At its annual TechCon event in Santa Clara today, ARM announced ARMv8,
its new 64-bit version of the ARM Architecture. The Fedora ARM community
is excited to learn more about the new architecture, and we look forward
to supporting ARMv8 in a future release of Fedora. As the 8th iteration
of the ARM Architecture, ARMv8 (also known as AArch v8) brings new
opportunities to Fedora running on increasingly more powerful ARM
machines. At the same time, it retains compatibility at the application
level with existing 32-bit ARM software, which is already being built on
Supporting a new architecture takes some time and we have a lot of work
ahead of us -- both at the distribution level (bootstrapping, similar to
the work recently undertaken for Fedora 15 on ARMv7) and at the wider
community level (cross-distribution and industry standardization). All
this is in the future – it will take several years before ARMv8
computers can be purchased. In the interim, we've got a lot of work to
do to support the existing 32-bit technology in Fedora 15 and beyond.
Now is an exciting time to get involved with the Fedora ARM project! To
join us, please visit our wiki page,
and contribute on IRC:
Q: Please clarify some of the terms used to describe 64-bit ARM.
A: The name of the new architecture is ARMv8, also known generically as
AArch v8. The new Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) is known as A64,
and the existing 32-bit ISA will be known as A32 (and T32 for the Thumb
instruction set). 64-bit execution mode is known as AArch 64; 32-bit
execution mode (ARMv7 compatible) is known as AArch 32. It is proposed
that we adopt armv8 as the official architecture name within the Fedora
Q: When will Fedora support 64-bit ARM processors?
A: There is no support currently available in Fedora for the A64 ISA in
the core toolchain, kernel, and other distribution-level components
required to build ARMv8 packages. Once the necessary support is
available in the upstream projects that Fedora relies upon, we plan to
support ARMv8 in Fedora.
Q: What does this mean for Fedora 15 and soon, for Fedora 16?
A: At the moment, nothing has changed. Historically, ARM announces new
architecture improvements years before hardware supporting those
improvements is available. ARM doesn’t build processors; instead, they
license their architecture and processor designs to others. Therefore,
it will be some time before 64-bit ARM systems can be purchased, and it
will be a while before Fedora runs on those systems.
Q: Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux is largely based on Fedora, will Red
Hat support ARMv8 in a forthcoming product release?
A: There is much work to do in ARMv8 before it would be considered
suitable for Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers. Currently, Red Hat’s
ARMv8 investments are focused on Fedora, utilizing Fedora’s rapid
development cycle to drive and mature these types of emerging
technologies. As the ARMv8 technology develops, Red Hat will work to
determine ARMv8’s applicability to be a supported architecture within
Red Hat Enterprise Linux.