Ubuntu drops 32-bit ISO

Hello everyone I want to see what people think about Ubuntu dropping 32 bit ISO’s

Does this also means It will also be dropped from Mate also?

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Ubuntu MATE may have the option to continue using i386 (32-bit) images, as @Wimpy says:

Flavours, such as Ubuntu MATE, have the option to continue making i386 iso images although there are some security considerations in doing so.

There's a poll going on here and on Google+ to see if how much affect this has with the community.

Strangely enough this has been my very first 64-bit installation. Let me perhaps rephrase that so it is more clear:

This installation I did of Ubuntu Mate 16.04 over the past weekend, is the very first time in my 46 years of age and 35 years of computing that I installed and started to make normal use of a 64-bit operating system.

I’ve came late to the party for several reasons. Doesn’t matter what.

What matters is that Ubuntu is becoming less and less a representative of certain core ideas in the Linux system and more and more of an outsider playing a completely different role in the community. And that’s fine. I’m not saying that is necessarily bad. They are just showing themselves for what they are. With this move – if they eventually proceed – they are just showing how they position themselves as a distributor of linux software; More engaged in the masses, more forward thinking (note, not necessarily a compliment) and with an internal strategy and culture not different from any other commercial business offering operating systems and software to the market. Their right, their call.

What I don’t like is sweeping under the rug all the consequences of this decision by basing it solely on its reasons or its merits. I don’t like PR speech; speech aimed at convincing me of something. I prefer frank and open speech, where honesty prevails and all the angles are addressed. What that post isn’t telling you is that, with this decision moving forward, Canonical will be effectively abandoning the market it helped create; no company helped foment Linux in the so-called 3rd World like Canonical. And by removing themselves from 32-bit computing, Canonical will deal a tremendous blow to the market they almost single-handedly created. A market with a vast number of home and business legacy 32-bit system that isn’t going to change for a long time.

Had this move come from distro maintainers like Ubuntu MATE, or Linux Mint, or any other group of enthusiast maintainers that nonetheless have to deal on a daily basis with lack of personnel, it would be completely understandable. But coming from Canonical, it is simply hard for me to accept blindly – just because I’m being told – that they are having problems maintaining the 32-bit ecosystem. I’m almost tempted to say, it is a downright lie. Moreso, because maintaining a 64-bit Linux OS, means that the 32-bit package maintenance task is alleviated by the tests ran on the 64 bit versions. That is, you don’t have twice the work to maintain both a 64-bit and a 32-bit version.

What’s more troubling is that this will inevitable trickle down the Ubuntu chain. It will become inevitable that all depending on Ubuntu as their upstream source, will be forced to abandon 32-bit computing. And to those for whom Ubuntu is completely abstracted away from the end user (Linux Mint, for instance) they may still be able to offer 32-bit computing but at a greater cost to them.

The second part of his post I decided to ignore as a blatant irresponsible thing to say. To claim that the future is here and other somesuch nonsense has nothing to do with Linux. Leave that to the usual corporate PR verbal diarrhea. That’s not what Linux represents. It’s fine if they, Canonical, want to ride with the technology, leaving legacy behind on a constant basis and staying on top of the wave, or whatever they may want to call it. But don’t try to put that on me as a good thing, or make me feel bad because I don’t have whatever is your worthy tech of the day. I don’t accept it. Not in the Linux ecosystem, I won’t!

“We need to move forward” is fine. Nice speech. But at least admit you are moving forward at the expense of those you are going to leave behind. Present your reasons, but also make it clear you know very well who you are going to damage because of this.

And about the Server edition… unbelievable what they are proposing to do. I cannot even start to overstate the dependency of the 3rd world business on legacy 32-bit computing.


I'd be more inclined to think Canonical want to save money by reducing costs and bandwidth to focus on other avenues (like the ARM architecture?). This could be a good thing as they free up resources.

Understandable from a business perspective, not great for those still on legacy technology. Although, there are still other distributions who provide and support i386 builds... providing this drop from the popular distro isn't a signal for others to do the same. :confused:

32-bit as you say is still common in many parts of the world, and even ancient computers collecting dust could be breathed life with a i386 build.

I bet somewhere there is a 16-bit system in production use still. :wink:

We'd have to see what happens. Unlike forcing the Unity desktop, a very large percent of Ubuntu users do not seem to use i386 anymore. :frowning:

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most home PC’s are 64bit anyway, if anyone have a old PC the old releases still will be available to download i guess. I think the biggest impact will be in commercial use.

from my point of view i do not see that as a problem.

This here I find a bit troubling:

With Ubuntu 18.10 support for 32-bit PCs will disappear completely. Users would only be able to run 32-bit software using Snaps, containers, or virtual machines.

Would that mean that there won't be an option of installing 32 bit libraries on a 64 bit system that some software (esp. non-opensource) may still require short of compiling everything yourself?


I’m sure Ubuntu is doing what they feel needs to be done but this will impact Linux and it’s users in a big way

I for one love Linux Ubuntu and will be upgrading or replacing all of my older machines because I really feel there not really productive as they should be I’m basically trying to have a few machines running different type of OS’s on it so I can gain better knowledge so I can be more valuable to Ubuntu’so community I just don’t think everyone will feel the same

You are right there Rob as there are many people that cannot afford to upgrade their hardware in the foreseeable future!. :smiley:

Yeah unfortunately this will be a problem for many
and it’s kinda sad that these kind of changes has surface now when Ubuntu was doing so well with new users jumping on board

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hi guys, the question is how many people use 32-bit and 64-bit?

it seems that the answer is a 30% 32-bit and 64-bit 70%. It remains much users with 32 bits.

these data will be in the first world, possibly in the third world will be 30% of 64-bit, and 70% will be 32 bits.

You can be selfish and only look at the first world, or look at all.

In my house I have 2 32-bit computers. also two 64-bit.

it may be that I’m wrong but I think it should continue to maintain 32-bit computers,

but if companies or developers stop supporting older hardware, it will be the death of 32 bits,


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I think the 32 bit should be maintain because there are a lot of us still using it on older machine regardless how old our machine are. I think it’s more of a money issue for Ubuntu to keep this old 32 bit going and I see their points as well.


Seems like this is mostly a “business as usual” action from Canonical.

The vast majority of linux users should be fine; 32bit operating systems will still continue to exist and be provided for, just not down the ubuntu line. After all, Canonical does not hold sway over how all other distros operate.


Canonical is not the first company to think about stopping 32-bit distribution:


We are discontinuing the 32bit versions of our install media. This will be the last release that includes 32bit media. This change applies to the install media only. We will continue to maintain 32bit packages in our repository for the foreseeable future.

I can't find any 32-bit versions on their download pages. I've checked multiple mirrors and I can only find 64-bits versions

I can't see if it just one image for both, or if it is just 64-bit. There is only one ISO available for 1.2

Other distributions are also contemplating the support of the 32-bit architecture, because they either have a small support team or the downloads of the 32-bit versions are so low that they could better stop producing the ISO's all together.

in the mailinglist it states that it has nothing to do with the i386 hardware but more with security:

In 2018:

  • it will be over 2 years since 3rd party ISVs stopped supporting
    software on i386, or even never had it officially
  • e.g. Google Chrome, ZFS, Docker, etc
  • with both desktop and server software developed, tested and deployed
    on amd64 only

And in 2018, the question will come if we can effectively provide
security support on i386.

There are some major developers of software who stated to stop development of i386 software all together (including support). So if there isn't any support anymore, is it feasible to offer 32-bits platforms as there is a great chance that by 2018 the platform isn't secure anymore? Google has already axed 32-bit support.

And furthermore, the majority of computers sold the past 10 years are 64bit capable.


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And then there is Steam, probably the largest non-distro ISV on Linux and it is still 32bit :wink:

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While I personally don’t use Stream (any kind of DRM is a dealbreaker for me, unless “DRM” means “Direct Rendering Manager” :wink: …), I can see this being a major issue for a lot of people.

For most computers made in the 64-bit optional era, that transitional period where OEMs were cranking out 64-bit mobos with 32-bit procs, then it’s only a change in processor that is needed to counter this. For some people. that will be hard to come by, for others it will be easier.

If the processor inside of your computer is both 32-bit and soldered on, you’re probably better off pitching it.

Here’s my perspective of the issue; Poor people can be rather creative. Either do a little research now and try to get an older 64-bit proc for cheap, or if If you see somebody tossing aside a 64-bit computer, get it and clean it up. It’s probably a capable machine once a Linux system is installed on it.

Though, after some time, there will also be a maintenance issue because it might be harder to find some legacy components. We’ll soon be in an era where legacy tech such as Parallel ATA will be more expensive as manufacture is discontinued in favour for SATA and SAS, and older procs, instead of being cheaply had from EBay will be expensive as demand from poorer people rise, and prices rise as a result of supply and demand.

If you can do it, now is the time to upgrade your mobo and proc. While a bit expensive, you can more-than-likely find a mobo that supports all your pre-existing hardware which is 64-bit capable, work with that and later upgrade your proc to be “At spec” for a low-end 64-bit PC.

I personally use 32-bit computers quite a lot. If Ubuntu MATE drops 32-bit, i’m kind of screwed

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Does anyone know what Debian is planning to do?

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Hello Utybo, Well I know how you feel and this may be a good thing because those older machines will have to be replaced one day. What I’m trying to say this may give everyone some time to build up an even better collection my self included

I do run both 32- and 64 bit machines and I’m in the process of picking up a few more 64 bits also

I haven’t heard anything about Debian dropping the 32 bit ISO yet