Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Re: Ubuntu Desktop on i386

Hi,

could you please drop the HWE enablement stack out of this?

HWE kernels were long provided before we started doing X/graphics
stack. And they are there to enable new/latest hardware only.
HWE kernels are needed on servers & clouds, it's not just desktop =)

Also, whilst there are still tiny instances cloud providers (e.g.
512MB and less of RAM) we will continue to ship i386 cloud images and
i386 kernels.
Desktop is only one product based on of the ubuntu kernel, and it
doesn't get to dictate support for other products =)

So really: dropping the archive, dropping kernel, dropper HWE is out
of scope for this discussions. These are here to stay. The
desktop-i386.iso however, is something that we can discuss.

The cost of: testing, validation, release, and bandwidth to mirror it
is IMHO large. And costs more than the benefit it will provide.

On 2 February 2016 at 17:26, Bryan Quigley <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Kernel support is a separate vector. E.g. in Debian it is common to
>> install 32-bit userspace with the 64-bit kernel. Thus using all the
>> CPU/kernel features, access all the memory, yet have lower memory
>> utilisation.
>
> Right, but depending on what we decide it will also impact how tested
> the HWE stack is on Unity. Say we stop building the x86_32 image
> starting with 16.10. Would backporting the x86_32 bit kernel from
> 16.10 to 16.04.2 HWE release still happen?
>

Out of scope for this thread.

>>> I'm also happy to revisit my survey [2] and see where people are today.
>>
>> I'm not sure it's about where people are, but rather where we want people to be.
>
> I mean I want us to just drop 32-bit kernels and images entirely and
> just keep 32 bit compat libraries. But I also want to give lots of
> notice so the soonest I'd want to that would be after 18.04 at this
> point.
>

Out of scope for this thread.

>> My argument for dropping .iso, but keeping the packages/archive is as follows:
>>
>> * we would like to support upgrades, for those that have 32 bit install
>>
>> * but we would like to prevent any new installations
>
> I just want to prevent further bit root for those upgrade users.
> There will be even less people testing those now, so I do think we
> need a plan to eventually remove Unity from the archive and maybe
> migrate those users to another DE? (Unity8 seems to be doing x86_32
> releases? the obvious choice for me would be Xubuntu/Mate/Lubuntu but
> we don't need where to move today)
>

No need to provide upgrade path. The hardware will simply EOL.

>>
>> * because any new installation is amd64 capable, or such is the Ubuntu
>> Desktop ISO installer requirement for 16.04 LTS
>>
>> * reduce releases.ubuntu.com mirror costs by about a third
>>
>> Otherwise, all survey results will remain constant.
>>
>> Building images is cheap, however I do not believe we can actually
>> adequately support i386 ones for ubuntu desktop:
>>
>> * there is no i386-only certified hardware
>> * image manual testing has a cost
>> * no ubuntu developers use them =)
>>
>> Could we start the sunset period with removing flavour dropdown from
>> the ubuntu desktop download pages for 16.04? (But keep the i386 images
>> on releases.ubuntu.com?)
> I'm 100% for that. Still supported (although not certified), but you
> really have to know you want to get it.
>
> So maybe a basic plan like:
> 1. Announce that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be the last officially
> supported release of Unity. Keep it on releases.u.c but remove from
> main download page. Also announce that x86_32-bit Ubuntu (server
> too?) won't be getting HWE?

server is out of scope for this discussion, HWE is out of scope. I
don't think we ever announce any ubuntu.com website changes. And the
website has links to reach to reach the releases.u.c and cdimage.u.c
anyway.

> 2. Drop to cdimage for 16.10 with not tested/supported caveat
> (continue based on usage numbers)

Ack.

> 3. For 17.04 evaluate migration options and consider dropping Unity7
> from x86_32 archive

I'd rather say, no action. Reinstall is the best way to "upgrade"
those machines to a different ubuntu flavor, or like buy a new
hardware.

> 4. For 18.04 have migration options well tested for 16.04 upgraders.
>

Well, not produce desktop i386 image. Would be an action here.

--
Regards,

Dimitri.

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