The MIPS port is actually two ports, debian-mips and debian-mipsel. They differ in the endianness of the binaries. MIPS CPUs are able to run at both endiannesses, but since that's normally not changeable in software, we need to have both architectures. SGI machines run in big-endian mode (debian-mips) while the Loongson 3 machines run in little-endian mode (debian-mipsel). Some boards, such as Broadcom's BCM91250A evaluation board (aka SWARM) can run in both modes, selectable by a switch on the board. Some Cavium Octeon based machines can switch between both modes in the bootloader.

Given most MIPS machines have 64-bit CPUs, a debian-mips64el port is currently in development and might be released with Debian GNU/Linux 9.

Current Status

Debian GNU/Linux 8.6 supports the following machines:

In addition to the above machines, it is possible to use Debian on a lot more machines provided that a non-Debian kernel is used. This is for example the case of the MIPS Creator Ci20 development board.

General Information about

Please see the release notes and installation manual for more information.

Available Hardware for Debian Developers

Two machines are made available to Debian developers for MIPS porting work: etler.debian.org (mipsel/mips64el) and minkus.debian.org (mips). The machines have development chroot environments which you can access with schroot. Please see the machine database for more information about these machines.


This is a list of people who are working on the MIPS port:


Mailing lists

There are a couple of mailing lists dealing with Linux/MIPS and especially Debian on MIPS.


You can find us on IRC on irc.debian.org on the channel #debian-mips.


Linux/MIPS kernel development — Lots of related information about MIPS
CPU Vendor
Information about SGI hardware
Debian on SGI Indy
Debian on SGI Indy
Debian on SGI O2


The porterboxes and most of the build servers for the mips and mipsel architectures are provided by Imagination Technologies.


Thiemo Seufer, who was the lead MIPS porter in Debian, got killed in a car accident. We dedicate the release of the Debian GNU/Linux lenny distribution to his memory.