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

Martin Wimpress code at
Thu Jun 30 06:46:58 UTC 2016


Just to be clear, I'm not proposing that Ubuntu MATE absolutely want to
continue providing 32bit iso images.

My daughter has a Dell Mini 9 Atom netbook, it is 32bit only. I think
netbooks are in the category of computers sold fairly recently that are
still very usable. However, the main concern for me is how often do
organisations such as FixIT - Leeds Coop​ and Reglue​ receive 32bit PC
hardware donations? And how this decision affects them and the families and
organisations they support who simply don't have the money to spend on a
computer. I also volunteer for an organisation that refurbishes donated
computers and ships them to schools in Malawi.

I have some statistics for the Ubuntu MATE downloads and the i386 downloads
are a tiny percentage when compared to amd64 and armhf (Raspberry Pi). That
said, the number of blind and visually impaired individuals using Ubuntu
MATE is also extremely small but I continue to invest the effort to ensure
Ubuntu MATE is highly accessible. Likewise I would be prepared to continue
supporting i386 while there is a socially valuable reason to do so.

With that said, if the Ubuntu Security team determine that maintaining the
security profile of i386 is not possible, with particular regard to
browsers, then that would undoubtedly influence my thinking. I'm simply not
prepared to release a desktop operating system that has inadequate security
coverage. We've got some polls running in the various Ubuntu MATE
communities to survey what hardware people have access to and I've reached
out to some of the charities that make use of Ubuntu MATE to better
understand how, or if, this decision might affect them and the work they do.

Regards, Martin.
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