1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Arch-ing ARM: Running Arch Linux On The NVIDIA Tegra 2

Michael Larabel

Published on 13 January 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 6 Comments

The CompuLab Trim-Slice is quite an interesting dual-core ARM Tegra 2 device. This nettop/desktop-oriented system ships with Ubuntu 11.04 by default, but it is also well supported by Arch Linux. In this article are some tests of the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.0GHz system running under Arch.

In communicating with CompuLab about the Trim-Slice Linux support, they mentioned a variety of distributions are working on support for this NVIDIA Tegra 2 device. In fact, on the Trim-Slice Wiki is a listing of the distributions that are on there for working on Trim-Slice support -- either official support or community-spawned projects. The list at the time of publishing includes Android, Arch Linux, Chromium OS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Java SE, MeeGo, and XBMC.

While Fedora and Ubuntu work on the compact ARM system -- and Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" for ARM is what ships -- CompuLab ended up recommending Arch Linux. Igor Vaisbein, the Trim-Slice project manager at CompuLab, had a few words to say to Phoronix about the different Linux distributions supported.

"Arch Linux and MeeGo communities have been working very actively with the Trim-Slice. There is also some work done for Fedora, Debian and Gentoo," said Igor. More interestingly, he notes that Arch Linux for the Trim-Slice is built with the hard floating-point support. "The ARM Linux community is very keen on hardfp compiled code for performance. Ubuntu on Trim-Slice is softfp so there is probably potential for some performance improvement. As far as I know the best optimized hardfp distro for Trim-Slice is Arch Linux."

The ARM community around Arch Linux in fact is quite active and just not for the Trim-Slice device. At ArchLinuxARM.org is a site devoted to bringing up Arch Linux on ARM platforms. Besides the ARMv7 Trim-Slice, they also have guides for starting Arch Linux on other devices like the PogoPlug, TonigoPlug, and other storage devices like the Seagate DockStar. In terms of their ARMv7 coverage, with the Trim-Slice is also the BeagleBoard, BeagleBoard-xM, Gumstix Overo, and PandaBoard.

The information for setting up Arch Linux on the Trim-Slice can be found on this page, complete with an Arch Linux ARM build catered towards this CompuLab ARM device.

With the setup process being well documented for the Trim-Slice (as I've said many times before in the forums and elsewhere, I'm happy to run more "custom" test scenarios assuming the project clearly documents the steps for the public to provide greater reproducibility and recommendations as to some "defaults") and many Phoronix readers being interested in Arch Linux, I decided to give this ARM spin a shot.

The overall process of bringing up Arch Linux on the Trim-Slice was quite straightforward and easy. By default the ARMv7 Arch Linux build for the Trim-Slice doesn't ship with a desktop environment or even the X.Org Server, but one can be easily installed via the Pacman package management system, along with any other packages you may be after. The Phoronix Test Suite can also be installed from the Arch repository, but for this benchmarking I was running the Phoronix Test Suite 3.8-Bygland Git code for the greatest ARM hardware/software detection support via Phodevi.

On the software side of this dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Tegra-2 platform was the Linux 2.6.38-3-ARCH armv7l Linux kernel, an EXT2 file-system, and the GCC 4.6.2 compiler as the key components.

Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Turning A Basement Into A Big Linux Server Room
  2. NVIDIA's $1000+ GeForce GTX TITAN X Delivers Maximum Linux Performance
  3. OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 15.04 vs. Fedora 21 Tests: Linux Sweeps The Board
  4. The New Place Where Linux Code Is Constantly Being Benchmarked
  5. 18-GPU NVIDIA/AMD Linux Comparison Of BioShock: Infinite
  6. Phoronix Test Suite 5.6 Adds New Phoromatic Enterprise Benchmarking Features
Latest Linux News
  1. PulseAudio 7.0 To Enable LFE Remixing By Default
  2. Features & Changes Coming For Mir 0.13
  3. How Far Valve Has Come: Three Years Ago They Needed OpenGL Linux Help
  4. Audacity 2.1 Improves Noise Reduction, Adds Real-Time Effects Preview
  5. Linux 4.0-rc6 Kernel Released
  6. Automatically Managing The Linux Benchmarks Firing Constantly
  7. The Big Features Of The Linux 4.0 Kernel
  8. Mesa's Android Support Is Currently In Bad Shape
  9. Wayland's Weston Terminal Can Now Be Minimized
  10. Phoronix - Working Towards Faster Page Loads
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Introducing The Library Operating System For Linux
  2. Allwinner Continues Jerking Around The Open-Source Community
  3. Open-Source Driver Fans Will Love NVIDIA's New OpenGL Demo
  4. Systemd Change Allows For Stateless Systems With Tmpfs
  5. GNOME 3.16 Released: It's Their Best Release Yet
  6. GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.16.0 Released
  7. GNU Nano 2.4.0 Brings Complete Undo System, Linter Support & More
  8. Red Hat Is Rolling Out A VirtIO DRM/KMS GPU Driver