Running X11 On 64-bit ARM Hardware Is Sort Of Working
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 14 January 2015 at 05:56 PM EST. 4 Comments
X.ORG --
Marcin Juszkiewicz, the ARM developer at Red Hat responsible for a lot of RHEL/Fedora ARM work, has finally managed to get an X11 Server running on real AArch64 hardware.

Marcin has been working on bringing Linux packages to AArch64 for two years. Like other distributions, the AArch64 bring-up initially started with using ARM's emulator, but these days there's the APM Mustang and AMD Seattle hardware for early developers to play with real 64-bit ARM hardware.

While Marcin Juszkiewicz has had ARM hardware for a while, getting an X.Org Server up and running has taken longer. Initially there wasn't 64-bit ARM PCI Express support, but that's now addressed with the Linux kernel.

After trying and failing to get the APM Mustang box working with a Radeon HD 5450 and GeForce GTS 250 on 64-bit ARM, he found out there was an issue in supporting more than 64MB of memory on PCI(E) cards. As his temporary workaround for getting an X.Org Server to run on ARM64 until the 64MB PCI card limitation is fixed, he found an old Matrox G550 with less than 64MB of video memory.

Using the old Matrox G550 with its poor Linux support, he managed to get an X11 Server running on the Mustang box at 1920x1080 with 32-bit color at 60Hz. While he has an X11 Server active, he doesn't yet have USB working on Fedora's AArch64 build, but hopes to have USB working tomorrow to get keyboard/mouse/audio working. Following that he'll be testing the various Linux desktop environments with 64-bit ARM.

More details via Marcin's blog. At least the 64-bit ARM Linux porting is coming along well and will hopefully be in good shape for the months ahead when more AArch64 hardware starts reaching Linux users.
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