Steam is Dropping Support of Ubuntu Soon

Ruben Fields
June 26, 2019

Steam has announced that "Ubuntu 19.10 and future releases will not be officially supported by Steam or recommended to our users".

The Steam developer also added that Valve will focus their efforts on supporting other Linux-based operating systems for Steam for Linux.

Steam is the number one destination for digital PC games, so its support of Linux is key, but official support for Ubuntu is set to end with the release of Ubuntu 19.10. (Ubuntu is the dominant Linux distribution, though Canonical appears to be choosing to go after cloud customers.) The move is also all but certain to anger Linux gamers.

The Phoronix website writes: "In response to the decision to drop 32-bit x86 support beginning in Ubuntu 19.10, Alan Pope of Canonical and longtime Ubuntu member chose to try running some GOG games under an Ubuntu 19.10 daily build that he configured to remove the 32-bit packages ahead of the actual removal".

The developers of Wine, a software package that helps the users run programs developed for Windows on Linux, have been quite vocal about their concerns regarding Ubuntu's decision as well. "That's simply not the case", said Steve Langasek.

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Rather than pull support altogether, Canonical will enable support for the applications where there's a specific need.

The 32-bit libraries will be frozen and unsupported, Canonical has confirmed, starting with the launch of Ubuntu 19.10 in October this year. The news came after Ubuntu's makers said they'd drop 32-bit as of the next big release in October, which sounded like it would leave the great many 32-bit Steam games unplayable. It writes that most 32-bit x86 packages "are hardly used at all".

The gaming community rallied against Canonical's decision to end support for 32-bit applications with enough vigor that Canonical has reversed its decision. If you happen to use Linux and game a lot via Steam, you might have to stick with either an older version of the Linux distro or make the switch to something completely different.

Going with the Snaps solution could be a possibility for Valve, then, at least theoretically, but it's not clear whether that's an option which will be realized.

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