2.1. Supported Hardware

Debian does not impose hardware requirements beyond the requirements of the Linux or kFreeBSD kernel and the GNU tool-sets. Therefore, any architecture or platform to which the Linux or kFreeBSD kernel, libc, gcc, etc. have been ported, and for which a Debian port exists, can run Debian. Please refer to the Ports pages at http://www.debian.org/ports/ia64/ for more details on IA-64 architecture systems which have been tested with Debian GNU/Linux.

Rather than attempting to describe all the different hardware configurations which are supported for IA-64, this section contains general information and pointers to where additional information can be found.

2.1.1. Supported Architectures

Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 supports eleven major architectures and several variations of each architecture known as “flavors”.

Architecture Debian Designation Subarchitecture Flavor
Intel x86-based i386    
AMD64 & Intel EM64T amd64    
ARM armel Intel IOP32x iop32x
Intel IXP4xx ixp4xx
Marvell Kirkwood kirkwood
Marvell Orion orion5x
Versatile versatile
HP PA-RISC hppa PA-RISC 1.1 32
PA-RISC 2.0 64
Intel IA-64 ia64    
MIPS (big endian) mips SGI IP22 (Indy/Indigo 2) r4k-ip22
SGI IP32 (O2) r5k-ip32
MIPS Malta (32 bit) 4kc-malta
MIPS Malta (64 bit) 5kc-malta
MIPS (little endian) mipsel Cobalt cobalt
MIPS Malta (32 bit) 4kc-malta
MIPS Malta (64 bit) 5kc-malta
IBM/Motorola PowerPC powerpc PowerMac pmac
PReP prep
Sun SPARC sparc sun4u sparc64
sun4v
IBM S/390 s390 IPL from VM-reader and DASD generic
IPL from tape tape

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 6.0 supports two architectures.

Architecture Debian Designation
Intel x86-based kfreebsd-i386
AMD64 & Intel EM64T kfreebsd-amd64

This document covers installation for the IA-64 architecture using the Linux kernel. If you are looking for information on any of the other Debian-supported architectures take a look at the Debian-Ports pages.

Caution

The IA-64 architecture only supports Intel Itanium processors and not the much more common 64-bit processors from the EM64T family (including e.g. the Pentium D and the Core2 Duo). Those systems are supported by the amd64 architecture or, if you prefer a 32-bit userland, the i386 architecture.

2.1.2. Multiple Processors

Multiprocessor support — also called “symmetric multiprocessing” or SMP — is available for this architecture. However, the standard Debian 6.0 kernel image does not support SMP. This should not prevent installation, since the standard, non-SMP kernel should boot on SMP systems; the kernel will simply use the first CPU.

In order to take advantage of multiple processors, you'll have to replace the standard Debian kernel. You can find a discussion of how to do this in Section 8.6, “Compiling a New Kernel”. At this time (kernel version 2.6.32) the way you enable SMP is to select “SMP support” in the “General setup” section of the kernel config.

2.1.3. Graphics Card Support

Debian's support for graphical interfaces is determined by the underlying support found in X.Org's X11 system. Most AGP, PCI, PCIe, and PCI-X video cards work under X.Org. Details on supported graphics buses, cards, monitors, and pointing devices can be found at http://xorg.freedesktop.org/. Debian 6.0 ships with X.Org version 7.5.

2.1.4. Network Connectivity Hardware

Almost any network interface card (NIC) supported by the Linux kernel should also be supported by the installation system; modular drivers should normally be loaded automatically.

2.1.5. Braille Displays

Support for braille displays is determined by the underlying support found in brltty. Most displays work under brltty, connected via either a serial port, USB or bluetooth. Details on supported braille devices can be found on the brltty website. Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 ships with brltty version 4.2.

2.1.6. Peripherals and Other Hardware

Linux supports a large variety of hardware devices such as mice, printers, scanners, PCMCIA and USB devices. However, most of these devices are not required while installing the system.