An Ubuntu Steam support end date has been confirmed by Valve. Ubuntu 19.10, which is scheduled to be released on October 17, will be the initial version to lack Steam support. Valve employee, Pierre-Loup Griffais, tweeted out the new confirming the end of Ubuntu support.
Ubuntu 19.10 and future releases will not be officially supported by Steam or recommended to our users. We will evaluate ways to minimize breakage for existing users, but will also switch our focus to a different distribution, currently TBD.
— Pierre-Loup Griffais (@Plagman2) June 22, 2019
Ubuntu users who use Steam as their primary game library will have to start seeking an alternative option to continue to play their games. According to Engadget, the reasoning behind the end of Steam support for the operating system is due to the planned removal of 32-bit x86 components.
Pierre also confirmed in the tweet that Valve will attempt “to minimize breakage” once support comes to an end. Furthermore, it was worded that Ubuntu will “not be officially supported,” which implies that certain aspects of Steam or games launched via Steam may still operate as intended, but there is no promise that this will be the case. Ubuntu’s producers, Canonical, will also no longer be offering 32-bit builds of its future software releases.
From Steam’s perspective, one of the largest issues is that a large number of games available on the platform were only ever made in 32-bit, and they will cease to work following the release of Ubuntu 19.10.
Alternative options are out there for those who are affected and wish to continue using Steam, such as replacement operating systems, custom builds and emulators. However, most users now face the choice of moving their games over to a secondary system.
This leaves many Linux users who actively play video games via Steam, in a difficult situation on what steps to take once support comes to an end in October. However, the end date is still a number of months away so it does give users a time to come up with a plan or for Ubuntu developers to reconsider their actions.