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End Of 32-bit?

Discussion in 'Random Nonsense' started by booman, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    There has been some rustling of the feathers in the Ubuntu world as they discuss ending 32-bit support.

    I also just read and article about Mac OSX Catalina which actually is removing all 32-bit application support.
    https://appletoolbox.com/psa-macos-catalina-will-kill-your-32-bit-apps-heres-what-you-should-know/

    Could this happen to Linux and Windows?

    Without 32-bit support literally thousands of games, programs and drivers will stop working. Think about thousands of old games since 1980's that still run on computers.... would they actually prevent us from playing them?
  2. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    Sorta, but I think it's been blown out of proportion:

    - at this time, no distro, including Ubuntu, is removing the ability to execute 32bit binaries from their kernel.
    - Ubuntu has decided to stop building and installing 32bit compatibility libraries as part of its main repositories (however, they've partly backtracked on that and will probably continue to support a minimal set of libraries required by Wine and Steam)
    - There's nothing to stop the community from creating its own 32bit libraries, through PPAs etc.
    - There's nothing to stop Steam building its own set of 32bit libraries against Ubuntu sources and delivering them with its installer... as they already do for their UI libraries.

    So it's a bit different than Apple, who control the source and have a long history of being somewhat controlling of their customers. Given that MS only finally retired 16bit support in W7, some 30 years after the 386 became common, I don't imagine we'll see 32bit being retired until the late 2020s...
  3. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Ah, I didn't know the community could build 32 bit libraries to support 32-bit applications...
    I wonder if that will happen for Mac or if someone will just build a MacBox emulator to play those old games?
  4. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    I may be completely off here Boo so don't take this to heart. It just seems to me that in a world clambering constantly for the new that those who still wish to use or need to use 32 bit must (It seems to me)
    be few and becoming fewer all the time.

    So community provided 32 bit libraries could be our best bet.
    As I see it this might actually help move us forward.

    As older games become increasingly harder to set up properly it should create some pressure on our users to move into newer games.

    Not even 32 bit lasts forever.":O}
  5. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    The only reason I disagree is because gamers love playing the old game they grew up playing.
    This is why we have DOSBox and people still purchase used Atari's.
    We love the nostalgia of playing those old games when we were kids.
    Apple is basically denying gamers from playing old titles that will never be updated to 64-bit. If Windows does this, then thousands of games will be trashed even though they previously ran perfectly. So then we have to wait for emulators or 3rd party backwards compatibility.

    This is kinda what Wine is all about. Giving us the ability to play games not supported by Linux.
    If this ever happens to Linux, then I'm sure a community like Crossover will create 32-bit support in one way or another.

    With our Luck some of the Mac gamers will come to Linux since OSX is unix-based... otherwise they will go to Windows or consoles.

    Imagine if if TVs no longer supported HD (1920x1080) movies and companies will not remaster their movies for 4K resolutions.
    There would be thousands of movies not supported on HD TVs

    I know, not the best example, because media is different than applications...
  6. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Still you make a good point...for an old guy.":O}
    The young are about to steal this game away from us.":O}
  7. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    You could as well, if you wanted to - add the developer repositories, install the sources for particular libraries/applications/whatever, then configure and build them, and package them up into their own .deb files so that the application manager can manage them. It's just easier to let "the community," i.e. somebody more familiar with the process and with the time and enthusiasm, to do it for you.
  8. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    In a few years time, today's kids will grow up and be nostalgic for PUBG or Overwatch, or (shudder) minecraft. My eldest doesn't really understand why I keep playing my favourite game, which is now 20 years old (and no, I'm not telling you what it is), which plays perfectly well on current Windows and in Linux on Wine.

    Apple have form for this, though - this is the company that changed CPU architectures... twice... with nary an apology to its existing users, and completely redesigned the operating system between OS9 and OSX, that broke backward compatibility. I recall their move to 64 bit was also beset with problems. To be a Mac user, you have to like paying more for less, and be prepared to buy everything again because Apple says so. I have no sympathy for them.

    Or not. MS does at least make some effort toward backwards compatibility.
    The 386 was released in 1985. It took until 1995 for MS to release a 32bit OS, and until 2009 to stop supporting 16bit binaries. AMD's Athlon64 came out in 2003 - Windows 10 is still available in 32 bit. I reckon we've got another 10 years before anyone seriously starts talking about dropping 32 bit support.

    If you ever try to watch a VHS movie on a larger 4K TV, you could easily say that these are no longer supported. Even DVD looks decidedly... fuzzy... on a better set, as no matter how good the upscaling processor it is, it can't create details that aren't there.
  9. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I just got this email from CrossOver about Wine and Mac...

    Beware gamers on Mac who want to play thousands of Windows games!
  10. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    It'll be interesting to see how they deal with this, and how complete their solution will be. Is Apple completely removing 32bit executable support from its kernel, or just the libraries?
  11. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Just my 2 cents. But I buy games ,old and used games until I find one or two I like. My games in order. Quake, I think there were three main releases and innumerable add ons.
    Fear, same same, then Crisis one though three. Then Borderlands one and two.and "the last of us" for the last three years.

    Most games suck as far as I'm concerned. When I get one I stay with it. But twenty years bespeaks a certain need to move on! LOL
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 6:33 PM
  12. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Hopefully just the libraries, this way 3rd party support can still provide them.
    That is what Mint is doing. Ubuntu no longer supports 32-bit libraries, but Mint does. So we can still install a single package.
    Actually Ubuntu allows you to install the packages separately, they just stopped supporting a single package that installs all the necessary 32-bit libraries.

    I know 32-bit has been around for ages, but there are so many programs and games from the last 25 years, we can't just give up on them!

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