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 https://www.debian.org/ports/mips/ for more details on 64-bit MIPS (little-endian) architecture systems which have been tested with Debian GNU/Linux.

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

2.1.1. Supported Architectures

Debian GNU/Linux 11 supports 9 major architectures and several variations of each architecture known as flavors.

Architecture Debian Designation Subarchitecture Flavor
AMD64 & Intel 64 amd64    
Intel x86-based i386 default x86 machines default
Xen PV domains only xen
ARM armel Marvell Kirkwood and Orion marvell
ARM with hardware FPU armhf multiplatform armmp
64bit ARM arm64    
64bit MIPS (little-endian) mips64el MIPS Malta 5kc-malta
Cavium Octeon octeon
Loongson 3 loongson-3
32bit MIPS (little-endian) mipsel MIPS Malta 4kc-malta
Cavium Octeon octeon
Loongson 3 loongson-3
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 MIPS (little-endian) 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.

This is the first official release of Debian GNU/Linux for the 64-bit MIPS (little-endian) architecture. We feel that it has proven itself sufficiently to be released. However, because it has not had the exposure (and hence testing by users) that some other architectures have had, you may encounter a few bugs. Use our Bug Tracking System to report any problems; make sure to mention the fact that the bug is on the 64-bit MIPS (little-endian) platform using the Linux kernel. It can be necessary to use the debian-mips mailing list as well.

2.1.2. Platforms supported by the Debian mips64el port

Debian on 64-bit MIPS (little-endian) supports the following platforms:

Cavium Octeon

Cavium designs a range of 64-bit MIPS Octeon processors which are mainly used in networking devices. Devices with these processors include the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter and the Rhino Labs UTM8.

Loongson 3

Devices based on the Loongson 3A and 3B processors are supported.

MIPS Malta

This platform is emulated by QEMU and is therefore a nice way to test and run Debian on MIPS if you don't have the hardware.

There are two Malta kernel flavours: 4kc-malta is built for 32-bit processors, and 5kc-malta is built for 64-bit processors.

In addition, other boards which contain MIPS64r2 based processors should also be able to run Debian, however kernels for these processors are not built and the Debian installer does not directly support them.

Complete information regarding supported mips/mipsel/mips64el machines can be found at the Linux-MIPS homepage. In the following, only the systems supported by the Debian installer will be covered. If you are looking for support for other subarchitectures, please contact the debian-mips mailing list. CPU

Some MIPS machines can be operated in both big and little endian mode. For little endian MIPS, please read the documentation for the mipsel and mips64el architectures.

2.1.3. Multiple Processors

Multiprocessor support — also called symmetric multiprocessing or SMP — is available for this architecture, and is supported by a precompiled Debian kernel image. Depending on your install media, this SMP-capable kernel may or may not be installed by default. 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 should check to see if a kernel package that supports SMP is installed, and if not, choose an appropriate kernel package.

You can also build your own customized kernel to support SMP. You can find a discussion of how to do this in Section 8.5, “Compiling a New Kernel”. At this time (kernel version 3.16) the way you enable SMP is to select Multi-Processing support in the Kernel type section of the kernel config.

2.1.4. 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 blobs (see Section 2.2, “Devices Requiring Firmware”).

Details on supported graphics hardware and pointing devices can be found at https://wiki.freedesktop.org/xorg/. Debian 11 ships with X.Org version 7.7.

2.1.5. Network Connectivity Hardware

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

2.1.6. Peripherals and Other Hardware

Linux 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.