The State Of RISC-V For Debian 10 "Buster"

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 17 June 2019 at 07:44 AM EDT. 8 Comments
Debian's RISC-V support has been coming together but how's the state of affairs for the imminent Debian 10.0 "Buster" release?

The RISC-V 64-bit port of Debian GNU/Linux has been building more than 80% of the massive Debian package-set. Or if accounting for architecture dependent packages, the RISC-V port is seeing around 90% of packages building.

The main blockers in the RISC-V ecosystem from getting the remaining Debian packages built and allowing for a nice experience revolve primarily around Rust and LLVM support. Once the LLVM compiler stack has good support for RISC-V, that should unblock many other packages like Rust-dependent librsvg and Firefox, among others.

But while the vast majority of Debian packages are building for RISC-V, the hardware support and user experience remain far from ideal. Setting up Debian for RISC-V is currently not a straight-forward process but running it on the likes of the HiFive Unleashed board are rather time consuming and lack an easy installer at this point. This is hopefully an area we'll see improved upon for Debian 11, assuming more RISC-V hardware comes to the market at lower price points.

More details on the RISC-V Buster state can be found via this blog post by developer Manuel Fernandez Montecelo.
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Michael Larabel

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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