Steam Won’t Support Ubuntu 19.10 and Future Releases

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Do you use Steam on Ubuntu? You may need to upgrade to a new Linux distribution in the future. A valve developer has announced that Steam will not officially support Ubuntu 19.10 or later versions. Linux distributions based on Ubuntu are also affected.

Update: In response to "the huge amount of feedback this weekend", Canonical ad plans to continue building 32-bit compatibility packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS. Valve now says Steam will "probably" support Ubuntu 19.10.

All because Canonical has announced its intention to remove 32 bit packages and Ubuntu Libraries 19.10. These packages allow 32-bit software to run on 64-bit versions of Ubuntu.

While most Linux apps will get along very well, it's a big blow to Valve's Steam. Many Linux games on Steam are only available in 32-bit form – they work on 64-bit Linux distributions, but only with 32-bit libraries. As Phoronix recently pointed out, this also affects the Wine compatibility layer which allows Windows software to run on Linux – Wine will no longer be able to run 32 bit Windows software. Steam compatibility layer for running Windows games on Linux wouldn't work for 32-bit games either.

After Canonical's announcement, Pierre-Loup Griffais of Valve tweeted that Ubuntu 19.10 and future versions "will not be officially supported by Steam or recommended to our users". Valve will officially support and recommend a different Linux distribution in the future.

Ubuntu 19.10 and future versions will not be officially supported by Steam or recommended to our users. We will evaluate the means of minimizing breakages for existing users, but we will also change our orientation towards a different distribution, currently to be determined.

– Pierre-Loup Griffais (@ Plagman2) June 22, 2019

The good news is that your existing Ubuntu installation, whether Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver"– will continue to run Steam and its Linux games for years to come.

The bad news is that Linux players who enjoy Ubuntu will likely have to switch to another Linux distribution in the future, unless Canonical or Valve change course.

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