Group: Hardware/FSDG distributions
Having FSDG compliant distributions that support many architecture is interesting for several reasons:
- To get the RYF certification for a computer, being able to use all the components of that computer with free software is not enough as that computer also needs run an FSDG compliant distribution on that computer. See the RYF endorsement criteria for more details on that certification.
- Users that want fully free system can also build systems similar to the ones that got the RYF certification themselves and/or get some help to do it, and here they also need FSDG compliant distributions to run on their computers.
- As some computers can run fully free software, with some of the hardware components not working, it's also very interesting to be able to have a distribution to support such hardware. See the article on single-board-computers on the FSF website for more details.
It is also interesting to understand who is able to use the FSDG GNU/Linux distributions. For instance if an architecture is supported only by FSDG compliant distributions that are for technical users with good command line knowledge, it would dramatically limit the amount of people able to use that computers with that architecture with fully free software.
The release type (Rolling release, stable releases) and the release frequency is also important to take into account:
- For users, there are various advantages and disadvantages of using distributions that have rolling releases or stable releases. Less technical users seem to prefer LTS as less (frequent) maintenance is required.
- For adding support for devices in distributions, rolling releases gets the job done faster, but many users might prefer to use stable releases.
General purpose GNU/Linux distributions
Rolling releases are also possible
|Guix System||Technical users:
|Distribution or software||ARM 32bit||ARM 64bit||MIPS 64bit little endian||PowerPC 64bit little endian||Riscv 64bit||x86 32bit||x86 64bit|
|Guix System||armhf||Yes||No, cross compilation only||POWER9, experimental||No, cross compilation only||i686||Yes|
|Parabola||armv7h||experimental, through armv7h only||No, discontinued||Unfinished||Unfinished||i686||Yes|
|PureOS||No||Yes, can be installed with debootstrap||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Distribution or software||Usage||Audience||Release type|
||Users with extremely basic command line knowledge||Stable releases|
|Distribution or software||x86 32bit||x86 64bit||ARM 32bit||ARM 64bit||MIPS|
|libreCMC||Requires to build from source||Requires to build from source||Requires to build from source||No||Yes|
Adding support for a device
|Distribution or software||Adding support for a device|
|General purpose GNU/Linux distributions||
- Dragora can also be bootstraped from source, but there is no guarantee that it will work for unsupported architectures.
- Guix still support cross compiling packages for mips64el-linux-gnu
- The Guix 1.3.0 release blog post (https://guix.gnu.org/en/blog/2021/gnu-guix-1.3.0-released/) states that "POWER9 support is now available as a technology preview"
- Guix still support cross compiling packages for riscv64-linux-gnu
For it to work:
- You need to install the linux-libre-aarch64 kernel
- You need a processor that also support running 32bit arm code
- This can be done in two stages like with debian. The first stage can be done this way: debootstrap --foreign --arch arm64 byzantium ./rootfs https://repo.puri.sm/pureos Amber can probably also be installed but I lacked older hardware that was supported by its kernel. Adding the dtb made it boot on Amber though.
This page was a featured resource in August 2020.