Installation Media and supportability of i386 in 18.04 LTS Re: Ubuntu Desktop on i386

Stéphane Graber stgraber at
Wed Jun 29 21:37:36 UTC 2016

On Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 09:33:24PM +0000, Robert Ancell wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 4:41 AM Steve Langasek <steve.langasek at>
> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 08:18:54AM +0100, Martin Wimpress wrote:
> > > Excuse the top posting, only have a phone available.
> >
> > > Ubuntu MATE works with a few organisations around the world, one in my
> > own
> > > country, that refurbish donated computers, install them with Ubuntu MATE
> > > and give (or sell them for next to nothing) to schools, disadvantaged
> > > families and people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford a computer.
> >
> > > I'll get in touch with them and find how, or if, this decision would
> > affect
> > > them.
> >
> > For various reasons (e.g. compatibility with legacy 32-bit apps on the
> > desktop; IoT devices running Ubuntu Core), we should not expect to be
> > dropping i386 as an architecture from the archive before 18.04.
> >
> > Individual flavor communities should therefore feel comfortable making
> > their
> > own decision about whether to continue providing i386 images in 18.04,
> > independent of what we decide for the Ubuntu Desktop and Server flavors -
> > with the caveat that, since the forcing function for dropping these flavors
> > is security supportability of key applications, community flavors should
> > avoid representing to their users a level of support that they are in no
> > position to deliver on.
> >
> >
> It may be worth considering disabling i386 builds for individual packages
> to reduce the support costs. That way the core packages can build for i386
> and be used in IoT systems while the graphical application stacks can stop
> building for i386. There would be some challenges to negotiate overlap with
> the flavours (i.e. MATE might want their stack i386 and Unity not) and a
> practical way to do this (we don't want to have an Ubuntu version of the
> packages that come from Debian with only a change to the "Architecture"
> field in debian/control).
> --Robert

Doing so would prevent desktop users from installing binary 32bit
packages that rely on Ubuntu's multi-arch support.

I'm not sure how much of an issue this still is, given that a bunch of
them finally have 64bit builds now, but it may still be a problem for a
number of commercial software.

Stéphane Graber
Ubuntu developer
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