 at 9:21 am UTC
openSUSE dropping their hat in the ring: https://twitter.com/sysrich/status/1142351783358058498

I was hoping to see some distro's reach out, it's time to really show who has a desktop focus.
Brisse 22 June 2019 at 9:23 am UTC
I think Canonical might backtrack on this decision, but if not, then Debian testing makes a lot of sense. It is the distribution that Ubuntu (and SteamOS) is based on after all, and after initial setup and a bit of configuration, it's pretty much the same as Ubuntu under the hood.

Some of you rightly pointed out that Debian is not as newbie-friendly. I agree, but what if SteamOS was touted as the newbie-friendly distribution instead?

Others rightly pointed out that Debian is too conservative. Correct in regards to the stable version, hence why Debian testing should be promoted instead. It is no more unstable than Ubuntu. Quite the opposite in my experience. It also gets regular updates of important packages for gaming such as kernel and mesa so there's no need for ppa's and such like there is on Ubuntu.

Debian aims to support a whole bunch of architectures which makes me think that multi-lib is going to be supported for many years to come. There's been no indication of them dropping it unlike many other distributions.

Edit: Or perhaps make a desktop flavour of SteamOS?


Last edited by Brisse on 22 June 2019 at 9:35 am UTC
vector 22 June 2019 at 9:24 am UTC
I 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

Even if the Ubuntu engineering team did an about-face, and even if Plagman's aforementioned tweet is to be considered as wholly unofficial, I think Valve is still likely to proceed with dropping official support for Ubuntu, given the way this has been handled in Ubuntu.

I wish Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, openSUSE, and Ubuntu could all be officially supported in some fashion (I realize this short list of six leaves out the perennial Slackware, as well as many favorites like Clear Linux, Mageia, OpenMandriva, Solus, Void Linux, etc, but I still think it is a reasonable short list), but Valve isn't going to support that many distributions. Given that, my preference would be the current level of official support, i.e. SteamOS (primarily targeting dedicated gaming computers), plus one recommended Linux distribution (for multipurpose computers), unless Valve is going to invest in expanding the SteamOS desktop experience.

I would understand if Valve decided to only support SteamOS, although, as mentioned, I would prefer they also support (at least) one other distribution. The easy choice would be Debian, given Valve's experience with it, but I hope Valve staff won't rush to a decision. It sounds like Plagman, for one, isn't wholly content with any Linux distributions as desktop OSes (https://twitter.com/Plagman2/status/1142245249521078272), but this may be a situation of choosing the least bad option, one that hopefully shows signs of making the kind of improvements Valve values, and I hope those inside Valve who will be making the call will give the matter their full consideration. If they choose Debian, I hope it is because organizationally, the Debian Project is perceived as being the best potential partner (i.e. because there are productive communication channels and because Valve's needs are taken into consideration), and because release cadence-wise and support lifecyle-wise Debian is the best fit for Valve, and not because Debian was the path of least resistance in the short term.

I believe this change could be as much of an opportunity for Valve as it is a headache.


Last edited by vector on 22 June 2019 at 9:26 am UTC
Goldpaw 22 June 2019 at 9:28 am UTC
Either way I'm sure we'll still have both Steam and Proton going forward, Valve has shown their interest in linux since the very start. I played the first Counter Strike on linux, about 20 years ago.

I do understand Valve's decision here, though. They need 32 bit support because of their immense game library on Steam, and I get why they don't want to offer official support for any OS ditching 32 bit.

Still. Will follow this one, want to see what happens here. I'm sure we'll be fine and we'll still have a working steam, I've been on Arch Linux which isn't supported all this time and it's been working great for me. But still interested in where this will lead.
Micromegas 22 June 2019 at 9:42 am UTC
Interesting twitter replies right now from OpenSUSE Chairman Richard Brown to Pierre-Loup Griffais from Valve, pitching a cooperation between Valve and OpenSUSE.

https://mobile.twitter.com/sysrich/status/1142363021605580801
doomiebaby 22 June 2019 at 9:56 am UTC
MicromegasInteresting twitter replies right now from OpenSUSE Chairman Richard Brown to Pierre-Loup Griffais from Valve, pitching a cooperation between Valve and OpenSUSE.

https://mobile.twitter.com/sysrich/status/1142363021605580801

one of the few distros i have no experience with, but the idea of a tumbleweed with almost-support from steam sounds nice for probably not a few gamers. hmm.. :3 this is so interesting

edit: and i've gotta add, after all of the effort cannonical has put into things they only scrap after they're 90% working, this attempt to save effort is... one i would not believe a word of if this was april 1st. i'm uhh... just sayin, what entertainment.


Last edited by doomiebaby on 22 June 2019 at 10:10 am UTC
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