The availability of Steam on Linux has been the hottest game on the platform, especially the recent addition of the Steam Play compatibility layer for running Windows-only games. Valve has always recommended gamers to run Ubuntu Linux, the most popular desktop Linux distribution, but it is changing now.
A few days ago, the Ubuntu team just announced that Ubuntu 19.10, which is scheduled to be released in the second half of the year, will stop supporting the 32-bit x86 architecture. The announcement email was interpreted as “meaning that Ubuntu will no longer support 32-bit applications”, and people have reacted fiercely, especially to game makers, and Steam even said that it no longer supports Ubuntu 19.10 and higher. Wine developers are also in this discussion. Actively discuss ways to deal with it.
On June 22nd, a developer at Valve announced that the Ubuntu Linux 19.10 release, which will be released in October this year, will not be supported by Steam. Valve still supports Linux, not a future version of the Ubuntu operating system. The availability of Steam on Linux has been a hot trend for platform games, especially the recently added Steam Play compatibility layer for running Windows-only games.
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
Due to the upcoming changes in Ubuntu, the company will have to look for a new Linux desktop distribution. So why did Valve give up the most popular Linux desktop operating system? Canonical, a company that owns and develops Ubuntu, said last week that Ubuntu 19.10 will not contain any 32-bit packages. This means that applications that rely on any 32-bit library or driver will not work, including a large number of games on Steam. The actual Linux kernel still supports 32-bit software but requires an OS distributor like Ubuntu to develop and test 32-bit components.