32/64 bit recommended decision rehash this vUDS?

Timo Jyrinki timo.jyrinki at gmail.com
Tue Aug 20 06:54:04 UTC 2013

2013/8/19 Bryan Quigley <gquigs+u at gmail.com>:
> I was wondering if anyone wanted to take another look at recommending 64 bit
> instead of 32 bit for 13.10?

Hi Bryan. There is certainly interest, to reduce the confusion for
users of new computers. Locally it has been clearer since ubuntu-fi
defaults to 64-bit download of 12.04 LTS always. I would have liked to
have 64-bit by default for 12.04 LTS already globally, but I agree the
conservative approach at the time was still more valid. There was also
unity-2d available at the time.

Now would be a good time to consider the switch so that there'd be one
non-LTS release before 14.04 LTS.

At the time of 14.04 LTS release, all desktop computers sold during
the last 7 years have been 64-bit compliant. During the 2007 some
older generation models may still have been sold as new, so 6-6.5
years might be more accurate for "all". First gen Atoms are found in
newer netbooks like you noted in your conclusion, but the 2nd gen and
newer Atoms have been out for over 4 years next Spring. It certainly
requires the exception note, though.

So your (slightly modified) “If you have a 6+ year old PC,  a 4+ year
old netbook, or only 1 GB of ram choose the 32 bit version.” sounds
good to me.


As for phasing out 32-bit releases completely, I think it's too early
to have much discussion about that and the above topic is much more
relevant. But if insisted, first of all I think the first gen Atoms
can be forgotten about with Unity8 in 16.04 LTS. Qt 5 will require
OpenGL 2.0 / shaders. So the topic is more about the 9+ years old
desktop/laptop computers (or CPUs, to be exact) around that time. They
can certainly be beefy enough with some expansions, considering Unity8
also runs on mobile devices, and 10-15 years use of a computer should
be considered possible. So I'd say 18.04 LTS could be, for example,
the last LTS to ship 32-bit version (images, kernels). By 2023, when
support for 18.04 LTS would end, it'll be 16 years since last new
computers sold with non-64-bit CPUs.

But even after that at least community supported 32-bit kernels would
be needed for Lubuntu & co that can be installed on late 1990s ->


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