Mainline Linux Support Is Being Worked On For A $100~200 ARM Handheld Gaming Console

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 4 December 2023 at 02:43 PM EST. 64 Comments
If the likes of the Steam Deck or ASUS ROG Ally are out of your budget or you just prefer enjoying more classic, less demanding games, there are Linux kernel patches being floated to allow mainline support for a sub-$200 ARM-powered handheld gaming console.

Mainline Linux kernel support is being worked on for the Powkiddy X55, a basic handheld game console with the base model selling for $109 USD (or $89 USD currently on sale) though with storage and an expansion card the price can increase into the $100~200 range. The Powkiddy X55 features a 5.5-inch 1280 x 720 IPS display and is powered by a Rockchip RK3566 SoC. This is marketed as a "retro" gaming console and given the low-end hardware specs plus being ARM based, isn't capable of running the very latest games or even running Steam Play / Steam without resorting to the likes of FEX-Emu.

Powkiddy X55

The Rockchip RK3566 features a quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor with Arm Mali G52-2EE graphics. For system RAM is just 2GB of LPDDR4X. The Powkiddy X55 features a 4000 mAh battery that is rated to last up to 4 hours.

The Powkiddy X55 runs a customized Linux distribution while the work now ongoing is to provide mainline Linux kernel support for this handheld gaming console to allow it to run more ARM Linux distributions.

Given the low-end hardware specs, this handheld gaming console is primarily geared at running various retro game console emulators.

Powkiddy X55 in blue

You can learn more about the Powkiddy X55 handheld gaming console at The Powkiddy X55 is also available from the likes of Amazon (affiliate link). These kernel patches add the DT bindings and other bits to get the Powkiddy X55 capable of running on a mainline kernel.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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