32 bit usage – survey results

Running 32 bit Ubuntu when the hardware technically can do 64 bit
32 bit running on 64 bit capable hardware

  • hardware issues varied from EUFI 32 bit only, to printer and driver issues
  • application included wine (try building wine on 64 bit…)  and virtualization
    • some 64 bit users use 32 bit images for virtualization to use less RAM
    • Not in survey but I know of others who use 32 bit specifically to work with Android.

Arch vs Desktop Environment vs Release

Desktop environments vs arch vs release

Please do not use this to really compare desktop environments!  If multiple answers I took the least resource intensive one! (Next time I do this.. I should just require users to pick a primary one)

 Impacts over Releases

Impact

  • Switch from Ubuntu – also includes plans to stay on old unsupported version until hardware dies
  • Moderate is somewhat a catch all
  • If I do this again, I should just have a 1-5 sliding scale, in addition to a text field.
  • Users are concerned about having to throw out old machines, not having an upgrade path to go from 32-> 64 bits, and the cost to upgrade.
  • Select Comments (many more in the raw data of course!)
    • As an aspiring software developer, phasing out 32 bit support would be great for me as it means one less build to maintain.
    • I plan on reinstalling Ubuntu on this laptop as a 64bit install at some point anyway.
    • Unless the schedule changes, no impact. We’re planning to do the switch late 2015 / early 2016.
    • I will have to stay on 16.04 forever on that machine. The needed drivers are not going to be available in an open-source form.
    • My parents + my children have no PC
    • we have old PC’s in the hospital and i don’t think this hardware would be upgraded.
    • If the majority of freely given computers we receive are still 32-bit by then, we’d have to respin another distro. But, like PowerPC; all good things must come to an end.
    • Just need to figure out how to make the switch. If it means re-installing, bah.
    • It is terrible, because my eeePC only has 1GB in it.
    • One more reason to decommission the hardware.

I think the original plan can still work, but like any good survey we know have more questions to ask!

  • Lubuntu/Xubuntu support for 14.04 LTS is 3 years not 5.   It’s going to be a LOT higher impact if they don’t have support in 2019/2020 (which would be the case if 16.04 is 3 years too).   This could obviously be mitigated by moving 32 bit to ports and having it be opt in.  Lubuntu/Xubuntu 18.04 with 3 years would get us to 2021.
  • What can we do to make virt use less RAM?  (Lots of Virtualbox)
  • What can we do to make bare metal use less RAM?
  • Building Wine on 64 bit? (The two easiest methods are defunct if we remove 32 bit images I think… http://wiki.winehq.org/WineOn64bit)
  • Can we do an actual upgrade path?  Or at least start officially testing 32->64 “upgrade” re-installs?

Just to complete the application compatibility story (not from survey), Games are starting to be 64-bit only:

Raw Data can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iA062pCR1ayAMEKveUToEhq–9awyDXTEaL4fhsj8TU/edit?pli=1#gid=0

6 thoughts on “32 bit usage – survey results”

  1. I do not understand wine comment. Specifically, we will not drop i386 archive and thanks to multiarch one can have full i386 userspace to build wine. The only difference is that kernel will be amd64. Does wine build fails with amd64 kernel and i386 userspace? Well, that cannot be true as I believe all Ubuntu distribution builders are running amd64 kernels (even on i386 builders). Stopping production of Ubuntu i386 images is unrelated to stopping Lubuntu/Xubuntu/flavours production i386 images. There is no reason to switch everyone at the same time.

    1. Wine’s certainly more difficult to build, and the older building instructions were worse. Your options now:

      1. 32 bit LXC Container
      2. 32 bit chroot
      3. Manually Linking Libraries Method

      I was thinking 1 and 2 would go away, but you’re right the chroot would actually be fine. And I guess we could stop making DVD images but keep creating LXC “images”.. In any case, I understand the users who are running 32 bit to not need LXC/chroot/etc to build Wine.

      >There is no reason to switch everyone at the same time.
      Good to know..

  2. If (X)Ubuntu follows suit and goes 64bit only, I will have to find another distribution as my web/mysql server isn’t capable of running 64bit and I have no funding to replace it.

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