i386 architecture will be dropped starting with eoan (Ubuntu 19.10)

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i386 architecture will be dropped starting with eoan (Ubuntu 19.10)

Steve Langasek-6
Last year, the Ubuntu developer community considered the question of whether
to continue carrying forward the i386 architecture in the Ubuntu archive for
future releases.[1]  The discussion at the time was inconclusive, but in
light of the strong possibility that we might not include i386 as a release
architecture in 20.04 LTS, we took the proactive step to disable upgrades
from 18.04 to 18.10 for i386 systems[2], to avoid accidentally stranding
users on an interim release with 9 months of support instead of letting them
continue to run Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with its 5 years of standard support.

In February of this year, I also posted to communicate the timeline in which
we would take a final decision about i386 support in 20.04 LTS[3], namely,
that we would decide in the middle of 2019.

The middle of 2019 has now arrived.   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.

While this means we will not provide 32-bit builds of new upstream versions
of libraries, there are a number of ways that 32-bit applications can
continue to be made available to users of later Ubuntu releases, as detailed
in [4].   We will be working to polish the 32-bit support story over the
course of the 19.10 development cycle.  To follow the evolution of this
support, you can participate in the discourse thread at [5].

[1] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2018-May/040310.html
[2] https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubuntu-release-upgrader/1:18.10.10
[3] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2019-February/040598.html
[4] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2018-May/040348.html
[5] https://discourse.ubuntu.com/t/i386-architecture-will-be-dropped-starting-with-eoan-ubuntu-19-10/11263/2

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Steve Langasek

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