3.16 Fedora ARM kernel status

So 3.16 is has quite a few new features in terms of newly supported devices, also some what surprisingly this blog post will be out before 3.16! In terms of new device support all the SoCs listed here are exciting for a number of reasons for Fedora ARM. Aarch64 (ARM64) makes it’s first debut with support of real hardware although we’ve actually had kernel support enable for it for some time in Fedora even if only usable on the glacial Foundation emulator.

The 3.16 release is also very likely to be the kernel that ships with Fedora 21 GA and with the Alpha due in about a month we’re starting to polish and test all the platforms and devices we want to support for GA.

Anyway without any further a do let’s get into the gritty details:

  • NVIDIA Jetson TK1 support: While we’ve had the basics of this for a while all of the bits are there now.
  • EXYNOS support: This SoC is probably the most asked about platform and finally after a long wait the multiplatform support has landed upstream. We currently ship around 20 dtb files for exynos4 and 5 (Chromebook support anyone?). Testing is sought and feedback and greatly appreciated.
  • Qualcomm MSM 8×60, 8960 and 8974 support: While the multiplatform support for these devices landed upstream a few releases a go they’re now to the point they should be relatively usable so it’s time to get wider testing. This should be the beginning of supporting the venerable ifc6410 and dragonboard devices.
  • APM X-GENE support: One of our first aarch64 supported pieces of hardware. Similar to the QCom SoC the initial support has been upstream for a while but with 3.16 it becomes usable with the vast majority of basic support upstream so minimal patches are needed. More on aarch64 soon.
  • AMD Seattle support: The other of our aarch64 supported pieces of hardware if you’re lucky enough to get your mits on a device.

The other feature we’re starting to see mature is GPU and Graphics support. I’m not exactly sure yet as to what the final state of this functionality will be for Fedora 21 GA but we potentially will have suppport for:

  • nouveau/mesa support on the NVIDIA Tegra K1
  • freedreno/mesa support on the Qualcomm boards
  • etnaviv/mesa support on i.MX6 devices
  • improved modesetting support for a number of other devices. Some of this has already landed and is usable in rawhide now.

What covered above is just a high level overview of what’s new in the upcoming release. There’s been numerous other improvements in existing supported SoCs and devices all over the place that would take too long to cover off here but in short with all the shiny that’s landed in 3.16 what Fedora ARM will look like as part of the Fedora 21 GA release is quickly starting to take shape.

aarch64 (arm64) on Fedora 21 update

I realise that there’s not been an update as to the state of ARM aarch64 on Fedora for sometime. We should really shout out our achievements a lot more as over the last few months or so there’s been fairly extreme progress made but we all just tend to apply the nose to the grindstone and get one with it!

So where are we? Well we’ve got the vast majoriity of Fedora built. As we’re only building for rawhide/F-21 there’s a number of missing F-21 builds but with the mass rebuild well and truly underway on mainline we’re all hyped up and building on aarch64 too (appart from a power outage in the Huntsville facility that hosts some of the builders!) and we’re hot on the tail of mainline builds.

So we have HW virtualisation support and a bunch of virt bits on top of that, the vast majority of other services and low level support like storage platforms, all the various desktops and most of the various development stacks (even Ada!). It’s actually looking pretty good. In recent time we’ve added R, ghc and a raft of different language support. The java team have done a really good job getting java-1.8.0-openjdk up to spec too!

So appart for the mainline builds that haven’t yet been built for F-21 what are we missing? Well not much really now. Go and nodejs, the later due to missing v8 js engine support (it’s upstream in a newer v8 release but Fedora is stil trailing), and the things that depend on them are the main ones now missing so no Docker as yet either. There’s no mono, and while the core erlang is built I need to work out the correct order to finishing the bootstrap.

The rest of the job now becomes somewhat boring in that once the mass rebuild is complete we just need to go through packages and fix individual packages that are FTBFS and I strongly suspect most of those will have issues on mainline too.

On the hardware and virtualisation front the current rawhide kernel should boot just fine on the ARM foundation model emulator and the next release of qemu will have full system emulation of aarch64 to enable the running of aarch64 on x86_64 similar to what we can do with ARMv7 now. The 3.16 kernel should allow us to run on the currently and soon to be available HW without too many problems either as the last core bits of support should land upstream in the current merge window.

In short aarch64 on Fedora is looking awesome! By the time Fedora 21 Alpha lands in two months time we’ll basically be feature complete, and even now it’s extremely usable for those lucky enough to have hardware or patient enough to use software emulators.