Dropping 32-bit packages

Update: in Pillow 10.0 (2023-07-01) we decided to stop providing 32-bit wheels for all platforms.

But we kept compatibility and are still testing 32-bit for the time being (Debian, Windows). We had a couple of issues opened, but no real pushback.


For h5py, we dropped 32-bit wheels on all platforms with h5py 3.0 in 2020; I think we also had one or two issues about it, but no serious push to restore them. There was more interest in adding ARM-64 wheels (which has now happened).

h5py is probably in a particularly favourable niche for this, though - a lot of the scenarios where people use HDF5 go along with powerful computers with plenty of RAM, which pushed people towards 64-bit long before we dropped 32-bit.


Update 2: We added back Windows 32-bit wheels in today’s Pillow 10.2 release.

While we only had one report of someone needing to use 32-bit Python (a win32 COM library could only be imported using 32-bit Python on legacy systems), we had quite a few more from people who installed 32-bit Python on 64-bit Windows and didn’t really have a reason for it.

I suspect it’s because 32-bit Python is listed first on pages like python.org/downloads/windows and python.org/downloads/release/python-3121, so they just click the first one (see python/pythondotorg#2194).

(We also switched to cibuildwheel for today’s release, so it was easy enough to re-add support.)