Architectures/ARM/Secret Decoder Ring

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Secret Decoder Ring

Moving to ARM - A secret decoder ring for Fedora users wishing to learn more about Fedora on ARM processors Main Points:


ARM chips are the most widely-produced processor family in the world; they have historically been used in cell phones and embedded applications, and are increasingly used in tablet devices and low-power-consumption servers. The Fedora-ARM project is an initiative to bring Fedora to this processor family.

Why ARM?

  • Low Power Consumption / Better efficiencies
  • High availability / lower cost

Why does Fedora care about ARM?

  • Emerging technology
  • Growing user base

Understanding ARM

  • Brief (very brief!) history of ARM
  • Different ARM cores and instruction sets (v5/v6/v7/v8, A8, A9, A15, etc.)
    • software floating point vs. hardware floating point
    • extended instruction sets (thumb, neon, etc.)
  • Kernel support for ARM / device tree
  • Things to know before you get started

What is U-Boot

U-Boot -the Universal Boot Loader is the firmware used on embedded systems such as ARM, MIPS and Embedded Power architectures. It performs the task of other bootloader's by loading the Linux kernel and operating system into memory for execution, but is also responsible for hardware initialization comparable to the BIOS on X86 hardware.

Why U-Boot?

The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is exclusively available on x86 systems and performs a variety of tasks outside of just loading the kernel into memory. While BIOS on ARM is feasible, development costs exceed the potential benefits and ARM systems use the faster bootloader approach. The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is replacing the BIOS on modern computers and is also compatible with the ARM architecture.

  • Different versions of U-Boot
    • vboot
    • aboot
    • hboot

Generating addresses for kernel/initrd/dtb

Quick Start

What's the quickest way to get Fedora on my device?

Download the pre-built images corresponding to your device and following the instructions for writing the image to your media.

Once my device is running Fedora, how do I get developing/contributing to Fedora ARM?

Device Support

Getting Fedora on your ARM device

Platforms supported by Fedora

  • Trimslice
  • Panda
  • BeagleBoard
  • BeagleBone
  • Kirkwood (GuruPlug/PogoPlug/Dreamplug)
  • Versatile Express emulation through QEMU

Platforms supported by Fedora Remixes

  • XO 1.75
  • OpenBlocks AX3
  • Allwinner A10-based devices
    • Gooseberry
  • iMX devices
  • Samsung Chromebook
  • Raspberry Pi

Getting Involved