Canonical 32-bit PC Support Being Dropped for Ubuntu
On June 28, 2016, Canonical’s Dimitri John Ledkov laid down a draft plan on how they will deal with Canonical 32-bit PC support for upcoming Ubuntu releases.
This is not the first time that Ubuntu developers are talking about the matter of Canonical 32-bit PC Support. Each time a developer opens up the topic, things are getting much serious. Now it looks like Dimitri John Ledkov has a plan on limiting the 32-bit Ubuntu installation.
This will start with the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10. Debian is also considering Canonical 32-bit PC Support Being Dropped for Ubuntu.
According to him:
“Building i386 images is not “for free”, it comes at the cost of utilizing our build farm, QA and validation time,”
“Whilst we have scalable build-farms, i386 still requires all packages, autopackage tests, and ISOs to be revalidated across our infrastructure. As well as take up mirror space & bandwidth.”
The developer suggests that starting with Ubuntu 16.10 till the next LTS release, Ubuntu 18.04, Canonical should continue to provide the 32-bit port to run legacy apps on 64-bit systems, but Canonical 32-bit PC support being dropped for Ubuntu
Ubuntu 16.10 “Yakkety Yak” could not come with 32-bit ISOs
So starting with the Ubuntu 16.10 “Yakkety Yak” release, there should not be any 32-bit Desktop image available for download. The same plan should stick for the later versions of the OS as well. Starting with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Canonical should also stop producing the 32-bit netboot installer, kernel, and cloud images.
Finally, beginning with Ubuntu 18.10, the support for 32-bit PCs will completely vanish, and users will be able to run legacy 32-bit app in Snaps, containers, or virtual machines.
“The key point here is lack of upstream software support and upstream security support on i386, rather than actual hardware being out of stock and/or old,” said Dimitri John Ledkov. “In essence this would mean April 2021 as the sunset for i386 as the host/base OS architecture.”