When a new Ubuntu launch date approaches, Canonical developers like to start shaking things up. This time is the turn of Ubuntu for PowerPC.Canonical devs have observed that the PowerPC version of Ubuntu hadn't been built in a while, mostly due to failures in particular subcomponents of the Unity stack.
The problem is that, even if Canonical managed to get it to work, it would be unusable due to the specific hardware requirements for the platform.
“However, even before the images themselves started to be unbuildable, it was my understanding that the images were in practice unusable on powerpc due to lack of suitable hardware-accelerated drivers – since we no longer have a 2d fallback for Unity, and the images therefore have an unusably slow UI,” stated Steve Langasek on the official mailing list.
It's hard to determine if there is anyone who still uses Ubuntu for PowerPC, mostly because the operating system doesn't send data back to Canonical's servers. With this in mind, a proposal has been made to stop the development altogether.
“So it's my belief that the audience for Ubuntu desktop on powerpc is currently zero, extending back at least to the 13.04 release, and that this is not going to change.
“But before dropping the images, we want to check this assumption with the community. Does anyone know if there's a reason to care about Ubuntu powerpc images for 13.10?” concluded Steve Langasek.
If Canonical decided to end the development of Ubuntu for PowerPC, it would not influence the development of other flavors, such as Lubuntu and Ubuntu Server, and a PowerPC version might still make it, at least for the upcoming Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander).
The community present in the official Ubuntu mailing list has been supportive with this decision and, most likely, the Ubuntu PowerPC is officially dead.