There is a plan to drop support for 32-bit packages in Ubuntu, starting from Ubuntu 19.10.
I see lots of misinformation, so let’s try to put all this in order.
If you are affected, read I386 architecture will be dropped starting with eoan (Ubuntu 19.10) and specifically read the FAQ.
This change affects Ubuntu 19.10 (non-LTS) and newer versions. Older versions are unaffected. Unaffected versions are Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (desktop support up to 2021, containers up to 2026) and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (desktop support up to 2023, containers up to 2028).
32-bit libraries are a mess on 64-bit systems. They are an indication that things will start getting bad on your system. I do not install 32-bit libraries on my desktop. If I need an application that comes with 32-bit libraries, I install it in a container.
Here is my tutorial on getting Steam to work in a LXD container. Bonus screenshots of running CS:GO Danger Zone.
Here is my generic guide on running GUI applications in a LXD container. I use an example of running “redet”, a package only available in Ubuntu 12.04! And I am running it in a Ubuntu 12.04 container under Ubuntu 18.04.
Here is my tutorial on running Wine in a LXD container.
I believe that it is possible to get rid of the 32-bit legacy by using container, whether those are Docker or LXD or something else.
LXD is a good candidate, and by creating a GUI LXD manager to create containers, it should make it easy for everyone to confine 32-bit legacy applications inside containers. And not mess our desktops!