These have been tough days for Linux gaming, but the battle is over. In response to Canonical’s change in plans for 32-bit compatibility libraries, Valve has announced that it will «probably» support Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS.

Following Canonical’s statement following «a huge amount of feedback this weekend», Valve’s statement was posted by developer Pierre-Loup on the Steam forums on June 26th. He explains the whole situation:

In response to concerns raised by us and the wider community, the Ubuntu Project recently discussed a more conservative approach where a selection of 32-bit libraries will still be available on the host system through at least 20.04 LTS. We’re still not particularly happy about removing any existing functionality, but such a change in plan is highly welcome… Given the information we have on this new approach, it looks like we’ll be able to officially continue with Steam Support on Ubuntu.

However, things are not so rosy for Ubuntu. Valve currently recommends Ubuntu for Linux gamers as the preferred officially supported Linux distribution. This may change in the future:

The landscape on Linux has changed a lot since we released the initial release of Steam for Linux, and as such, we’re rethinking how we want to approach distribution support. There are several distributions on the market today that offer great gaming experiences such as Arch Linux, Manjaro, Pop! _OS, Fedora and many others. In the future we will work closer with many maintainers

Regardless, we don’t currently have anything specific to announce which distributions will be supported in the future; expect more news on this front in the coming months.

While Valve isn’t thrilled about Ubuntu’s likely plan to drop compatibility with legacy 32-bit software after Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, no immediate changes are expected. Linux gamers can use the next few versions of Ubuntu to run the Steam games library. The community has been heard.

If you are interested in this topic, then it is worth reading all the announcements from Canonical and Valve. Thanks OMG! Ubuntu for pointing this out.

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