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Canonical's decision to cease development of 32-bit libraries in Ubuntu 19.10 "eoan" means it won't support Steam gaming runtime and devs say the Wine compatibility layer for running Windows apps will be little use.
The Steam news was reported on Twitter by Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais, who said "Ubuntu 19.10 and future releases will not be officially supported by Steam or recommended to our users."
Ubuntu - Anxiety - Announcement - I386 - Architecture
Ubuntu has caused anxiety with its announcement that "the i386 architecture will be dropped" in the next release. Some presumed this meant i386 libraries would not be shipped at all, meaning that no 32-bit applications would run.
This is not the case, as Canonical's Steve Langasek has clarified:
Anyone - Impression - Support - I386 - Applications
I'm sorry that we've given anyone the impression that we are 'dropping support for i386 applications'. That's simply not the case. What we are dropping is updates to the i386 libraries, which will be frozen at the 18.04 LTS versions. But there is every intention to ensure that there is a clear story for how i386 applications (including games) can be run on versions of Ubuntu later than 19.10.
Freezing the libraries may be almost as bad though, from the point of view of Steam, since drivers for new GPUs would be impacted; and Steam without support for the shiniest new GPUs for 32-bit games (of which there are many) would be crippled.
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