Ports

Introduction

As most of you know, Linux is just a kernel. And, for a long time, the Linux kernel ran only on the Intel x86 series of machines, from the 386 up.

However, this is no longer true, by any means. The Linux kernel has now been ported to a large, and growing, list of architectures. Following close behind, we have ported the Debian distribution to these architectures. In general, this is a process with a sticky start (as we get libc and the dynamic linker working smoothly), and then a relatively routine, if lengthy job, of attempting to recompile all our packages under the new architectures.

Debian is an operating system (OS), not a kernel (actually, it is more than an OS since it includes thousands of application programs). Accordingly, while most Debian ports are based on Linux, there also are ports based on the FreeBSD, NetBSD and Hurd kernels.

This is a page in progress. Not all ports have pages yet, and most of them are on external sites. We are working on collecting information on all ports, to be mirrored along with the Debian website.

List of official ports


Port Architecture Description Status
amd64 64-bit PC (amd64) First officially released with Debian 4.0. Port to the 64 bit AMD64 processors. The goal is to support both 32bit- and 64bit-userland on this architecture. This port supports AMD's 64-bit Opteron, Athlon and Sempron processors, and Intel's processors with Intel 64 support, including the Pentium D and various Xeon and Core2 series. released
armel EABI ARM Debian fully supports a port to little-endian ARM. released
armhf Hard Float ABI ARM A lot of modern ARM boards and devices ship with a floating-point unit (FPU), but the current Debian armel port doesn't take much advantage of it. The armhf port was started to improve this situation and also take advantage of other features of newer ARM CPUs. The Debian armhf port requires at least an ARMv7 CPU with Thumb-2 and VFP3D16 coprocessor. released
i386 32-bit PC (i386) The first architecture, and not strictly a port. Linux was originally developed for the Intel 386 processors, hence the short name. Debian supports all IA-32 processors, made by Intel (including all Pentium series and recent Core Duo machines in 32 bit mode), AMD (K6, all Athlon series, Athlon64 series in 32 bit mode), Cyrix and other manufacturers. released
ia64 Intel Itanium IA-64 First officially released with Debian 3.0. This is a port to Intel's first 64-bit architecture. Note: this should not be confused with the latest Intel 64-bit extensions for Pentium 4 and Celeron processors, called Intel 64; for these, see the AMD64 port. released
kfreebsd-amd64 64-bit PC (amd64) First officially released with Debian 6.0 as a technology preview and the first non-Linux port released by Debian. Port of the Debian GNU system to the kernel of FreeBSD. released
kfreebsd-i386 32-bit PC (i386) First officially released with Debian 6.0 as a technology preview and the first non-Linux port released by Debian. Port of the Debian GNU system to the kernel of FreeBSD. released
mips MIPS (big-endian mode) First officially released with Debian 3.0. Debian is being ported to the MIPS architecture which is used in SGI machines (debian-mips — big-endian) and Digital DECstations (debian-mipsel — little-endian). released
mipsel MIPS (little-endian mode) First officially released with Debian 3.0. Debian is being ported to the MIPS architecture which is used in SGI machines (debian-mips — big-endian) and Digital DECstations (debian-mipsel — little-endian). released
powerpc Motorola/IBM PowerPC First officially released with Debian 2.2. This port runs on many of the Apple Macintosh PowerMac models, and on the CHRP and PReP open architecture machines. released
s390 S/390 and zSeries First officially released with Debian 3.0. This is a port to IBM S/390 servers. released
s390x System z A 64-bit userland for IBM System z mainframes released
sparc Sun SPARC First officially released with Debian 2.1. This port runs on the Sun UltraSPARC series of workstations, as well as some of their successors in the sun4 architectures. released

List of unofficial ports


Port Architecture Description Status
alpha Alpha First officially released with Debian 2.1. It failed the criteria for inclusion into the release of Debian 6.0 squeeze, and was in consequence removed from the archive. discontinued
arm OABI ARM This port runs on a variety of embedded hardware, like routers or NAS devices. The arm port was first released with Debian 2.2, and was supported up to and including Debian 5.0, where it was replaced with armel. replaced by armel
AVR32 Atmel 32-bit RISC Port to Atmel's 32-bit RISC architecture, AVR32. in progress
hppa HP PA-RISC First officially released with Debian 3.0 woody, this is a port to Hewlett-Packard's PA-RISC architecture. It failed the criteria for inclusion into the release of Debian 6.0 squeeze, and was in consequence removed from the archive. discontinued
hurd-i386 32-bit PC (i386) The GNU Hurd is a new operating system being put together by the GNU group. Debian GNU/Hurd is going to be one (possibly the first) GNU OS. The current project is founded on the i386 architecture. in progress
m32 M32R Port to the 32-bit RISC microprocessor of Renesas Technology. dead
m68k Motorola 68k First officially released with Debian 2.0. The port failed to make the release criteria for Debian 4.0 and has therefore not been included in Etch and later releases and has been moved to debian-ports following that. The Debian m68k port runs on a wide variety of computers based on the Motorola 68k series of processors — in particular, the Sun3 range of workstations, the Apple Macintosh personal computers, and the Atari and Amiga personal computers. discontinued/being revived
netbsd-i386 32-bit PC (i386) A port of the Debian operating system, complete with apt, dpkg, and GNU userland, to the NetBSD kernel. The port, never released, has been abandoned. dead
netbsd-alpha Alpha A port of the Debian operating system, complete with apt, dpkg, and GNU userland, to the NetBSD kernel. The port, never released, has been abandoned. dead
ppc64el POWER7, POWER7+, POWER8 Little-endian port of ppc64. in progress
sh SuperH A port to Hitachi SuperH processors. in progress

Port-like projects

Although these efforts aren't exactly ports, this seemed like a good place to put them.

Debian Beowulf

Beowulf is a replacement for some of the larger mega computers used in the science and math fields. This project aims to run Beowulf clusters on Debian machines and to network the people involved in true bazaar fashion.

Many of the above computer and processor names are trademarks and registered trademarks of their manufacturers. They are used without permission.