Fwd: Proposal: Let's drop i386

ray burke rayburke30 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 10 23:01:52 UTC 2018

I read Steve response and agree whole heartily to what he says!


On 7/11/18, Stephen Morris <samorris at netspace.net.au> wrote:
> On 17/5/18 9:17 am, Valorie Zimmerman wrote:
>> Hello folks, I'm forwarding the following email to Ubuntu-devel ML to
>> explain the thinking on the part of the Ubuntu developers as to why
>> they are discontinuing the i386 images. For us, this would mean that
>> the 18.04 LTS is the last i386 ISO that we will be publishing. I'm
>> reluctant to do this, however, I do not have the time or technical
>> knowledge required to do this on my own, and the Kubuntu Devels want
>> Kubuntu to stop issuing i386 images.
>> Therefore, we are going to do that. For those of you who still want
>> and need i386, you will have 3 years of support from us on the LTS.
>> This means that when we're ready for the point releases (18,04.1, 2
>> etc.) I will still be asking for testers and expect you i386 people to
>> step up and do that.
>> For now the i386 *packages* in the archive are not going away.
>> However, I think the clock is ticking for them as well. On the other
>> hand, this will mean more attention from devels on the newer ARM stuff
>> which will be useful for those with Raspi or little ARM
>> laptop/netbooks.
>> Discussion is welcome, but I'm afraid that the decision has been
>> taken, and we'll be moving ahead to 18.10 without i386.
>> Valorie
> Is this article saying that from 18.10 onwards people are not going to
> be able to run 32 bit applications on their 64 bit images? If that is
> the case I think this decision is a bit short sighted. There are lots of
> applications out there that are 32 bit only and don't exist as 64 bit
> versions (a case in point is steam, I run steam in 2 linux environments
> and a windows environment, and it is only 32 bit in all environments and
> in both linux environments I have to specifically install 32 bit
> versions of a number of packages to get steam to run), so if this
> decision is saying that going forwards we cannot run 32 bit apps,
> especially if they are provided by sources other than Kubuntu, then that
> makes the usefulness of Kubuntu extremely limited, and personally, I
> would be forced to stop using Kubuntu and Ubuntu.
> regards,
> Steve
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Bryan Quigley <bryan.quigley at canonical.com>
>> Date: Wed, May 9, 2018 at 1:07 PM
>> Subject: Proposal: Let's drop i386
>> To: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel at lists.ubuntu.com>, Ubuntu Core
>> developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss at lists.ubuntu.com>
>> Cc: Dimitri John Ledkov <xnox at ubuntu.com>
>> Hello,
>> Less and less non-amd64-compatible i386 hardware is available for
>> consumers to buy today from anything but computer part recycling
>> centers. The last of these machines were manufactured over a decade
>> ago, and support from an increasing number of upstream projects has
>> ended.
>> Ubuntu and flavors just completed the 18.04 release cycle. This
>> released version will either be supported until 2021 or 2023,
>> depending on the product, team, and willingness to support it. At that
>> point in time, the majority of these machines are approaching two
>> decades old.
>>>> Previous 2016 thread: And in 2018, the question will come if we can
>>>> effectively provide security support on i386.
>> We can't.  Machines running i386 Ubuntu which are capable of running
>> amd64 Ubuntu are vulnerable to the critical Meltdown vulnerability
>> where they wouldn't be if they were running amd64. (Some actual i386
>> hardware simply isn't vulnerable, but some is).
>> We still have a relatively high number if i386 downloads but that
>> doesn't mean users machines are not capable of amd64. For the flavors
>> remaining today on i386 here are some i386 to amd64 ratios for 18.04:
>> Lubuntu cdimage - 0.87
>> Lubuntu tracker - 0.64
>> Lubuntu error (pcmanfm) - 0.11
>> Xubuntu cdimage - 0.49
>> Xubuntu tracker -  0.30
>> Xubuntu error (thunar) - 0.10
>> Kylin tracker - 0.30
>> Kylin error (engrampa) - 0.10
>> Kubuntu cdimage - 0.14
>> Kubuntu tracker - 0.12
>> Kubuntu error (kinit) - 0.07
>> The data retrieved from cdimage is for a limited time period on May
>> 7th. All cdimage statistics included many hundreds to thousands of
>> downloads (except Ubuntu Kylin due to it using it's own CDN, so not
>> being included here). The torrent tracker results are available here:
>> http://torrent.ubuntu.com:6969/.
>> The error tracker statistics come from comparing top bugs shared
>> between i386 and amd64 over last week. Bugs that affect multiple
>> flavors are not included.
>> It's not fully understood why there is a large discrepancy between the
>> error tracker and other sources - but it's possible apport doesn't
>> work as well in low memory.
>> With Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, and Ubuntu Studio joining Ubuntu
>> Desktop and Server in not offering i386 support in order to focus
>> their efforts, and these statistics in mind, we (flavors) should all
>> join them. Now is the ideal time to do so, because it's before the
>> Cosmic cycle is really under way, and if support were continued for
>> i386, we don't want users to meet a dead end with respect to upgrade
>> paths, and would support it until 20.04 (which means either five or
>> seven more years of i386). Users still have the support cycle of 18.04
>> to use their machines and get full support, so these machines will
>> still be able to function. But with no new machines being
>> manufactured, we have to deprecate support at some point.
>> The first step would be to all agree on dropping images/installers but
>> we should keep the end goal of dropping the port in mind ideally soon
>> as well.
>> On the list of known blockers for removing the i386 port are Steam and
>> Wine. Solus' snapped Steam is progressing nicely and Steam deb is
>> difficult to maintain as is [See removal bug]. That leaves coming up
>> with a good way forward for Wine.
>> Thanks!
>> Simon Quigley
>> Bryan Quigley
>> [2016 email thread]
>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2016-June/039420.html
>> (was Installation Media and supportability of i386 in 18.04 LTS Re:
>> Ubuntu Desktop on i386)
>> [removal bug] https://pad.lv/1759715
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