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Posted on 19-06-22, 18:21
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Ubuntu (motto: "Linux for human beings") has decided to give the boot to 32-bit x86 packages, including multiarch starting with the upcoming 19.10 release:
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Ubuntu-Drops-32-bit-x86

This decision goes on top of discontinuing the i386 flavor of Ubuntu setup images, rendering all kinds of 32-bit support on this popular Linux distro completely useless. Technically the kernel will still support 32-bit executables on 64-bit hosts, but you need to bring your own new 32-bit userspace (some non-options are suggested: statically linked executables, 18.04 LTS chroot, "snaps", or VMs). This leaves two large groups of users in the frozen Siberian cold: Wine and Steam users.

In the case of Wine, this sets them in a very rough position:
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Wine-Unsure-Ubuntu-32-Bit
A 64-bit Wine exists, but naturally it can't run 32-bit executables (you need separate userspace and Wine prefixes for that), so they're in the same "will we need to bring our own libc and friends?" situation. Relying on some Valve bits (Steam Runtime) is an option, but not a good one for now.

The shortest end of the stick now is at the (small but growing) Linux gaming arena, and the honeymoon between Valve and Ubuntu us now officially over:
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Valve-Dropping-Official-Ubuntu
Remember: the Steam client is still a 32-bit mess, and it's unlikely Valve is going to drop it for a pure 64-bit client due to the large amount of users still running 32-bit games and OS (not everybody on Steam runs high-end overclocked i9/Threadripper rigs for the latest AAAAAA+++ bugfest; a whole bunch of old/simple games still on sale will still run on XP on a P4 with some RAM and a GPU with non-braindead drivers)
For now, the solution for those users is "move to Debian, you numbnuts!", or "SteamOS is still a thing, y'know?"

Shit like this is why nobody is willing to take Linux seriously, why the Year of the Linux Desktop will never happen, and why those of us still with the "Linux will give a new life to your old junk" are now preaching to the wind :/
(In the meanwhile, Microsoft is still not going to dump Win32, no matter how hard they try with UWP)

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Posted on 19-06-22, 19:06
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FreeBSD.
Posted on 19-06-22, 19:20

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They'll be forced to backtrack this decision, mark my words.

This is another example of dumb developer logic: "All I do is write JavaScript and play music on my computer, so that's what everyone else does!"

No, just because you use a piddly, micro-thin laptop with integrated graphics and do nothing more processor-intensive than running a web browser doesn't mean other people don't actually, you know, run programs on their computers.

I compare it to the Lennart mentality when he wrote PulseAudio. It was clear the only use case he thought of was playing music on bluetooth speakers, but it took over the whole audio system. He didn't think beyond what he needed personally.
Posted on 19-06-22, 20:18 (revision 1)

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Well, how much of a solution is VirtualBox (et al)?

Emulation already works for DOS games.

My current setup: Super Famicom ("2/1/3" SNS-CPU-1CHIP-02) → SCART → OSSC → StarTech USB3HDCAP → AmaRecTV 3.10
Posted on 19-06-22, 20:26
Stirrer of Shit
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Dumb? I don't know. It's better to take real people into account than to think well somebody might have a use for this at some point, better throw it in and end up with bloated software. But the realer the better, of course. Big companies have focus groups and stuff for that, the open-source projects can only afford the discount focus group known as the peanut gallery.

If the crypto folks had used more of dogfooding ("how can we make this user-friendly enough that we can comfortably use it") and less of the odd mentality that permeates GPG (use ALL the ciphers, write ALL the documentation, we'll just use unencrypted IRC ourselves), we might have had decent software for that right now.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-06-22, 20:27
Custom title here

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Posted by Braintrash
FreeBSD.
Has no Steam client.

--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
Posted on 19-06-22, 20:28
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by creaothceann
Well, how much of a solution is VirtualBox (et al)?

Emulation already works for DOS games.

Not at all, I'd say. Slow as molasses, at least in my experience.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-06-22, 21:37 (revision 1)
Dick Duck

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Your experience does not match other people's experiences. If DOSBox was slow as molasses, would it be able to run Doom at full speed? Cos I just sped through E1M1 for a laugh and noticed no speed issues whatsoever. If it was slow as molasses, would publishers still include it when they re-release their old stuff?

Wait, no. VirtualBox, not DOSBox. Still my point stands because I have in fact played Doom on VirtualBox and it ran about as well as it would've on a lower-end supported PC. And other games that aren't as complicated? Perfectly fine.
Posted on 19-06-22, 22:22
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The big problem with virtualisation is that since the late 90s, games have been designed for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. VMs could include a software emulation of a GPU, but that would be so slow as to be impractical. On the other hand, VMs could virtualise the graphics hardware and provide their own OpenGL/Direct3D drivers, but there's a few problems with that:

- This is basically the same thing that Wine does, except that Wine is only Direct3D -> OpenGL, not any -> any, and Wine still isn't perfectly reliable.

- Unlike Wine, VMs have some expectation of security and isolation, and real 3D hardware leans hard toward the "speed" end of the "speed/security" spectrum. This is the basically the same problem that WebGL has, except that VMs have to support existing, unmodified software instead of rewriting things to fit a safer, more limited API.

- Because of these problems, VMs have not become terribly popular in the consumer space, but have become wildly popular in the commercial space (see: AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc.). Because most VM developers get their money from GPUless network servers, they're a lot more interested in network acceleration than GPU acceleration, and that's unlikely to change in the near future.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
Posted on 19-06-22, 22:29
Stirrer of Shit
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Holy shit, what?

I get that Ubuntu would kill off 32-bit if it only affects anyone still using 32-bit computers. But Steam and Wine? That's like their killer app: Linux for people who are dissatisfied with Windows but don't want to get any trouble.

Statically linked executables are not a non-option. And applications including their dependencies is a good idea. So it will get solved. But still, WTF?

the large amount of users still running 32-bit games and OS

https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

That's 1.35-2.09%, judging from OS info. Probably closer to 1.35%. But at the very least, 97.91% of their users use 64-bit computers. You can use CPUID info to try and get a bit more information about how new their CPUs are. For instance, AVX (2011) is at 88.83%.

Also consider how the people on 32-bit XP with P4's probably aren't those with the most money to spend on Steam (e.g. in your case, $0)

If anyone wonders why I post this after several other posts: I thought I posted it but really I just typed it out and then left the tab open.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-06-22, 22:42
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by Kawa
Wait, no. VirtualBox, not DOSBox. Still my point stands because I have in fact played Doom on VirtualBox and it ran about as well as it would've on a lower-end supported PC. And other games that aren't as complicated? Perfectly fine.

Yeah, that might work if you get lucky with hardware acceleration. But modern games? No.
Posted by Screwtape
The big problem with virtualisation is that since the late 90s, games have been designed for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. VMs could include a software emulation of a GPU, but that would be so slow as to be impractical. On the other hand, VMs could virtualise the graphics hardware and provide their own OpenGL/Direct3D drivers, but there's a few problems with that: ...

You can supposedly do GPU passthrough, and that's quite fast, but you need a separate GPU for it. I suppose you could (automatically) disconnect the GPU, connect it to the VM, give host only the iGPU, and play. Could even use VirtualBox' "seamless mode," and have it give back the GPU when it doesn't need it. It could even emulate a low-performance version of your GPU for minor desktop rendering. But good luck getting any of that to work in practice. Simply way too many interlocking parts, some of which are actively hostile. I think it's completely impossible. In practice, you'll have to settle for assigning them at boot and having them stay that way.

But in theory, you could do 100% seamless virtualization, if Murphy's law et al wouldn't exist.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-06-22, 23:44
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Posted by sureanem


the large amount of users still running 32-bit games and OS

https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

That's 1.35-2.09%, judging from OS info. Probably closer to 1.35%. But at the very least, 97.91% of their users use 64-bit computers. You can use CPUID info to try and get a bit more information about how new their CPUs are. For instance, AVX (2011) is at 88.83%.

Also consider how the people on 32-bit XP with P4's probably aren't those with the most money to spend on Steam (e.g. in your case, $0)

If anyone wonders why I post this after several other posts: I thought I posted it but really I just typed it out and then left the tab open.
There's a lot of 32-bit games that aren't going anywhere, because Windows64 offers painless and automatic compatibility with 32-bit apps. I'm mildly surprised Win64 breaks 16-bit apps.

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Posted on 19-06-23, 00:21
Stirrer of Shit
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Yeah, the games themselves can be 32-bit, but a 64-bit client could run them.

I'm torn on this dropping 32-bit thing. On one hand, technological progress must go forward. On the other hand, this will enable developers to assume they're running on 64-bit platforms. And because of local politics in a backwater shithole I have never even set foot in driving up developer costs, FOSS following "industry best practices," and said best practices revolving around trading CPU time for developer time/ease and then using this to hire incompetent developers who only know Python, this means that faster CPUs makes my software go slower. And because everyone profits from this, there's no incentive to change things.

I think the best way to solve this problem would be if we could all collectively agree that there's a giant market segment of users in some faraway place who all use Windows XP 32-bit on Celeron laptops and are willing to pay top dollar for your products.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-06-23, 07:12 (revision 1)
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Posted by CaptainJistuce
Posted by Braintrash
FreeBSD.
Has no Steam client.


Why Steam when you have GOG (and "backups" even)?
Posted on 19-06-23, 07:50
Custom title here

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Posted by Braintrash
Posted by CaptainJistuce
Posted by Braintrash
FreeBSD.
Has no Steam client.


Why Steam when you have GOG (and "backups" even)?
You literally responded to someone complaining that there's no longer a Steam client on Ubuntu with "FreeBSD". Why change OS if that doesn't fix the problem?

--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
Posted on 19-06-23, 15:20 (revision 1)
Not from my cellphone

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Posted by Braintrash
Posted by CaptainJistuce
Posted by Braintrash
FreeBSD.
Has no Steam client.


Why Steam when you have GOG (and "backups" even)?

Sorry, still not switching to your beloved *BSDs.

Posted by sureanem
Holy shit, what?

I get that Ubuntu would kill off 32-bit if it only affects anyone still using 32-bit computers. But Steam and Wine? That's like their killer app: Linux for people who are dissatisfied with Windows but don't want to get any trouble.

Statically linked executables are not a non-option. And applications including their dependencies is a good idea. So it will get solved. But still, WTF?

the large amount of users still running 32-bit games and OS

https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

That's 1.35-2.09%, judging from OS info. Probably closer to 1.35%. But at the very least, 97.91% of their users use 64-bit computers. You can use CPUID info to try and get a bit more information about how new their CPUs are. For instance, AVX (2011) is at 88.83%.

Also consider how the people on 32-bit XP with P4's probably aren't those with the most money to spend on Steam (e.g. in your case, $0)


1) Statically linked exeuctables are the very definition of software bloat (for this specific use case). I don't want to discuss this again with you.
2) Maybe nobody runs Steam from 32-bit only OS. But how do you fix the games? Anything that is not a $60 AAAAAA++++ blockbuster, that hasn't been updated in years, and that you can still buy and there are plently of people still playing those. Visual novels and most Japanese games fit the description nicely.

I'm glad I don't use Ubuntu, but such boneheaded decisions because "32 bit is OOOOOOOOOOOOLD because I live at Silly Valley and just bought a overclocked Threadripper with my VC money" are an easy way to get your users to have an axe to grind with you. Almost Mozilla-tier garbage.

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Posted on 19-06-23, 23:03
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Posted by creaothceann
Well, how much of a solution is VirtualBox (et al)?

Emulation already works for DOS games.


Actually, pretty decent considering sixteen core systems are starting to become affordable. Add to that we now have GPU passthrough, and full virtualisation of a 32 bit windows or Linux environment is extremely possible.

However, the hoops one has to jump through in order to get this to work properly are still pretty ridiculous...
Posted on 19-06-24, 02:47
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Posted by tomman
2) Maybe nobody runs Steam from 32-bit only OS. But how do you fix the games? Anything that is not a $60 AAAAAA++++ blockbuster, that hasn't been updated in years, and that you can still buy and there are plently of people still playing those. Visual novels and most Japanese games fit the description nicely.

A 64-bit launcher can't run 32-bit applications? We TempleOS now?
The runtime will of course have to keep shipping with 32-bit libs, but that's neither here or there. If "libraries" is a touchy word, just bundle it up into one giant mystery meat .so .bin file that all the 32-bit games get LD_PRELOAD'ed, problem solved.
Or, well, I suppose they could build 64-bit libraries with 32-bit pointers and then ship tiny shims for 32-bit libraries, but it seems like a terrible idea that will inevitably cause something to go horribly wrong.

I'm glad I don't use Ubuntu, but such boneheaded decisions because "32 bit is OOOOOOOOOOOOLD because I live at Silly Valley and just bought a overclocked Threadripper with my VC money" are an easy way to get your users to have an axe to grind with you. Almost Mozilla-tier garbage.

Well, it is a decidedly niche legacy product. I hate to say it, but the Venezuelan market segment really does not represent a financial threat to ... anything, really.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-06-24, 03:12
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Posted by sureanem
The runtime will of course have to keep shipping with 32-bit libs, but that's neither here or there.

One additional wrinkle is that unlike other hardware, GPUs do not have a stable kernel/userspace interface. Or rather, there's several: Mesa's OpenGL libraries use one set of kernel interfaces, the nVidia OpenGL libraries use the interface provided by their proprietary kernel drivers, etc. Until now, it didn't matter too much for Steam, because Steam apps just linked against "libOpenGL.so" and at runtime they use the system-provided driver library. But if the system doesn't provide a driver library...

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
Posted on 19-06-24, 03:35

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Posted by Screwtape

One additional wrinkle is that unlike other hardware, GPUs do not have a stable kernel/userspace interface. Or rather, there's several: Mesa's OpenGL libraries use one set of kernel interfaces, the nVidia OpenGL libraries use the interface provided by their proprietary kernel drivers, etc. Until now, it didn't matter too much for Steam, because Steam apps just linked against "libOpenGL.so" and at runtime they use the system-provided driver library. But if the system doesn't provide a driver library...

It’s libGL.so, but we’ve got Vulkan ICDs now and glvnd, so it’s a little more complicated.

Regardless, the number of packages needed to be provided by the OS is minimal—a couple dozen at the most. Often the only difference in a build script is adding a -m32 flag and pointing at a lib32 directory. There just wasn’t any substantive argument for the removal. Some foolish pragmatic thought he could get some street cred, but he grossly misunderstood the user base. Now they’re trying to walk it back and save face, but nobody is buying it. They need to forget the damage-control bullshit and admit they were wrong.
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