Ubuntu Developer Talks Down Impact Of 32-Bit Changes For Ubuntu 19.10

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 23 June 2019 at 11:00 AM EDT. 154 Comments
Following Valve saying they won't be officially supporting Ubuntu 19.10 and Wine developers questioning their Ubuntu 32-bit builds following the announcement this week of not providing new 32-bit packages for new Ubuntu releases, longtime Ubuntu developer and Canonical employee Steve Langasek is trying to provide some clarity into the situation.

Steve "vorlon" Langasek commented overnight on the Ubuntu Discourse:
I’m sorry that we’ve given anyone the impression that we are “dropping support for i386 applications”. That’s simply not the case. What we are dropping is updates to the i386 libraries, which will be frozen at the 18.04 LTS versions. But there is every intention to ensure that there is a clear story for how i386 applications (including games) can be run on versions of Ubuntu later than 19.10.

In a follow-up post, he says the 32-bit Mesa will be available and is what is found in the Ubuntu 18.04 archive -- similar to what they've been talking of the possibilities of using 32-bit libraries moving forward from the 18.04 LTS archive. While Ubuntu 18.04 LTS does get new hardware enablement stacks, this will generally be months behind what is normally found in the newest Ubuntu releases.

Steve also commented that 32-bit only packages like PCSX2 would be available just in the Ubuntu 18.04 repository and bound to their current versions. But is suggesting such 32-bit applications consider moving to the Snap packaging format.

There was also a question about 32-bit printer drivers to which Steve responded they are exploring options for how to support the most popular of these printers.

Those wanting to follow the latest Ubuntu 32-bit discussions can jump on this thread.
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