I tried Manjaro32 some time ago and i would suggest for those interested, maybe look at Debian Stable. Less breakage, since it's a fixed release, less breakage since it's freaking Debian Stable, and it's officially supported.
At this point if you have 32bit systems it's very unlikely they are your main machine, so a rolling release it's not a good idea imho.
There are lots of working 32-bit systems out there and nobody should be spending someone else's money. Not everyone can afford what to you feel like a small investment. Also, not everyone is in the same country as you and even has access to the type of inexpensive hardware you are referring to.
To me the question of it continuing on should come down to 3 things:
Is 32-bit supported upstream so that it is practical to continue to support?
Are there enough people willing to maintain it that it can be well supported?
Are there enough people using it that makes it worth supporting?
That includes testers. Another distro would periodically consider dropping 32-bit support to the usual response. But, when new release ISOs were announced for testing, only the regular testers submitted test results, because they felt some obligation to the community, not because 32-bit was personally important to them.
i686 is increasingly difficult to support as more software gains a requirement (direct or indirect) for SSE2. This means the pentium4 target is easier to support.
Currently I am the only person involved with manjaro32. The main chunk of work is done by archlinux32, and for the Manjaro overlay packages I have to rely on others uploading PKGBUILD changes to GitLab. Those changes will not always work on i686.
While I was previously supporting my EeePC901 I have moved to a dedicated router running OpenWRT so I have no personal reason to continue supporting the 32-bit target. I'm also much busier with work which buys my food and pays my bills.
I get nothing out of supporting 32-bit hardware. It's a niche platform which noone is interested in - there are no funding opportunities or hardware companies who want 32-bit x86 support. It is not "shiny" like ARM64 and no company is going to pre-install it on a brand-new $2000 laptop.
Most people using a 32-bit distro can't contribute to the hosting etc. costs for fairly obvious reasons.
There are a handful of people testing the 32-bit software. There are then those loud people who simply complain that it is broken and that I need to "get my act together" which tends to make me feel unwilling to spend my spare time supporting it.
I already feel bad enough because there are no fixes for issues people are having, most of those because developers are not targeting 32-bit. Some software just won't build. There is no fix for that.
Supporting 32-bit is not like a typical community edition which (in the main) is a re-spin. This requires hella more time and effort - it is in effect a separate distro.
The installer image is still being downloaded. People still post in the forum. People still email me directly about it.
Well, we can move it to manjaro32.org domain and have some mirrors for it to see who is still using it. However it might also be possible to drop it for good. Maintaining a whole distro as one single person is really hard. Our current focus is on aarch64 and x86_64 by the rest of our team. Therefore it is logical to use the space currently taken by i686 architecture and replace it with the ARM repos on our main infrastructure. If there are people willing to join manjaro32.org project it might live on. With the current situation I doubt it ...
I hate seeing old hardware go to waste, but it is totally unrealistic to expect that one person (@jonathon) can maintain this project indefinitely.
I also have a netbook I was hoping to use this on, but at a certain point everything reaches EOL. The sad reality is all hardware reaches an expiration point eventually. Expecting such a niche segment of old hardware to be supported forever is just expecting a little too much IMO.
Thank you for maintaining this edition for as long as you have @jonathon .
manjaro32 has ceased due to a lack of time and a hardware failure
We sadly have to announce that manjaro32 project is now gone for good. @jonathon managed to hold this stronghold for longer as he even expected. For almost 9 years we supported i686. Lets keep this part of our project in good memory.
You may want to take a look at this list, if you're still interested in 32-bit architecture: