Dropping 32 bit support (i.e. games support) will hurt Ubuntu. Big time

I have been using Ubuntu for about 3 years now, but I will probably follow valves recommended distro.

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hello developer and also Linux gamer here, I really think the idea to drop 32 support is a very bad idea at this time. There is not enough 64-bit libraries to support what we need. There is also a lot of legacy software as well as recently released software that still works on 32-bit. I have a steam library of over 300 games, most of them will no longer work with Ubuntu after the switch. I believe this also includes steam itself. Please reconsider this terrible idea because at the end of the day all it will do is create a Mass Exodus of our own users.

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I’ve been using Ubuntu on and off since 05, usually dual booting. I started using it fulltime last year, and the experience has been fantastic. The move to GNOME, and recent updates for gaming through Steams Proton and DXVK makes Ubuntu the go-to OS for Open Source conscious gaming.

The loss of 32-bit support in mainline, makes Ubuntu an absolute no-go. Please reconsider.

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Hey, here I am running Steam and Wine on Ubuntu 19.10. No harm done!


But what’s gonna happen after 18.04 reaches EOL? This isn’t ideal at all. And Wine would pretty much be useless on a 64-bit only system.

And all those steps would be too much for a regular user.

The container image for 18.04 reaches EOL in 2028. Isn’t that enough?

I can’t agree enough with you, the only reason I got into computers like I have (now my full time career and favourite hobby!) is gaming.

I got into ubuntu back in 12.04 because switching was so easy, and the UX so smooth, that I wanted to use it all the time. I tried to play games, but it was a lot of work, so I had to dual boot.
Fastforward a few years, and proton come out, now all of my games work on ubuntu! Finally I wipe my windows install for more space, because I don’t need it anymore.

I understand, and frankly also want for you to be able to focus on the latest and greatest software, and you guys have done with mostly with out my help (just small donations and bug reports), so I can only ask so much and far as I see it, but making sure that the games and tools we use still work it important. If not reversing this decision, but at least creating tooling to make a transition, where appropriate, away from 32-bit libs is vital to keep a major factor for many IT / Software nerds wanting to use Ubuntu.

I don’t know any younger It guy that isn’t also into video games in some form. These are the same guys that will be how will ask their departments to upgrade OSs, the will switch out their families OS if they have issues, or want something new.


My business uses the same os that I use at home b/c I like consistency. I also like playing WoW Wotlk for the old times sake.
It’s funny but I’m prepared to move ~100+ machines to a different/similar distro like Pop_OS! if that means I can keep playing WoW from time to time.

This also means dropping some other stuff like snaps which I really like but I like consistency more.

Long time Ubuntu user here (Warty Warthog 4.10) and I have introduced so many people and businesses to Ubuntu I have lost track. I think if Canonical wants Ubuntu to be the Linux distribution standard on the desktop, you have to support business and the personal use which can include games. Please reconsider dropping or freezing 32-bit support! Please commit to continue working with Valve and the community to support Wine, Proton and Steam Play. You can only help winning converts who want to switch. Yes there are other distributions, but none with the reach of Ubuntu.


Sorry for my words but this decision is the most absurd and stupid.

Windows 64-bit maintains Windows-on-Windows (WoW64) which allows Windows to run 32-bit windows applications and also can even run 16-bit Windows (through NTVDM on 32-bit Windows).

This was the Windows greatest feature – BACKWARD COMPATIBILITY

This move was very detrimental to Open Source World. Expect the fallout for this stupid decision of Canonical. Not only gamers hurt for this decision but also the office and enterprises hurt too.


Also this decision creates domino effect on other Ubuntu-based distros. Canonical must reverse this decision right away

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How will pop support multiarch, when it is too much work for Ubuntu?

I think you need to convince Valve, wine and Crossover. Because it is their opinion which will sway user opinion. Ubuntu is not a DIY distribution, you are thinking of Arch.

This thread is a trainwreck. See the original thread and the latest posts.

No, a container image for 18.04 is not enough. It means that it will use more disk space unnecessarily, have a performance hit from the container, have issues with Mesa <=> drm version mismatch, not have the latest OGL / Vulkan features, have issues with compiling with older unsupported version of GCC / LLVM for shaders etc. In short not workable.

64 bit only is fine for some open source software and generally all server based software, but for certain segments of the desktop market it is a showstopper.

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In computer science, it is common to compartmentalize software. The benefits of compartmentalization are so important that outweigh any issues in increased disk space (minimal in LXD for multiple containers), overhead (again minimal). Memory might be a small issue (can fit about a dozen containers in 8GB RAM).

If personally you do not see the benefits of compartmentalization, then these are probably not suitable for you.

Consider though all the efforts in virtual machines which could have been avoided if people installed all software on the same baremetal server, in the single OS installation.
VMs take lots of resources (dedicated 2GB RAM and 20GB space). But with containers it is about 150MB RAM and 250MB space. And additional containers do not use any additional space due to copy-on-write.

I think the trainwreck is bigger than this thread. Google: Ubuntu steam news. I feel a bit sorry for Ubuntu marketing and evangelists. They are having a bad week.

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That’s called an echo chamber.
You get quality Linux news from lwn.net.

It appears there are some communication issues around this whole process.

I suspect what they meant was they want to drop the i386 architecture not 32-bit support (via multiarch/lib32-*) in amd64.

Dropping lib32-* from amd64 would be suicidal for the distro.