Ubuntu 19.10 looks DOA for gamers, with Valve dropping support for the OS
Apple, Canonical and Microsoft may have switched to distributing 64-Bit OSs a few years ago, but Mac OS X, Ubuntu and Windows all still support the 32-bit architecture. Microsoft integrates Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit (WoW64) for example, while the current version of Ubuntu still supports 32-bit. That is, until now.
Starting with 19.10 Ubuntu will contain only 64-bit code, with Canonical removing all 32-bit support. In short, no 32-bit applications will run on future versions of Ubuntu. This may not seem noteworthy considering that developers have had years to upgrade their software to 64-bit. However, Ubuntu 19.10 and newer will prevent even 64-bit applications from executing any 32-bit libraries or packages.
In practical terms, this means that 64-bit applications that use 32-bit installers will not even install on Ubuntu 19.10. Alan Pope, Developer Advocate at Canonical, demonstrated his lack of success at installing games from GOG, all of which required the wine32 package or required a 32-bit binary.
Correspondingly, Steam has decided to drop Ubuntu from its list of supported OSs as of 19.10, with Valve Linux developer Pierre-Loup Griffais tweeting the following:
Ubuntu 19.10 and future releases will not be officially supported by Steam or recommended to our users. We will evaluate ways to minimize breakage for existing users, but will also switch our focus to a different distribution, currently TBD.— Pierre-Loup Griffais (@Plagman2) June 22, 2019
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You will have no issues with running Steam on current versions of Ubuntu, but you will not be able to upgrade to 19.10 and beyond if you want to retain GOG and Steam functionality. Phoronix reports that Canonical may reverse this decision and provide limited 32-bit support for Ubuntu 19.10, which would be a wise move. Until then, the company seems to have rung the death knell for gamers using the OS, with Valve focussing its attention on a different Linux distribution instead.
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