Information security audits specialists report confirmation of advance notice; Ubuntu, the distribution of the Linux operating system, has decided to remove support for 32-bit systems, a decision that will become effective until the release of version 19.10.
This means that Ubuntu will no longer compile, package, or distribute software, libraries, or tools for 32-bit systems in the latest versions of the popular Linux distribution.
Information security audits experts report that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS 32-bit users will not be affected by this decision, and will be able to continue to use the distribution normally, with access to the existing 32-bit file currently. However, this also means that users of this release will not be able to upgrade to a newer version of Ubuntu.
According to information from Ubuntu developers, only 1% of their total users will be using the 32-bit version of the Linux distribution, which will be supported until 2023.
Steve Langasek, one of Ubuntu’s developers, explained the decision through the distribution mailing list: “The Ubuntu engineering team has reviewed the background of the distribution and come to a conclusion; we can no longer support i386 as architecture”. In addition, experts added that i386 will not be included as architecture for version 19.10, and its deactivation throughout Ubuntu infrastructure will begin shortly.
Ubuntu removed 32-bit installation images in 2017, and a lot of distributions and software vendors have taken similar measures since; “All distributions are removing support for i386 systems,” Langasek added.
Another reason argued by experts is the lack of support for systems and the slow availability of security updates, as well as the general trend of abandoning 32-bit versions.
International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) information securitya specialists anticipate that this decision will have an impact on all Ubuntu-based Linux distributions; Linux Mint, for example, will have to use only 64-bit in its future releases, unless you decide to create and maintain your own 32-bit file.