Fwd: Proposal: Let's drop i386

Robert Charbonneau rpc at bewitching.me
Fri May 18 17:11:16 UTC 2018

The i386 platform is obviously becoming antiquated, and even those who 
are still on that platform will have access to the 18.04 image. By the 
time the next release of *buntu comes about, there will be vastly fewer 
i386 systems (they won't run forever.) Anyone still running an i386 
processor in the next 18 months will *still* have access to that 18.04 
imageand the onus is on everyone to plan an upgrade to the x64 platform 
prior to the next LTS (quite a ways away.)  I'm not sure the extra 
coordinated effort required to test on a platform which is easily 
considered substandard now makes much sense when PCs running such 
processors are becoming more and more rareas time goes on.

On 2018-05-18 12:52 PM, accessys at smart.net wrote:
> unfortunately I don't have a spare 386 computer to test with but a lot 
> of people with disabilities are using linux and I push Kubuntu because 
> of financial issues many are using second or even third hand computer 
> equipment which often is still 32bit.
>  so is catch 22 the people testing don't have the older equip to test 
> but a lot of the older equip is being used by people who can't afford 
> anything newer.
> Bob
> On Fri, 18 May 2018, charlie wrote:
>> Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 09:37:10 -0700
>> From: charlie <contact at charlieluna.com>
>> Reply-To: Kubuntu user technical support 
>> <kubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com>
>> To: kubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com
>> Subject: Re: Fwd: Proposal: Let's drop i386
>> i think it's a good thing to see i386 getting dropped because that 
>> kind of hardware's old and obsolete anyway. 64 bit computers are 
>> cheaper now and shouldn't be too much of a burden for anyone to 
>> acquire something. i scored a Dell Precision T1600 workstation for 
>> $35 about a month ago and it's a 64 bit quad core Xeon processor. 
>> just saying.
>> On 05/16/2018 04:17 PM, 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
>>> ---------- 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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