Wine Developers Appear Quite Apprehensive About Ubuntu's Plans To Drop 32-Bit Support
Written by Michael Larabel in WINE on 20 June 2019 at 03:35 PM EDT. 220 Comments
WINE --
It's looking like the plans announced by Canonical this week to drop their 32-bit packages/libraries beginning with Ubuntu 19.10 will be causing problems for the Wine camp at least in the near-term until an adequate solution is sorted out for providing their 32-bit Wine builds to Ubuntu users.

Wine and Steam are among the few prominent Linux software packages still prominently living mostly in a 32-bit world. Valve certainly has the resources to come up with a timely solution especially with Ubuntu being the most popular Linux distribution used by Steam and they can move on with shipping their own 32-bit Steam Runtime libraries and other changes as needed. For the upstream Wine project it might be a bit more burdensome providing 32-bit Wine packages for Ubuntu.

Those providing the WineHQ packagers for Ubuntu don't want to venture into providing a whole collection of 32-bit libraries/dependencies to satisfy Wine. It also appears there are several developers at least skeptical of the Canonical-backed "solution" to use 32-bit Ubuntu 18.04 LTS packages from within a Snap. Meanwhile providing a 64-bit-only Wine build would be of limited usefulness.

This situation of Ubuntu planning to discontinue their 32-bit x86 support beginning with Ubuntu 19.10 is being discussed now on the wine-devel list.

Often vocal Wine developer Henri Verbeet of CodeWeavers has even gone as far as to not provide any Ubuntu packages at least until a better solution can be devised. "I think not building packages for Ubuntu 19.10 would be the only
practical option. It would probably be good to have a small explanation on the download page though. As I understand it, it would still be possible to run 32-bit executables on the Ubuntu 19.10 kernel, but we'd have to build and ship all our dependencies ourselves. I don't think we want to go there just yet.
"

Andrew Eikum of CodeWeavers meanwhile brought up the idea of using the Steam Runtime as their 32-bit dependent packages. That would cover most of their bases but there are still some other packages they would need to address.

We'll see what happens with the 64-bit-only Ubuntu 19.10 plans over the weeks ahead.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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