Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Re: Ubuntu Desktop on i386

Version: GnuPG v2.0.22 (GNU/Linux)

On 02.02.2016 12:27, Jean-Baptiste Lallement 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.

Ubuntu used to be the alternative for human beings which might have need in
keeping old hw running. ;) But I know that is a nostalgic view.

> 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.

I understand the effort this takes. Maybe a path in between (which has been
mentioned before if I got the meaning right) could be to still produce the iso
but clearly tell people that this is not tested and just as a courtesy for
people that might need it. And all/only community testing like back in the
days... :)

All in all having or not having the iso is just a time/bandwidth saver as, since
the archive will be there, one always can install using 14.04 and then upgrade.
I just could imagine that some might be grateful for something that is more
direct. And if creating the iso isn't costing us that much then why not.

I can understand that we have to compromise on the supporting side. Just to many
new bases to cover as well. And not sure a community testing only approach would
work. Maybe it really need to be a complete community "flavour" to get the
message right. At least to say we want to drop this because the effort of
support gets too much with everything else that we support sounds more honest
than to say there is no hw use-case out there.

> JB.