Linux on ARM
So we had a fairly calm last week, with nothing really screaming “let’s delay one more rc”. Knock wood – let’s hope we don’t have anything silly lurking this time, like the last-minute wifi regression we had in 5.6..
The 64-bit ARM (ARM64 / AArch64) architecture changes have already landed into the progressing Linux 5.8 codebase.
Last week, we reported a “new” Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 8GB RAM launched last week, together with a beta version of “Raspbian” 64-bit needed to make full use of the extra RAM, although the 32-bit version can also address the full 8GB thanks to LPAE, but with a limitation of 3GB per process.
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B was launched in June 2019 with Broadcom BCM2711 Arm Cortex-A72 processor coupled with either 1, 2, or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM.
Fedora has been improving its 64-bit ARM (AArch64) support for quite some time and with this autumn's Fedora 33 release it should be in even better shape. One of the AArch64-specific Fedora 33 changes being planned is enabling support for newer ARMv8.3~8.5-level code hardening features in order to enhance the security.
While there aren't yet any Arm SoCs we are aware of at least offering Thunderbolt connectivity, that will eventually change with at least USB4 being based on Thunderbolt. But in any case Thunderbolt software support can work on Arm today if using a Thunderbolt add-in PCIe card.
Last year, I reviewed BalenaOS and BalenaCloud on Raspberry Pi CM3L based BalenaFin hardware. The solution generates OS images with docker support in order to easily manage and update a fleet of devices remotely over a web interface or client program.
If you want to install the latest version of Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi, you really shouldn’t encounter any big problem, as the OS has already been certified for the pocket-size computer.
Video games may be more popular than ever these days, but the truth is, they simply aren’t as fun as they used to be. Sadly, game developers focus too heavily on graphics and in-game purchases than actual gameplay. And so, in 2020, a true gamer is better served by playing video game ROMs from yesteryear, from systems like NES, SNES, Genesis, and N64.
For its size and price, the Raspberry Pi 4 is a pretty powerful computer. Sure, it’s not quite the complete desktop alternative the Raspberry Pi Foundation suggested it was at launch, but then it does only cost $35 and will handle most of what you can throw at it, provided you don’t set your sights too high.
The 64-bit ARM architecture code will support several new features with the in-development Linux 5.7 kernel. Highlights of the 64-bit ARM (AArch64 / ARM64) code for Linux 5.7 include:
Costing just $40, the Raspberry Pi is cheap, versatile, and relatively powerful in a way its competitors are not. While most projects can be achieved with Raspbian, the Debian Linux fork, this Raspberry PI OS isn’t the only option.
The upcoming Linux 5.7 kernel is preparing to bid farewell to KVM virtualization support on 32-bit ARM architectures. We've known this execution date was coming for a while and with this next kernel release they are set to drop 32-bit ARM support for the Kernel-based Virtual Machine.
Yesterday, we wrote about Raspberry Pi 4 getting UEFI+ACPI firmware for Arm SSBR compliance allowing the board to run operating systems designed for “Arm ServerReady” servers out of the box.
Issues with Fedora's 32-bit ARM Xfce desktop spin will no longer be treated as a release blocker for the Linux distribution but instead the Fedora Workstation for 64-bit ARM (AArch64) will be considered a blocking issue.