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/kfreebsd-gnu/ for more details on 64-bit PC architecture systems which have been tested with Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.

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

2.1.1. Supported Architectures

Debian GNU/Linux 8 supports ten major architectures and several variations of each architecture known as flavors.

Architecture Debian Designation Subarchitecture Flavor
Intel x86-based i386    
AMD64 & Intel 64 amd64    
ARM armel Intel IXP4xx ixp4xx
Marvell Kirkwood kirkwood
Marvell Orion orion5x
Versatile versatile
ARM with hardware FPU armhf multiplatform armmp
multiplatform for LPAE-capable systems armmp-lpae
64bit ARM arm64    
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 MIPS Malta (32 bit) 4kc-malta
MIPS Malta (64 bit) 5kc-malta
IBM/Motorola PowerPC powerpc PowerMac pmac
PReP prep
Power Systems ppc64el IBM POWER8 or newer machines  
64bit IBM S/390 s390x IPL from VM-reader and DASD generic

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

2.1.2. Multiple Processors

Multiprocessor support — also called symmetric multiprocessing or SMP — is available for this architecture. The standard Debian 8 kernel image has been compiled with SMP-alternatives support. This means that the kernel will detect the number of processors (or processor cores) and will automatically deactivate SMP on uniprocessor systems.

Having multiple processors in a computer was originally only an issue for high-end server systems but has become common in recent years nearly everywhere with the introduction of so called multi-core processors. These contain two or more processor units, called cores, in one physical chip.

2.1.3. Graphics Hardware Support

Debian's support for graphical interfaces is determined by the underlying support found in X.Org's X11 system, and the kernel. Basic framebuffer graphics is provided by the kernel, whilst desktop environments use X11. Whether advanced graphics card features such as 3D-hardware acceleration or hardware-accelerated video are available, depends on the actual graphics hardware used in the system and in some cases on the installation of additional firmware images (see Section 2.2, “Devices Requiring Firmware”).

Details on supported graphics hardware and pointing devices can be found at http://xorg.freedesktop.org/. Debian 8 ships with X.Org version 7.7.

2.1.4. Network Connectivity Hardware

Almost any network interface card (NIC) supported by the kFreeBSD kernel should also be supported by the installation system; drivers should normally be loaded automatically. Wireless Network Cards

Wireless networking is in general supported as well and a growing number of wireless adapters are supported by the official kFreeBSD kernel, although many of them do require firmware to be loaded.

If firmware is needed, the installer will prompt you to load firmware. See Section 6.4, “Loading Missing Firmware” for detailed information on how to load firmware during the installation.

Wireless NICs that are not supported by the official kFreeBSD kernel can generally be made to work under Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, but are not supported during the installation.

If there is a problem with wireless and there is no other NIC you can use during the installation, it is still possible to install Debian GNU/kFreeBSD using a full CD-ROM or DVD image. Select the option to not configure a network and install using only the packages available from the CD/DVD. You can then install the driver and firmware you need after the installation is completed (after the reboot) and configure your network manually.

In some cases the driver you need may not be available as a Debian package. You will then have to look if there is source code available in the internet and compile the driver yourself. How to do this is outside the scope of this manual.

2.1.5. Peripherals and Other Hardware

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