Fedora 37 Looks To Stop Building Unused i686 Packages

Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 8 March 2022 at 12:00 AM EST. 35 Comments
The latest change to be proposed for the Fedora 37 release later this year is encouraging package maintainers to drop unused 32-bit x86 (i686) packages.

The proposal involves stopping production of i686 packages that are unused such as for leaf packages and have no other uses. This change would not affect multilib support or i686 packages that are dependencies for other packages. Fedora on the x86 front has been 64-bit focused for quite some time while still retaining multilib support and that would still be the case with F37 for satisfying the likes of Wine and Steam.

Fedora hasn't been focused on 32-bit x86 hardware support in quite a while but does continue building some i686 packages, some of which go unused and could be addressed for the Fedora 37 cycle, while still retaining multilib support.

By avoiding extra i686 packages from building that are unused, it would free up resources from the build/compilation phase, package maintainer burdens, etc.

The change proposal notes, "Package maintainers who are affected by 32-bit architecture / i686 specific problems are encouraged to investigate dropping support for i686 entirely, instead of having to invest time to fix or work around those issues, for very little benefit to Fedora. This can be done incrementally, as dropping support for i686 from some packages will in turn make other packages leaves on i686."

More details on this Fedora 37 change proposal via the Fedora Wiki.
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