Does the removal of i386 from the kernel mean Ubuntu is dropping 32 bit support?

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This news affects users of live CDs mostly

If you were hoping to download Ubuntu 17.10 32-bit come its release next month we’ve some bad news to give you.

Ubuntu is dropping 32-bit builds of Ubuntu desktop entirely as of Ubuntu 17.10

Canonical’s Dimitri John Ledkov has asked the Ubuntu release team to “action” a proposal he put forth earlier in the development cycle, in which he argued that i386 builds of Ubuntu desktop (aka 32-bit builds) should no longer be produced.

“Please action the below and remove Ubuntu Desktop i386 daily-live images from the release manifest for Beta and Final milestones of 17.10 and therefore do not ship ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso artifact for 17.10,” he writes.

“This doesn’t mean Ubuntu desktop won’t run on 32-bit computers, simply that you won’t be able to download a pre-made live disc for it”

“There is no longer any effective qa or testing of the desktop product on actual i386 hardware (explicitly non x86_64...

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This news affects users of live CDs mostly.

If you were hoping to download Ubuntu 17.10 32-bit come its release next month we’ve some bad news to give you.

Ubuntu is dropping 32-bit builds of Ubuntu 17.10 desktop entirely. It’s time to bid farewell to non-64 bit ISOs.

Canonical’s Dimitri John Ledkov has asked the Ubuntu release team to “action” a proposal he put forth earlier in the development cycle in which he argued that i386 builds of Ubuntu desktop (aka 32-bit builds) should no longer be produced.

“Please action the below and remove Ubuntu Desktop i386 daily-live images from the release manifest for Beta and Final milestones of 17.10 and therefore do not ship ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso artifact for 17.10,” he writes.

“This doesn’t mean Ubuntu desktop won’t run on 32-bit computers, simply that you won’t be able to download a pre-made live disc for it.”

“There is no longer any effective qa or testing of the desktop product...

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I saw recently that the i386 CPU is not going to be supported in the Linux Kernel 3.8 so does that mean that Ubuntu will only be available in the coming years in 64-bit?

No, it means that you won't be able to run Linux on the Intel 80386 chip, the original chip from Intel which supported 32-bit architecture. Those processors had clock speeds of 12-40 Mhz and were superseded by Intel 80486 and then Intel Pentium in early- and mid-1990th.

Other, more modern 32-bit chips (Pentium Pro and above) are still going to be supported. Those processors are characterized as having the i386 architecture but they have some improvements over the original 80386, the use of which allows the removal of some ugly crutches from Linux that are required for 80386 support:

This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity ... which has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years.

Anecdote has it...

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V

ery few of you might realize that Intel and AMD released their first 64-bit processors more than a decade ago. With time, as a lesser number of computers run on 32-bit processors, this vintage architecture is becoming obsolete.

Moving along with time, various Linux distributions are now looking to drop the support for hardware powered by 32-bit CPUs.

Ubuntu is regarded as a key force in the Linux and open source world. Recently, Ubuntu project’s Dimitri John Ledkov proposed to end the support for 32-bit processors.

Ironically, back in the 1990s, Linux was kickstarted as an alternative to Windows that needed lesser horsepower–systems with 32-bit processors–to operate.

It’s also worth noting that three major players in the tech world–Google, ZFS, and Docker–have already cut the cord and ended the support for such systems.

Supporting his proposal, Ledkov said: “The key point here is lack of upstream software support and upstream security support on...

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Yes, It is true that Ubuntu has decided to drop 32-bit desktop images for upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark release. It is a result of ongoing discussion in Ubuntu development process, which argued that there is no point in continuing to build i368 images. Canonical’s Dimitri John Ledkov has told the Ubuntu Release Team to remove “Ubuntu Desktop i386 daily-live images from the release manifest for Beta and Final milestones of 17.10.” As a result,

Ubuntu 17.10 Will Drop The 32-bit Desktop ISO

Canonical’s Dimitri John Ledkov has told the Ubuntu Release Team to remove “Ubuntu Desktop i386 daily-live images from the release manifest for Beta and Final milestones of 17.10.” As a result, Ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso won’t be shipping.

This message is a follow-up of an earlier discussion in May, in which Ledkov wrote that 32-bit architecture is changing and it’s no longer the default or widely used design on traditional form factors like desktop, laptop, and rack...

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With Qt 5.9 being a Long-Term Support series, The Qt Company continues working it into better shape and the latest refinement to it is now available in the form of Qt 5.9.5.

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If you've enjoyed this blog, please consider picking up a copy of my Ubuntu book, Instant Ubuntu. Thanks for visiting!

Update: There is an updated version of this post available here: Find your Ubuntu kernel version.

To make up for not blogging over the past few weeks I’ve got a few things up my sleeve here. I definitely want to get back into my old habit so I’ll just dive right in.

This tutorial will outline a few methods of finding your installed Ubuntu version or kernel version. These can be useful if you ever need to troubleshoot a problem or need more information for a bug submission.

The first method you can use is a GUI method to see what version you have installed. Personally I think it could be made a bit more prominent, but that isn’t my call. To find the version using the GUI method simply do the following:

System > About Ubuntu

The resulting window will show some main contents and then thank you for your interest in...

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Periodically new devices and technology coming out and it’s important to keep our Linux system kernel up-to-date if we want to get the most of out it. Moreover, updating system kernel will ease us to take advantage of new kernel fuctions and also it helps us to protect ourselves from vulnerabilities that have been found in earlier versions.

Suggested Read: How to Upgrade Kernel in CentOS 7

Ready to update your kernel on Ubuntu or one of their derivatives such as Debian and Linux Mint? If so, keep reading!

Step 1: Check Installed Kernel Version

To find the current version of installed kernel on our system we can do:

$ uname -sr

The following image shows the output of the above command in a Ubuntu 16.04 server:

Check Kernel Version in Ubuntu

Step 2: Upgrading Kernel in Ubuntu

To upgrade the kernel in Ubuntu, go to http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/ and choose the desired version (Kernel 4.15 is the latest at the...

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That is describing the software.

So you have a 64-bit kernel.

Quote:

That also means it's 64-bit.

That is conclusive. 64 bit kernel.

Quote:

Assuming that is the config for the kernel you're actually running, that is also 64 bit.

Quote:

So init is 32 bit. That is surprising for a Linux distribution with a 64 bit kernel. But it isn't impossible. 32 bit programs can run under a 64 bit kernel.

uname -m is really describing the SW?

from the manual page :

-m, --machine
print the machine hardware name

Yes, at least in cases such as X86 vs. X86_64 where different machine architectures could run on the same CPU.

uname -m will definitely say "X86_64" only when the kernel was compiled for X86_64 architecture. It will not give "X86_64" when an X86 kernel is running on X86_64 hardware.

Quote:

I don't know whether that documentation is entirely misleading or whether...

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This is true, but many baytrail (64 bit ASoc) systems were made with 32 bit UEFI for a few of years. Installing a 64 bit OS on a 32 bit UEFI BIOS is annoying (at least the first time!). Some Distros compound the misery by assuming 32 bit BIOS is always legacy and 64 bit is UEFI. Several debian distros handle mixed mode UEFI and if they are installed first, the Manjaro install is easier. Manjaro grub install fails, then boot ubuntu, update-grub, edit grub.cfg, boot Manjaro, install grub-efi-ia32, etc…

This is not noobie friendly no matter how grub gets fixed up. These baytrails were mass produced for years and are just now starting to be recycled into linux machines. So if 32 bit OS’s go away, then at least support is needed for 32 bit UEFI installs for 64 bit OS’s…
...

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If you have some old machines at home or your workplace, then you might probably know the importance of having 32-bit operating systems around. One of the areas where Linux has had an edge over other operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X is its support for old machines using 32-bit Intel processors. Additionally, Linux enables old machines having small amounts of RAM to work at a better speed compared to Windows or Mac OSX.

You have probably come across headlines such as “breath new life into an old machine using Linux” or “bring an old computer to life using Ubuntu Linux” and so on, when it comes to restoration of or bringing to life old computers, many users have always used Ubuntu 32-bit desktop or server operating system.

In the past few years, Ubuntu Linux has been unbeatable in offering comprehensive support for old and outdated computer hardware, without eschewing productivity and reliability. Ubuntu has always enabled efficient use of old computer...

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Since the upcoming release of Ubuntu 14.10 is drawing near, I've been getting a number of questions from readers asking for an explanation about the Ubuntu release cycle and what it means to aging hardware.

Very good questions, all. Why? First and foremost, there's been a drawn out kerfuffle with the state of Ubuntu releases. That's right, I'm talking about the old "rolling release" debate. Let me explain...

As it stands, Ubuntu releases a new iteration of their Linux platform every six months. On the fourth month of the year, they release the .04 version and on the tenth month of the year, they release the .10 version. The .04 release is always major, and the .10 release is always minor (mostly major bug fixes and some new features). Every two years, they release a Long Term Support release (LTS). The LTS releases are supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server. This is important, because it means that after three years of a release, an LTS...

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Post by Aryan Ameri

PS: You should buy a new atom CPU and replace that Pentium III with. It

costs $60 and pays for itself in your reduced electricity usage in less

than a year.


I am surprised to see several people express the attitude that old

hardware and software should just be tossed out and replaced. No,

that's too weak. That software projects should be actively run to

ENCOURAGE or REQUIRE people to toss out and replace old hardware. The

theory seems to be that the purchase price of new hardware is cheap,

so what's the problem? If you're just running the computer as a toy

in your bedroom, as a student with plenty of time on your hands,

there's no problem; tear it up. But if it's actually doing work as

part of a larger system, or if your main job in life is not to write

software, but perhaps to end the drug war or defend migrant rights or

to solve health care issues or do something...

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Question: How do I check whether my Linux operating system is running on 32-bit or 64-bit?

Answer: If you’ve installed it, you should know, as the installation CD (or ISO image) for a 32-bit Linux OS and 64-bit Linux OS are different. Let us assume that your sysadmin installed the OS, and you didn’t know whether he used a 32-bit or 64-bit Linux.

Method 1: Use uname -a to check 32-bit or 64-bit

Linux provides a command called uname, which prints system information including kernel version and whether kernel is 32 bit or 64 bit.

If the uname -a output displays x86_64, then the system is running 64bit Linux kernel.

If the uname -a output displays i386/i486/i586/i686, then the system is running 32bit Linux kernel.

The following example indicates that it is running on 64-bit Linux OS.

$ uname -a Linux ora100 2.6.5-7.252-smp #1 SMP Tue Feb 14 11:11:04 UTC 2006 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

You can also do “uname -m”, which...

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I have various high-end PC’s, because I am really fond of lightning-fast hardware. But my development machines sometimes have issues with older kernels, because the drivers in the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS kernels that I run are outdated and do not support the kick-ass and brand-new hardware.

The reason I run 12.04 LTS is that most servers (I work with) run that version. And by running the latest long-term-stable on your development environment you can avoid writing software that cannot run on your production system, because it would simply not work there as well.

Even when you are limited to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS there are still many things you can choose. One thing you can tweak is your window manager. You can either run Ubuntu (using Unity), Xubuntu (with XFCE), Lubuntu (LXDE) or Kubuntu (KDE). You may run whatever variant you prefer, but Linus uses XFCE. My preference also goes to XFCE, and more particular Xubuntu, since it is lightweight and traditional in its...

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"Ubuntu 18.04 LTS could be the first release to ship without a 32-bit version

if suggestions on an Ubuntu mailing list

are acted upon. Dmitri John Ledkov, who suggested dropping i386 support, points out that building i386 (32-bit) images is not free, but “comes at the cost of utilising our build farm, QA and validation time". He questioned whether Canonical could “effectively provide security support on i386”, and drew up a plan on how 32-bit components could be phased out over the course of the next two years.

By 2018, it will have been over two years since several third-party independent software vendors (ISVs) stopped supporting software on 32-bit systems. Some of the software Ledkov cited include Google Chrome, ZFS, and Docker. Aside from ISVs dropping support for 32-bit systems, he also points out all the work that goes into releasing 32-bit images and the extra mirror space and bandwidth they use as reasons to drop the architecture."...

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Linux Kernel 4.0, a new stable release, has been announced by Linus Torvalds last night. He wrote on the Linux kernel mailing list:

So I decided to release 4.0 as per the normal schedule, because there really weren’t any known issues, and while I’ll be traveling during the end of the upcoming week due to a college visit, I’m hoping that won’t affect the merge window very much. We’ll see.

Linux 4.0 was a pretty small release both in linux-next and in final size, although obviously “small” is all relative. It’s still over 10k non-merge commits. But we’ve definitely had bigger releases (and judging by linux-next v4.1 is going to be one of the bigger ones).

What’s New in Kernel 4.0:

Linux Kernel 4.0, formerly known as Linux 3.20, features:

Live Kernel Patching, ability to install security kernel updates WITHOUT REBOOT. DisplayPort Audio, and better better fan control support for the Radeon DRM driver. Graphics and power-management support for...
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Long-term Support for Ubuntu 14.04 also means that you can get the latest stable kernel and graphics as well. Importantly, these remain supported by the kernel and graphics teams and you’ll receive a regular supply of updates for 9 months.

Remember – you’ll need to update just before 9 months to get the next LTS kernel and graphics before support is officially withdrawn. If this sounds like too much hassle – best stick with the 3.13 kernel and graphics – they remain supported for 5 years!

The community wiki page describes how to install the latest kernel and graphics – but you need to be very careful.

For me the instructions meant that I could have destroyed my wine + pipelight installation but more importantly, bcmwl wireless could have been left in a broken state because the bcmwl package has not yet been backported.

The wiki page stated that to upgrade the kernel and graphics you use the following:

sudo apt-get install...

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Canonical’s Dimitri John Ledkov laid down an example draft plan on how Canonical will deal with 32-bit (i386) support for upcoming Ubuntu Linux releases.
This is not the first time Ubuntu developers are discussing the matter of Canonical dropping support for 32-bit PCs, but each time a developer re-opens the topic, things are getting much serious, and it now looks like Dimitri John Ledkov has a pretty decent plan on limiting the 32-bit Ubuntu installation, starting with the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10. Debian is also considering dropping support for older 32-bit hardware architectures in Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch.”
The developer now suggests that starting with Ubuntu 16.10 and until the next LTS (Long Term Support) release, Ubuntu 18.04, Canonical should continue to provide the 32-bit (i386) port to run legacy apps on 64-bit systems, build the 32-bit d-i / netboot installer and corresponding kernel, as well as the cloud images, but no longer offer the 32-bit Ubuntu Desktop...

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No, it means that you won't be able to run Linux on the Intel 80386 chip, the original chip from Intel which supported 32-bit architecture. Those processors had clock speeds of 12-40 Mhz and were superseded by Intel 80486 and then Intel Pentium in early- and mid-1990th.

Other, more modern 32-bit chips (Pentium Pro and above) are still going to be supported. Those processors are characterized as having the i386 architecture but they have some improvements over the original 80386, the use of which allows the removal of some ugly crutches from Linux that are required for 80386 support:

This tree removes ancient-386-CPUs support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity ... which has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years.

Anecdote has it that there was some sentimental value in supporting 80386 processor as it was the processor that Linus Torvalds used when he developed the first version of Linux.

...
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Brief: Ubuntu is dropping 32-bit desktop images from the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 release. This paves the road for killing 32-bit support entirely from future Ubuntu releases.

Remember I told you about Ubuntu considering to drop 32-bit support in March this year? It seems the decision has been finally made.

Ubuntu is officially dropping 32-bit builds of the Ubuntu 17.10 desktop.

Canonical’s Dimitri John Ledkov, who had proposed the removal of 32-Bit support in March, has instructed the Ubuntu release team to remove the Desktop i386 images.

Please action the below and remove Ubuntu Desktop i386 daily-live images from the release manifest for Beta and Final milestones of 17.10 and therefore do not ship ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso artifact for 17.10.

The main argument for dropping the 32-bit Ubuntu desktop build is that “there is no longer any effective QA or testing of the desktop product on actual i386 hardware”. Shrinking 32-bit userbase is the...

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Yesterday, developer Dimitri John Ledkov wrote a message on the Ubuntu Mailing list calling for the end of i386 support by Ubuntu 18.10. Ledkov argues that more software is being developed with 64-bit support. He is also concerned that it will be difficult to provide security support for the aging i386 architecture.

Ledkov also argues that building i386 images is not free, but takes quite a bit of Canonical’s resources.

Building i386 images is not “for free”, it comes at the cost of
utilizing our build farm, QA and validation time. Whilst we have
scalable build-farms, i386 still requires all packages, autopackage tests, and ISOs to be revalidated across our infrastructure. As well as take up mirror space & bandwidth.

Ledkov offers a plan where the 16.10, 17.04, and 17.10 versions of Ubuntu will continue to have i386 kernels, netboot installers, and cloud images, but drop i386 ISO for desktop and server. The 18.04 LTS would then drop support...

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In a follow-up email to a discussion from May when Ubuntu Desktop team discussed the possibility of removal of the 32-bit (i386) installation images from the servers, developer Dimitri John Ledkov confirmed the decision today.

Long story short, starting with Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Canonical won't offer ISO images for the i386 architecture for the Server (classic) and Desktop versions, but they will continue to provide security updates for existing 32-bit installations via the main Ubuntu archive, as well as Ubuntu Core, Cloud, Container, NetInst, and Server (subiquity) images.

"Please action the below and remove Ubuntu Desktop i386 daily-live images from the release manifest for Beta and Final milestones of 17.10 and therefore do not ship ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso artifact for 17.10," said Dimitri John Ledkov, Software Engineer at Canonical. "There is no longer any effective qa or testing of the desktop product on actual i386 hardware (explicitly non x86_64...

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For completeness here are some of my comments from the G+ topic:

There is a proposal being discussed on the Ubuntu Development mailing list to determine if/when Ubuntu Desktop will drop i386 iso images. Flavours, such as Ubuntu MATE, have the option to continue making i386 iso images although there are some security considerations in doing so.

This is a complex discussion, but what I'm interested to know is do any of you absolutely require i386 iso images for your hardware? I'd also like to hear from @fixitleeds and +Ken Starks to understand how the potential removal of i386 images might affect your organisations.

In answer to some of your comments, my daughter has a Dell Mini 9 Atom netbook, it is 32bit capable only. I think netbooks are in the category of computers sold fairly recently that are still very usable, certainly we've probably all seen +Helam Sirrine post his videos on YouTube demonstrating how his old netbook received a new lease of life...

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I think there may not be anything to worry about. If you look at the current situation, Ubuntu has formal support for x86, x86-64, and ARM. But, there are DVD images, network bootable images, and so on for 64-bit ARM, PowerPC (both old PowerMacs and other systems), 64-bit PowerPC (mostly IBM RS/6000s), and s390x (run on IBM Z series mainframes.)

The reasons they'd like to make x86 unsupported... 1) build system resources. Ports tend to have some volunteers running the buildd software (the software that checks for "proposed" updates, downloads the source, builds it, tests it, and turns it into a debian package). 2) Debian and Ubuntu usually block updating a piece of software until it builds (and passes whatever self-tests) on ALL supported platforms. So, if x86 were no longer "supported" an x86-only build failure wouldn't block a package from being updated on other systems.

The reality: I've run a few of these unsupported "ports" systems over the years (PowerPC,...

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On 11/09/2011 03:14 PM, Colin Watson wrote:


> On Wed, Nov 09, 2011 at 02:43:28PM -0700, Tim Gardner wrote:
>> Per discussion at UDS the kernel team is proposing to drop the
>> non-PAE i386 flavour. The upgrade path for non-PAE users will be the
>> PAE kernel. Those CPUs that do not have i686 and PAE support will be
>> orphaned. To the best of my knowledge, these include Intel CPUs
>> prior to Pentium II, 400Mhz Pentium M, VIA C3, and Geode LX. As far
>> as I know, there are no laptop or desktop class CPUs being produced
>> that do not meet these minimum requirements.
>
> Does KVM work properly with PAE kernels at the moment? I've had trouble
> with it within the last six months, and when running server
> installations I've had to tweak them on the fly to install the generic
> kernel in order that I could boot the installed system.
>

This just seems like a bug. If we don't address it...

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Unsurprisingly, Ubuntu has planned to follow the same path that other major distributions have, and drop 32bit ISO images for upcoming releases.

Dimitri John Ledkov from Canonical, sent out a message through their mailing list to the release team, instructing them to not release a 32bit ISO for the upcoming Ubuntu release.

Ledkov says, “Dear Release team, Please action the below and remove Ubuntu Desktop i386 daily-live
images from the release manifest for Beta and Final milestones of 17.10 and therefore do not ship ubuntu-desktop-i386.iso artifact for 17.10. As a followup to this thread it has been confirmed that argumentation below is sound, and furthermore there is no longer any effective qa or testing of the desktop product on actual i386 hardware (explicitly non x86_64 CPUs). There are no other changes requested to d-i, mini.iso, archive, or the upgrade paths. Regards, Dimitri.”

As I reported just a few days ago, Manjaro has also done the same thing,...

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