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 and Server ISOs.
Beginning with Ubuntu 18.10, the support for 32-bit PCs will be complete vanished, and users will be able to run legacy 32-bit app in Snaps, containers, or virtual machines.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht