Initially Canonical had the idea to stop supporting 32-bit libraries on Ubuntu, which seemed very interesting at the end of an era.
But later when Canonical announced that with the release of Ubuntu 19.10 in October, it would permanently stop supporting 32-bit computers, and developers and users began to object.
As it turns out, the constant protests have come to a halt. Canonical listened to users and changed its course.
Thanks to the huge feedback this weekend by gamers, Ubuntu Studio and the WINE community, we will change our design and create selected i386, 32-bit packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS.
So when Canonical stopped having Ubuntu Linux ISOs in 32 bits, it didn't respond. So when he announced it support fee of the 32-bit libraries did not expect it would cause such an upset.
After the release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS we had extensive discussions via the Ubuntu-devel list and we have made detailed consultations with Valve on the subject. None of these discussions showed that there would be a problem, so we felt that we had the consensus on the change in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
So the Ubuntu team of engineers "came to the conclusion that we should not continue with the i386 as an architecture," explained Steve 'Vorlon' Langasek, Ubuntu senior software developer.
Therefore, i386 will not be included as an architecture in the 19.10 release and we will soon begin the process of deactivating it in the Eoan series across the Ubuntu infrastructure.
If you really need these libraries for a specific program, Canonical suggested downloading and installing as software packages, such as Snap, which would include all the libraries needed for a specific program.
There does not seem to be a problem, right? Error
Ubuntu developer Will Cooke explained that "386 is about 1% of the Ubuntu installation base", but the potential problems are greater.
While the 32-bit operating system is ancient, it turns out that 32-bit software libraries live and reign in some very popular programs - especially games - that many still use.
In particular, the Valve creator of the popular Steam game platform, said on Twitter:
Ubuntu 19.10 and future releases will not be officially supported by Steam nor will they be recommended to our users. We will change our focus to a different distribution.
WINE - a program that is often used to run Windows applications on Linux - has exactly the same problem.
So Canonical decided that "it is relatively easy to change our designs and allow Ubuntu 20.04 LTS 32 bit in applications that have a special need".
Canonical also said it was working with the WINE, Ubuntu Studio and Valve communities to use container technology in 32-bit libraries. This should make it possible to run older applications on newer versions of Ubuntu. "
So it seems you do not have to worry about the next versions of Steam on Ubuntu. 32-bit Linux will survive for at least a few more years.