In a not very surprising move by the Manjaro Linux developers, a blog post was made by Philip, the Lead Developer of the popular distribution based off Arch Linux, On Sept. 23 that reveals that 32-bit support will be phased out.
In his announcement, Philip says, “Due to the decreasing popularity of i686 among the developers and the community, we have decided to phase out the support of this architecture. The decision means that v17.0.3 ISO will be the last that allows to install 32 bit Manjaro Linux. September and October will be our deprecation period, during which i686 will be still receiving upgraded packages. Starting from November 2017, packaging will no longer require that from maintainers, effectively making i686 unsupported.”
This means that users using older hardware that do not support 64bit architecture will be forced to either change distributions, or not upgrade to newer editions of Manjaro Linux in the future.
Granted, this isn’t really a huge concern nowadays as finding people using such outdated hardware is growing increasingly challenging.
In response to a comment about using 32bit libraries in a 64bit install, Philip also went on to say, “This will not affect our multilib repo for 32bit support within the 64bit system.”
So users of 64bit systems who require 32bit support for some applications will not have to worry, it’s just that the developers will no longer be offering 32bit system ISO files in the coming future.
Other major distributions to drop 32bit support are, Debian 9 and Arch Linux, Bodhi (dropped 32bit PAE support) and TAILS.
Most CPU chips nowadays are 64bit, so it’s really not a major concern, unless you run something like an Intel Atom, Pentium M, Pentium 4 (Pentium 4 Prescott is 64bit), etc, then you really don’t need to stress.
Manjaro Linux is a rolling release model, meaning that updates are pushed over time, rather than needing to install a newer edition of the operating system every 6 months or so, so if you’re currently a Manjaro user on a 32bit machine, simply keep using and updating your system as per normal and you will be fine!
If you’re unsure about how to check if you are running 32 or 64bit architecture, use the following command in your terminal:
And you will receive output stating something that mentions either
Computers have evolved greatly. When I first began using them on my uncles old computer, I think it may have been an Amiga but I can’t recall exactly, there was no mouse, it ran MSDOS, and games were loaded off giant 8” Floppy Discs, sometimes 5 1/4” discs...Now we have Virtual Reality gaming...So it’s no surprise to see support for 32bit architecture disappearing...After all, if will only be a matter of time before 64bit is no doubt surpassed as well.
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