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Thread: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

  1. #1
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    Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    In a recently posted thread a Lubuntu user asked for help installing WiFi drivers on a 32 bit version of Lubuntu. It seems that the version could be 16.04 which is out of life. There is a 32 bit Lubuntu 18.04 but that reaches end of life next year.

    As a service to Linux users on old hardware that is 32 bit can we suggest a 32 bit version of Linux that is still being supported? I am putting forward Debian Stretch (Up to end of June 2022) and Debian Buster (up to end of June 2024). The purpose of this thread is to show an upgrade path that extends the usefulness of this kind of old hardware (32 bit Motherboards).

    https://wiki.debian.org/LTS

    Regards

    P.S. I note that Debian consider Stretch to be an obsolete release although still supported. So, I withdraw Stretch and stand firm on Buster.
    Last edited by grahammechanical; November 4th, 2020 at 10:10 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    CentOS 7, until mid-2024

    CentOS 8 doesn't have a 32-bit option.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    I'd agree with Debian Buster. I tested it on a series of x86 hardware (pentium M & pentium 4) and truthfully had fewer issues than I did with later Ubuntu 18.04 flavors using the GA or HWE/5.4 kernels

    - it doesn't require `forcepae --forcepae` to boot on older pentium M processors, which Ubuntu 4.15 & 5.4 kernels still require
    - no (amd) graphical issue on old thinkpads that seems to impact 5.4 kernel (but not 5.3 or earlier); Debian Buster just happens to use an older kernel than Ubuntu's 18.04 with HWE and thus avoids the issue; Ubuntu 18.04 is fine using GA kernel

    I don't know of other alternatives, but I've not looked. I was using Debian long before I first started exploring other GNU/Linux distros a decade ago so it's home for me.

    --
    Debian LTS only support specific packages, so it'll depend what you use Debian Stretch for, whether or not you should treat it as fully-supported (just like a Ubuntu flavor after the normal 3 years of supported life somewhat, with the 5 years applying only to 'main' repo. packages). I still have Debian Stretch on some boxes, but as I don't browse the web on them I consider it safe (that and I'm too lazy to re-install buster; not enough disk space to bump)

  4. #4
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    There are still a number of decent 32-bit distros out there. The perennial go‑to is Puppy, but my two faves are Bodhi and CrunchBang++ (forked from CrunchBang which sadly gave up the ghost a couple of years ago). This is assuming that those inquiring about 32-bit still want to run a DE.

    I've found that the conundrum with 32-bit is not the distro—of which there are still some fine ones out there—but the fact that 32-bit HW is no longer up to the task of running today's bloated apps. A modern browser will choke most 32-bit boxes thus rendering academic the question of the OS. Such boxes can be very successful as servers though.

  5. #5
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    After playing around with various browsers on an older netbook, I've come to the conclusion that it's not the browser that's bloated, it's the internet. The days of html/css-only sites seem to be past, and an older machine will struggle with just about anything out there.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    True. It's kind of a self-reinforcing feedback loop isn't it? More bloated browsers beget more bloated sites which beget even more bloated browsers begetting yet more bloated sites. It spirals round and round, teetering upwards like an inverted cone.

    I've found that noscript helps. It's pleasantly surprising how many sites are actually more informative shorn of their jingling bells, popups and eye candy, reduced to only the raw data. That's how I now read my news sites: by turning off all scripting.

  7. #7
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    noscript still seems to take its tool as it blocks, checks and sorts the scripts that should be blocked or not.

    i think it might be time to exchange the 20 year old boxes

    anyway:
    EDIT: what about LXLE? Lubuntu with extended support?

    AntiX and MXLinux - but not sure of their support cycle since they are somewhat tied to Debian
    Similarly BunsenLabs Linux

    These options might be a bit easier for new users. Debian is quite raw. as is CentOS. a lot of stuff have to be installed after OS install.

    I am not sure how these specialised ones would do like Slitaz, TinyCore. they are maybe not as fully featured and easy to use.

    32 bit is shrinking quite fast.
    Last edited by mastablasta; November 5th, 2020 at 07:32 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    ... 16.04 which is out of life....
    Standard support end of life for 16.04 is April 2021, so not quite right but only about five months left to go. With the use of ESM the end of life for 16.04 can be as far off as April 2024. Source.

    Cheers, yeti.

  9. #9
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    Standard support end of life for 16.04 is April 2021
    Only for standard Ubuntu, flavors get 3 years only.
    We're commenting here based on the assumption that no one in their right mind would be using standard Ubuntu (Unity or Gnome) in those 32-bit 2o years old machines.

  10. #10
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    Re: Are there 32bit Linux versions still supported?

    Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
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