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Fedora 20 Alpha for ARM

The Fedora ARM team is pleased to announce that the Fedora 20 Alpha for the ARM Architecture is now available for download from:

Fedora 20 Alpha for ARM includes two image types - one for use with platforms requiring a VFAT partition (such as Texas Instruments's AM335x-based Beaglebone Black), the other for use with devices that boot from an EXT3/4 partition (such as CompuLab's Tegra2-based TrimSlice). For each of these image types, there are a number of images providing for a variety of desktop choices (including MATE, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, SOAS), as well as a minimal image that does not include the desktop. Any of these images can be used with QEMU on an x86_64 desktop to emulate a fully functional ARM environment.

The image-based installation process involves downloading an image file (depending upon the target type and desktop/non-desktop option desired), inserting removable media into a "host" system (e.g. an ARM or x86_64 PC class desktop, laptop, etc.) and performing a few simple commands to write this image onto the media. This media is then used by the ARM "target" system to boot the Fedora 20 Alpha environment.

The examples provided here are from a Fedora 19 host and may need to be adjusted depending on your host environment.

For the CompuLab TrimSlice

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You must use the latest Device Tree enabled U-Boot to boot the Fedora 20 Trimslice image, which you can find here. And environmental variables described here. Failure to do so will result in a non-booting system.

Download the image of your choice for use with the TrimSlice:

TYPE= # options include KDE, LXDE, XFCE, SoaS, Mate and Minimal

Copy the image to the intended media:

xzcat Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw.xz > /dev/<location-of-your-media> 

Insert into the TrimSlice and boot. Fedora will boot to an initial setup screen allowing you to create your user, set the root password and timezone.

For the Wandboard (Freescale i.MX6)

The Fedora kernel currently does not support a display on the Wandboard, for this reason the Minimal image is recommended.

xzcat Fedora-Minimal-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw.xz > /dev/<location-of-your-media>

Remove and reinsert the media into the host PC to automatically mount the image.

The Wandboard includes a Solo, Dual and Quad core configurations, determine you hardware and use the appropriate value. While the Wandboard Quad has been tested and confirmed working, the Solo and Dual core models should also work as well.

USER= # your username
cd /run/media/$USER/__boot
ln -sf dtb-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl dtb

Create the extlinux.conf file manually (from the current directory 'vi extlinux/extlinux.conf):

  • Note - You may need to edit the extlinux.conf file and add the UUID of your root filesystem. To check this use 'blkid /dev/<location-of-your-media>'. Make note of the Root filesystem UUID.
# extlinux.conf generated by anaconda

#ui menu.c32

menu autoboot Welcome to Fedora. Automatic boot in # second{,s}. Press a key for options.
#menu title Fedora Boot Options.
#menu hidden

timeout 60
#totaltimeout 9000

label Fedora (3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl) 20 (Heisenbug)
        kernel /vmlinuz-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl
        append console=ttymxc0,115200 root=UUID=04e54c55-4d1e-4db7-b8df-5bd9defdc4ee ro rhgb quiet LANG=en_US.UTF-8
        fdt /dtb/imx6q-wandboard.dtb
        initrd /initramfs-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl.img

Copy the U-boot for the hardware in use:

BOARD= # Choose 'solo', 'dl' or 'quad'
sudo cp /run/media/$USER/__/usr/share/uboot-imx6$BOARD/u-boot.imx /home/$USER/

Unmount the media and copy the U-boot file:

sudo umount /run/media/$USER/__boot
sudo umount /run/media/$USER/__
dd if=u-boot.imx of=/dev/<location-of-your-media> bs=1k seek=1

Remove the media and insert into the Wandboard and boot.

  • NOTE - Insert into the MicroSD slot below the heatsink.

For Versatile Express Emulation with QEMU

No ARM hardware? No problem! Even without hardware, it is possible to run the Fedora 20 Alpha for ARM images using the QEMU emulator program. Any image can be used, and you can choose a script method or manual depending on your preference.

Manual Preparation

TYPE= # options include KDE, LXDE, XFCE, SoaS, Mate and Minimal

Extract the image:

unxz Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw.xz

Mount the image and extract the kernel and initramfs for use with booting.

sudo kpartx -av Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw

Make a temporary mount point

mkdir /tmp/boot
sudo mount /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /tmp/boot
sudo cp /tmp/boot/initramfs-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl.img .
sudo cp /tmp/boot/vmlinuz-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl .
sudo umount /tmp/boot
sudo kpartx -dv Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw

To boot:

sudo qemu-system-arm -machine vexpress-a9 -m 1024 -nographic -net nic -net user \
 -append "console=ttyAMA0,115200n8 rw root=/dev/mmcblk0p3 rootwait physmap.enabled=0" \
 -kernel vmlinuz-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl \
 -initrd initramfs-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl.img \
 -sd Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw \

For convenience you can also download a script for booting the system here. To run the script:

chmod 755 boot-vexpress
./boot-vexpress -h
Usage: ./boot-vexpress [--gui] --kernel=vmlinuz... --ramfs=initramfs --image=fsimage [--dtb=vexpress.dtb]

To boot the image:

sudo ./boot-vexpress --kernel=vmlinuz-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl --ramfs=initramfs-3.11.0-300.fc20.armv7hl.img --image=Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw

Booting with device tree is possible, although passing --gui for graphics will not work at this time (this is due to ongoing platform reword occurring within the Versatile Express kernel code). Booting without device tree is recommended for F-20, as it will work in both serial and graphics mode, whereas passing a DTB will only work with serial.


The livemedia-modifier tool written by Jon Chiappetta can be used to perform the above steps and is available here. After installing you can run the script using the following example:

# Extract the image
unxz Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw.xz
# Run livemedia-modifier
livemedia-modifier --image=Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-20-Alpha-4-sda.raw --platform=vexpress --nocompress

The modifier will create a copy of the original image, all changes will be made on the copy preserving the original image integrity.

Additional usage instructions can be found here.

Resize the Root Filesystem

By default the root partition should be re-sized to fill the media in use on first boot. To use this additional space run:

resize2fs /dev/sda3

Calxeda EnergyCore (HighBank)

Fedora 20 Alpha for ARM includes support for systems that are able to perform a network installation using a kickstart, including enterprise hardware such as the Highbank. A working kickstart can be found here.

For more detailed instructions on setting this up, please visit this page.

Booting for the First Time


  • During the first boot the system will launch the 'initial-setup' utility. For graphical images this will occur on the display, for minimal images this will occur on the serial console. Failure to complete the initial-setup will prevent logging into the system. To log in to the root account without completing the initial-setup you will need to minimally edit '/etc/passwd' file and remove the 'x' from the line beginning with 'root' (this will allow you to log into the root account without entering a password).

Known Issues

  • The Beaglebone Black will boot the Fedora 20 Alpha VFAT images, however there is currently no network or USB. This is actively being worked on, if you would like to contribute please visit #fedora-arm on Freenode.