Short Bytes: Fedora developers are considering a change for the next Fedora 27 release that might infuriate some Linux users. A proposal has been made to ditch the 32-bit releases as they are in rough shape and their bug reports are ignored. If the proposal gets accepted, the current 32-bit Fedora users will have the lifecycle of Fedora 26 to upgrade to a 64-bit machine/installation.
Linux is known to support a variety of hardware and come with abilities to run on older hardware. But, as the computer industry is doing away from the i686 kernel builds, some Linux distros are planning to drop the support for older x86 32-bit machines.
Earlier this year, a major distro to go ahead with this choice was Arch Linux. Now, as reported by Phoronix, Fedora is also considering similar changes in the next release, i.e., Fedora 27. Notably, this Red Hat-sponsored and bleeding edge Linux distro witnessed its latest release in the form of Fedora 26.
Back to 32-bit support on Fedora 26. It’s not a hidden fact that x86 32-bit support hasn’t got the same attention when compared to 64-bit hardware. There are major reasons like the disinterest of upstream in x86 32-bit problems, so bug reports are often ignored.
A recent proposal has been made to stop the i686 kernel builds right from Fedora 27. If this change gets accepted, the i686 kernel headers will continue to be available, and all 32-bit packages should continue to build as normal. However, the bootable 32-bit images won’t be released.
What will be the impact of this change? As a result, the 32-bit users will have the lifecycle of Fedora 26 to upgrade to a 64-bit machine/installation. If they choose to stick with a 32-bit distro, they can look for other alternatives. In that case, this list of Linux distros for older computers might turn out to be pretty helpful.
As an advantage of this change, the developers will have more time to engage in the 64-bit development and polish the releases even more.
It goes without saying that the plan to drop support for 32-bit kernels from Fedora 27 onwards is currently in the proposal state. You can read the change proposal here. We’ll let you know if something concrete happens.
What are your views regarding this change? Should Fedora continue supporting 32-bit machines? Let us know your thoughts.