Canonical announced in its announcement today that a major decision was made to completely stop support for the 32-bit (i386) hardware architecture in future releases of Ubuntu. Last year at the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) development cycle, Canonical announced that they would no longer provide a 32-bit installation image (ISO), and adopted the same solution in the subsequent release of Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish). But Ubuntu’s 32-bit software library is still available.
Currently Canonical has blocked Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) upgrade to 32-bit Ubuntu 18.10, and today the company once again announced that it will no longer continue to support 32-bit systems since the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine). Steve Langasek said in an email:
“The Ubuntu engineering team has reviewed the facts before us and concluded that we should not continue to carry i386 forward as an architecture. Consequently, i386 will not be included as an architecture for the 19.10 release, and we will shortly begin the process of disabling it for the Eoan series across Ubuntu infrastructure.”
Although Canonical said it no longer provides 32-bit applications in the upcoming Ubuntu system, if users need to use certain applications, 32-bit applications can still run on this Linux-based system. Application developers can provide this content to users through a supported file format (probably Snap, Flatpak or AppImage).