Ubuntu Desktop on i386

Bryan Quigley bryan.quigley at canonical.com
Tue Feb 2 17:34:22 UTC 2016

On Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 6:27 AM, Jean-Baptiste Lallement
<jean-baptiste.lallement at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> On 02/02/2016 08:58, Stefan Bader wrote:
>>> >My guess is that: all currently shipped hardware, with enough support
>>> >to run full Unity (7) Desktop, is amd64. Tested with amd64 kernel, and
>>> >amd64 graphics drivers. And hardware validation is done on amd64 too.
>>> >
>>> >In 2016, people with i386-only hardware are unlikely to be capable to
>>> >run Unity 7 Desktop, and probably run other Ubuntu variants.  I guess
>>> >there are some accidental i386 users, e.g. those that have installed
>>> >i386 variant on amd64 hardware.
>> Just wondering whether you considered netbooks here. Not that old (maybe
>> 6y?)
>> and at least the two specimens I would have around are early Atoms (i386
>> only)
>> but with (also early) i915 Intel graphics. They used to be reasonably
>> accelerated to cope. Not sure about unity 7. But maybe some reason to
>> allow at
>> least for 16.04 some i386 iso (by 18.04 the problem might be resolved
>> through
>> the crappy life-span recent hw seems to have)...
> For such hardware, 16.04 LTS is supported until Apr. 2019 (the notebook will
> be 9y old) or if you want to use a more recent release probably a
> lightweight flavour of Ubuntu would be a good alternative.

Unless I missed something the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Desktop release will be
supported until Apr. 2021. (so the notebook would be 11y old).

> From a QA point of view, supporting a Desktop i386 LTS for 5 years means
> testing 1 release and 4 or 5 point releases. Testing a release involves
> maintaining automated tests of the installer (read manual review of the
> failures), and manual testing of the images. I don't think it is worth the
> cost if the target is the hardware you mention.
> I'd rather beef up the test suite to cover common multiarch i386 scenarios.
> JB.
> --
> Jean-Baptiste Lallement
> irc: jibel

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