Monday, 1 February 2016

Ubuntu Desktop on i386


Ubuntu has an i386 port which is fully supported.

There a bunch of 3rd party applications that rely on the Multi-Arch
technology to support/use i386 binaries on amd64 (e.g. Skype from the
partner archive). BTW, can we ask Microsoft to publish native amd64
binaries, rather than those that rely on multi-arch i386? Also, does
Valve Steam product rely on i386 multiarch binaries? or is it fully
amd64? (and e.g. downloads/bundles/ships any required i386 binaries
that it needs)? And Netflix - does that run on amd64-only without i386

However, it seems to me that this is done specifically on otherwise
full amd64 installations.

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.

Does it still make sense to build ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso? Validate
it? Test it on amd64 hardware? Ship it?

To me this seems like a futile effort. Imho, we should only test the
relevant multiarch i386 pieces that are there to support 3rd-party,
i386-only apps on amd64 desktop.

This is specifically about building, validating and shipping
ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso, specifically for the Ubuntu Desktop flavour.
Which I am suggesting should be dropped. Without any other changes to
the archive and/or publishing i386 binaries.



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