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Re: Updating the installation guide, arm platform support

On Tue, 2014-03-18 at 22:19 +0100, Karsten Merker wrote:
> Hello everybody,
> I am working on updating the installation guide for Jessie and
> have a few questions regarding armel/armhf platform support in
> Jessie.
> As far as I can see, the mx5 kernel flavor from Wheezy/armhf is
> gone in Jessie and has been replaced by i.mx5x support in the
> armmp kernel.  Is this correct?


> If yes, it appears to me that we would need to update the
> flash-kernel machine database, which still refers to
> "Kernel-Flavors: mx5" for the Freescale MX53 LOCO, the Genesi
> Efika Smartbook and the Genesi EfikaMX nettop.

Hrm. Yes. I've just s/Kernel-Flavors: mx5/Kernel-Flavors: armmp mx5/g
in git. I don't have any mx5 hardware so someone please confirm or deny.

> In general, the installation guide lacks documentation about
> the supported armhf platforms, i.e. the aforementioned three
> i.MX5x-based systems plus the Globalscale Mirabox and
> the PlatHome OpenBlocks AX3-4 (both listed as supported by
> the armmp kernel in the flash-kernel machine db).

This is unfortunately quite a hard question to answer. There is no
formal certification process or HCL, just people scratching their

We get various patches for flash-kernel/d-i etc from people who have a
particular platform and want to run Debian on it, but we don't really
get to see how well supported those platforms are in the general case. I
think there are also plenty of people who are installing via debootstrap
onto an sd card.

The transition to DT in the kernel is only going to make this better (or
worse depending on your PoV) since now the Debian kernel is in principal
usable on platforms we've never even heard of but for which a DT can be

Sorry, not much of an answer I know.

> I know neither of these boards personally, but it would be nice
> to have a proper description of the level of support for these
> systems in the installation guide, so I would like to ask
> whether somebody who has practical experience with these boards
> could give me a short summary of what is properly supported and
> where support is missing for onboard devices on these boards
> (e.g. something like "SATA works, but booting is only possible
> from SD-Card, USB works, local display via HDMI/VGA is not
> supported").  I would then include this information in the
> installation guide.

wiki.debian.org/DebianOn has some lists of various platforms, I don't
know if these ones or included or how accurate they might be.

> Regarding armel I would like to ask which platforms will
> stay supported in Jessie.

> Are there other armel platforms which were supported in Wheezy
> but will not be further supported in Jessie?

ixp4xx is on life support but isn't gone yet.


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