Canonical returns to the decision to stop supporting 32-bit applications. After much criticism, the company has decided to continue to support a ‘selected number’ of 32-bit packages for Ubuntu.
The change of course is the result of ‘the large amount of feedback’ from among others gamers, Ubuntu Studio, and the WINE community, Canonical reports: “We are changing plans and are building a selected number of 32bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS “
However, the support will not cover the entire 32-bit software library. The company engages the community to select the packages. In collaboration with community members, Canonical wants to determine for itself which 32-bit packages are needed for software support. The possibility of adding packages at a later time remains open.
Last week, Canonical announced its intention to discontinue 32-bit support from Ubuntu 19.10. It would take developers too much time to sustain that, and only a small number of users would be served with it. The move attracted a lot of criticism from gamers in particular, because there are still many 32-bit games for Linux on Steam. Valve then decided not to support Ubuntu 19.10 and later versions.
Canonical says to be surprised about the fierceness of the discussion about the end of 32bit support. The company says it has been conducting this since 2014. The company thought it had reached a consensus for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS after an extensive thread on the subject of 18.04 LTS. The organization also maintains that most 32-bit x86 packages are hardly used. In the final end-of-life procedure, Canonical wants to use containers to keep running old applications.