In the past week or so, the Linux community has been up in arms about Canonical dropping support for 32-bit libraries in their repositories. Later, Canonical backpedaled and said that select 32-bit libraries would remain, while others that are less used will be removed. They went on further to say that there would be, “a community process to determine which 32-bit packages are needed to support legacy software, and can add to that list post-release if we miss something that is needed” (Canonical Ltd., 2019).
Many of the concerns raised by the Linux community is that WINE, the compatibility layer that lets users run Windows apps on Linux, Steam, Lutris, and a host of other applications will be broken without these 32-bit libraries.
Drauger OS is based on Ubuntu, so this impacts both us, the developers, and you, the users. Internally at Drauger OS Development, this would not be a major issue for us. Most the of the apps we develop are either architecture independent Python or BASH scripts, or are already being compiled for 64-bit architecture. However, since Drauger OS is a gaming-oriented distribution, we recognize that losing this support will be disastrous for games. And therefore we would have a much harder time testing games and performance, and users will have a harder time gaming.
So, to mitigate these issues, Drauger OS Development is going to take a series of steps to ensure that all necessary libraries will remain in Drauger OS, even past the End-Of-Life for 32-bit on Ubuntu.
OUR GAME PLAN
- We will reach out to Valve, the company behind Steam, and inquire what specific libraries are needed to remain in the repositories.
- We will reach out to the developers of these libraries if necessary, and obtain the source code for all of these libraries.
- We will continue development and support for these libraries internally, and continue building new packages for these libraries, in order to improve 32-bit support on Drauger OS, past the 32-bit End-Of-Life on Ubuntu.
- We will only drop these 32-bit libraries when few to no common games or apps are at risk of being broken.
- We will listen to end users when they request that a certain library be updated, or added, to the repositories, and will comply if given sufficient reasoning (security issues, library included in common game or app, or similar reason).
- We will provide at least 6 months of warning before removing a library from our repositories. This will be shared on our blog, social media, and in our Telegram Development Group, and Discord Server.
We wish all our users to have a pleasant experience gaming on Drauger OS. However, we also recognize the benefit of using entirely 64-bit code and acknowledge that this change must come eventually.
If you wish to request that a specific library remain in the repositories, please get onto either our Telegram Development Group, our Telegram Support Group, or our Discord Server and let us know what package it is you want included. Having a specific package name helps us tremendously.
On top of all this, we will not be locking out Ubuntu 32-bit support. We want as much 32-bit support as possible for as long as possible. This way, users can enjoy more games for longer. We are simply attempting to add more support on top of Ubuntu’s pre-existing support, and when they drop support once and for all, we will be attempting to drag this support out for as long as possible.
We hope that end users will find that this additional, extended support useful as we work to make sure that gaming is a perpetually pleasurable experience on Drauger OS.
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