Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Re: Ubuntu Desktop on i386


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.

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.


Jean-Baptiste Lallement
irc: jibel

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