Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Change of scope and target market for i386

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NB! this is a mailing list for developers, and this is a _proposal_
that I want to discuss with the *buntu developers. There is no need to
OMG this, especially since this is a recurring discussion every single
development cycle for many years now...
######


Hello,

Currently Ubuntu provides many installation medias:

* Ubuntu Core snappy architecture images

* Cloud images

* Container images

* Server subiquity img/iso

* Server classic img/iso

* Desktop live

* Netinst

* Board-specific pre-installed builds

i386 architecture is changing.

It is no longer the default, nor most widely used architecture on the
traditional form factors: desktop, laptop, rack servers.

But i386 is becoming more of a purpose built architecture, similar to
how in the past "embedded" devices label was applied. Today, I would
call it an IoT; single purpose device; and a cloud/container guest
architecture.

Ubuntu website download pages have stopped advertising traditional
i386 images for either desktop, server, or cloud, without any
significant backslash and without any noticeable drops in the download
rates.

Therefore I would like to propose the following change of scope for
the i386 architecture.

= Continue to provide for i386 =

* The Ubuntu archive with security updates

* Ubuntu Core snappy architecture images

* Cloud images

* Container images

* Server subiquity img/iso

* netinst

= Discontinue to provide for i386 =

* Server classic img/iso

* Desktop live

= Rationale for change =

The above images and scope for i386 will:

* Expand and grow deployments in the IoT devices sector

* continue to support the declining i386 classic desktop/server user base

* Maintain support for minimal / workload-specific cloud deployments
(cloud & container guests)

= Flavors =

Flavor leads and developers, please consider if the above structure
would also be suitable for your target market and user bases. I.e.
Continue to provide packages and the upgrade path, but discontinue to
manufacture the i386 full-sized / live-cd installation media.

--
Regards,

Dimitri.

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