FreeBSD On ARM Is Still In Severed State
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 7 October 2012 at 03:09 PM EDT. Add A Comment
FreeBSD developers are still working on bringing up ARM hardware support for various platforms so that it's in a similar state to Linux.

Following the recent Phoronix news articles about an easy way to try out FreeBSD 10 in its current development state along with Clang becoming the default compiler, there's been questions raised by Phoronix readers about the FreeBSD ARM support. Simply put, at the moment it's not in as good of shape as it is for Linux. ARM is considered a "Tier 2" architecture of FreeBSAD with no official releases or pre-built packages being made by the project.

While the Linux kernel now has mainline ARMv8 AArch64 64-bit support and Xen Cortex-A15 support among other modern ARM hardware features, FreeBSD is still working out support for older ARM platforms.

Only back in August was the projects/armv6 merge. This merge to the FreeBSD head was quite significant for ARM On FreeBSD and introduced ARMv6 capabilities, including the large kernel part of the ARMv6 port. With this was also very early ARM hardware support for the NVIDIA Tegra 2 plus support for the Texas Instruments OMAP3 and OMAP4 platforms along with the AM335X. This support enables FreeBSD to work on the TI Pandaboard and Beaglebone. User-land changes for ARMv6 on FreeBSD were also made and ultimately merged. Some of this work came via this year's Google Summer of Code undertaking.

Support for newer ARM hardware on FreeBSD is still a work-in-progress. More information on the FreeBSD ARM state is available from the FreeBSD.org Wiki.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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