Linux News Today: Ubuntu Linux 32-bit ISO Images Are Up for Discussion Again
In the latest ubuntu-devel mailing list entry, open source software engineer Dimitri John Ledkov shares his thoughts on the matter of the 32-bit ISO images for the Ubuntu Linux operating system.
While the developer is well aware of the fact that there are still many people with old hardware in this world, and that some of the most prolific software are running only on 32-bit libraries, such as Valve’s Steam for Linux client, he strongly suggests that Ubuntu developers no longer waste their time on the 32-bit ISO images for the OS and drop support for the i386 architecture for good.
“To me this seems like a futile effort. Imho, we should only test the relevant multiarch i386 pieces that are there to support 3rd-party, i386-only apps on amd64 desktop,” said Dimitri John Ledkov. “This is specifically about building, validating and shipping ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso, specifically for the Ubuntu Desktop flavour. Which I am suggesting should be dropped.”
Many distributions have dropped support for 32-bit ISOs
This is not the first time someone opens this discussion, as we remember Bryan Quigley’s proposal for Canonical to drop the 32-bit ISO images for the Ubuntu Linux operating system after the release of Xenial Xerus (Ubuntu 16.04 LTS), but no real progress has been made in this regard, so we can only assume that it’s not a top priority for the Ubuntu devs.
It’s true that there’s a trend going on among GNU/Linux distribution vendors to drop support for 32-bit ISO images and provides users only with 64-bit ones and, of course, built-in multi-arch support. At the moment of writing this article, no one from Canonical even bothered to answer Mr. Ledkov’s proposal, so it looks like the 32-bit ISO images for Ubuntu Linux are here to stay at least two more cycles.