Google today announced it is ending Chrome support for 32-bit Linux, Ubuntu Precise (12.04), and Debian 7 (wheezy) in early March 2016. The company didn’t elaborate, aside from saying the move would help “to provide the best experience for the most-used Linux versions.”
This means Google will provide regular Chrome updates and security patches for users on these operating systems for fewer than four more months. After that, the browser will still work, but it will be stuck on the last version released in March.
Earlier this month, Google announced it was dropping Chrome support for Windows XP, Windows Vista, OS X 10.6, OS X 10.7, and OS X 10.8 in April 2016. In other words, today’s news just rounds out the cleanup to Chrome’s remaining desktop platform, Linux.
That said, if you’re a hardcore Linux user, there will be options. “We intend to continue supporting the 32-bit build configurations on Linux to support building Chromium,” Google explained. “If you are using Precise, we’d recommend that you to upgrade to Trusty.”
If Chromium, the open-source browser from which Google Chrome draws its source code, doesn’t interest you, there are plenty of other browsers for Linux. The most popular alternative is, of course, Mozilla’s Firefox, which is your best bet if you’re looking for a browser that supports multiple platforms.
Google is, of course, making development of its browser easier by dropping support for older and less-popular operating systems. At the same time, the company is giving users of these operating systems yet another reason to upgrade.
If your hardware allows it, you should move up to a 64-bit version of Linux. Similarly, the latest release of Ubuntu is 15.10 Wily Werewolf, and Debian is on version 8, code-named Jessie.
If your hardware doesn’t allow it, you’ll simply have to upgrade if you want to keep using Chrome.