Starting with version 19.10, Ubuntu users will no longer be able to run Steam as intended. That’s because Canonical has decided to drop 32-bit packages and libraries from the popular Linux distro.
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
Wine, which allows 32-bit Windows games to run on Linux, is also affected. Ubuntu Steamers will have to find an alternative or stick to older builds.
While most Linux applications will get along just fine, this is a huge blow to Valve’s Steam. Many Linux games on Steam are only available in 32-bit form—they work on 64-bit Linux distributions, but only with the 32-bit libraries. As Phoronix recently pointed out, this also affects the Wine compatibility layer that allows running Windows software on Linux—Wine won’t be able to run 32-bit Windows software anymore. Steam’s compatibility layer for running Windows games on Linux would also not work for 32-bit games.