Ubuntu gamers can breathe a sigh of relief as Valve has confirmed that Steam for Linux WILL support Ubuntu 19.10.
Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais says Ubuntu’s recent rethink over plans to axe its i386/32-bit archive means it is “…likely that we will be able to continue to officially support Steam on Ubuntu.”
The confirmation follows several days of high drama in the Linux Community, all resulting from Ubuntu’s initials plan to retire its 32-bit archive in the upcoming October release.
It was that decision — which had been discussed by Ubuntu developers for some time — that stunned many. It resulted in a jaw-dropping tweet from a Valve developer, who announced that “Ubuntu 19.10 and future releases will not be officially supported by Steam or recommended to our users”.
Worse, Steam wasn’t alone.
A swathe of users and developers alike were concerned by the news, fearing that the software, games and tools they build and/or rely on would no longer work with Ubuntu.
Hopefully today’s not-entirely-enthusiastic update from Valve will help calm the storm, if not empty the teacup of this testing matter entirely.
Steam will Support Ubuntu 19.10
Canonical has, mercifully for people like me who have to write about this, turned tail and backed down. It says it will continue to enable support for 32-bit software like Steam and WINE in Ubuntu 19.10 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
Valve say they welcome the rethink, adding that they are “…not particularly excited about the removal of any existing functionality, but such a change to the plan is extremely welcome, and will allow us to continue to work towards improvements in the Steam distribution model without causing new headaches for users.”
But they’re not solely dedicated to Ubuntu.
“The Linux landscape has changed dramatically since we released the initial version of Steam for Linux, and as such, we are re-thinking how we want to approach distribution support going forward,” they add, name-checking a number of popular Linux distributions that ‘offer a great gaming desktop experience’.
And it may yet be that one of those distros becomes Valve’s recommend platform — but for now at least, everything it back to normal.
Unpause, game on.