- Q. There are multiple ARM ABIs, which are you proposing to promote?
- A. We plan on promoting both ARMv5tel and ARMv7hl. As build times are roughly equal and the same build hardware can support both ABIs, we do not see a need to promote one but not the other. The ARMv5tel side will allow Fedora to run on systems like the popular Raspberry Pi and various Plug devices. The ARMv7hl side will provide higher performance for ARM Servers and desktops.
- Q. Does Fedora ARM have a proven track record?
- A. Fedora ARM has attained a significant degree of functionality in recent years using standard Fedora releng mechanisms such as mock and koji. The OLPC project using Fedora ARM is just one example of its success under Seneca's stewardship.
- Q. Do we have to support every ARM device on the planet?
- A. No- only the subset of packages needed for builders needs to be supported at the outset. Special graphics drivers, custom mobile devices, etc, are beyond the scope of this proposal.
- Q. Will making ARM a primary architecture cause a sudden burden on packagers?
- A. No- Packages which do not work on ARM will initially be excused with excludedarch. Members of the ARM team will work with packagers to get their packages working on ARM. Most packages already work with ARM so the actual effort to get to this point is relatively minor.
- Q. Will making ARM a primary architecture slow down builds significantly?
- A. Yes and No- Part of the proposal is to bring up as many ARM servers as it takes to provide the processing capacity needed to complete a mass rebuild in a similar period of time. At present we believe 3 server-grade ARM systems for 1 x86_64 system will provide comparable build power. Should this number be insufficient we will add builders until the required build power is reached. For individual packages builds may be somewhat slower than their x86_64 counterparts, but not by a wide margin. A build time comparison table is available here. When more data is available it will be presented.
- Q. Do all packages need to work on ARM?
- A. No- they only need to build or be excludearched. For primary purposes it is imperative that we minimize the impact on other architectures. After build system integrity has been assured, individual packages can be tested and fixed as needed.
- Q. Once ARM is primary what happens if a package fails to build on ARM but succeeds elsewhere?
- A. The build will have failed and require a fix, as it would if a build succeeded on x86_64 but failed on i686 (or any other primary architecture). Standard procedures apply.
- Q. Are there any benefits to Fedora users and developers who don’t care about ARM?
- A. Yes- Bugs are sometimes exposed by ARM before they are observed on other architectures. Adding ARM to primary will enable us to spot bugs sooner, not just on ARM, but for many classes of architecture-neutral bugs.
- Q. What steps can be taken to educate people within the Fedora Community who are lacking the basic information on ARM or the state of ARM technology/hardware?