The ARM chip architecture is emerging to become an extremely popular one for embedded and mobile devices. It's also an architecture that has had some issues when it comes to Linux. Speaking at the LinuxCon conference this week, Linux creator Linus Torvalds detailed his frustrations with ARM. Coincidentally this week, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu Linux, announced ARM support as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 release.
"I think that ARM is very promising," Torvalds said. "The problem is that ARM doesn't have a standard platform."
In Torvalds' view, ARM is a 'hodgepodge' of companies making random pieces of hardware. He noted that on the kernel side, Linux has tried to support alot of ARM.
"It has been a painful thing for me," Torvalds said. "Look at the x86 and ARM trees and ARM is many times bigger, it's not constrained by platform and it has random crap all over."
Torvalds suggested that since ARM doesn't have a main device in the same way that x86 has the PC, that represents a challenge. He added that ARM maintainers within Linux have also had issues with working with each other. It's an area that Torvalds is working on, as are others.