Well, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has decided to no longer produce a 32-bit OS. It was only after a lot of anger from users that Canonical even decided to keep providing some (not all) 32-bit libraries. In fact, nearly all of the i386 libraries that Focal still provides are for some part of the GNU Compiler Collection. One of the missing i386 libraries includes libcrypto, which is a weirdly common library for many Linux games that, AFAICT, have no networking features (maybe they use the RNG?).
Speaking from experience, it is an unbelievable pain to compile libraries, which can take more dependencies than the program you're trying to compile, and those dependencies can have their own dependencies. Yet not only are games still being released on GOG with only 32-bit binaries, (One Step From Eden released on GOG less than a week ago, 32-bit only), upcoming games with Linux support are also being released with only 32-bit support! The team behind Kharon's Crypt told me in an email that they were planning to release on GOG, and the Linux demo on their website is a 32-bit binary only.
I suppose VMs are an easy solution, just install an older LTS and use that, but a VM eats a lot of storage space and I like to archive things, plus there's a massive performance hit even for hardware virtualization. Chroot could also work, but now you need sudo privileges to play your games, which will be a problem for households with small children who aren't yet responsible enough to be a sudoer. Plus, I would have no clue how to install an entire Linux distro into a chroot folder, I'm only barely able to use chroot from a live DVD to fix a borked GRUB. PPAs are another potential solution, but I suspect that those will only exist as long as it's relatively easy to build a 32-bit package. Canonical seems to be trying to force 32-bit obsolescence, and eventually it's going to become such a pain to provide 32-bit packages that I suspect many PPA maintainers (volunteers) will stop bothering. Plus, every PPA added is a chance for a hacker to upload a rogue package or update.
I've asked the Linux Mint Dev Team what their plans are, and while Clem seemed willing to provide these packages in Linux Mint 20, I can't say how much of a priority this is for the team, nor can I say for how many releases the LMDT will provide these packages.
What is the GOG team's solution to the 32-bit sunset? The writing is on the wall. Your specialty is updating older games to run on modern hardware and OSes. What's the plan? Is there a plan? If not, will there be a plan?
I was going to post a link to the list of packages used in Ubuntu 20.04, but apparently I can't post this message until I remove the link.
Post edited May 15, 2020 by Ragmand