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Re: Feedback from the community -> ARM

On Thu, 2021-06-10 at 23:54 +0200, Diederik de Haas wrote:
> I'm guessing there's much requests wrt SBCs as that is for many
> people their 
> first experience with ARM systems (besides phones). It is/was for me.
> And they make for (potentially) great fits for systems that need to
> be on 24/7, 
> like quassel-core or FreedomBox (a Debian Pure Blend), as they
> consume little 
> power, which is great for the environment and your wallet.

Absolutely! It used to be that people installed Linux on old PCs,
but for ecological reasons (power consumption) and practical ones
(many PCs today are notebooks and they are often no longer replaced
while basically working, but often their failure mode is being
completely dead after a drop etc.) this is much less attractive 
than even 10 years ago.

I really think Debian should have a better answer to installing
on the Raspberry Pi, as this ist the only board that is widely
available, sold in *huge* numbers (40 million?), can boot aarch64,
has up to 8GB RAM (which makes it quite usable for many tasks), 
and most of all a long support times (they guarantee production of
the RPi4 until January 2026, which is probably longer than most
Intel hardware sold today, and probably four times as long as 
comparable SBC products.

I really don't know if the UEFI/ACPI install path for the RPi4 is 
preferable or some other way, but the Debian project should be
more explicit and clear in suggesting a way to install aarch64
on the RPi4. Many criticisms of the RPi that were true 5 years
ago no longer hold. How much different is the process of booting
an RPi 4 with UEFi from e.g. booting some run of the mill notebook
with obscure Realtek components that need binary blobs too?

As somebody who has used Raspbian now for years, quassel-core
or FreedomBox is rather offputting, because I very much prefer
true Debian that matches amd64 except for architecture. If I
wanted to have some distribution that is "Debian based" and
not Debian outright, I'd probably go for Raspberry Pi OS.

I have installed Debian on a SGI Indy, some Digital Alpha of
sorts and a Sparcstation ELC (I think) in the past, but official
documentation for these even then rather niche machines was much
much clearer than the official documentation is for installing 
on the Raspberry Pi, a board that is sold by the million and 
within the reach of schoolchildren.

The official arm64 install documentation lists as of today 
as supported arm64 boards:

Applied Micro (APM) Mustang/X-Gene T
ARM Juno Development Platform

Has anybody of you seen these in the wild?
Why is the Raspberry Pi 4 with UEFI or the stock boot process
not listed here?

(page 6)

What can a mere Debian user like me do to improve this documentation


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