2.1. Supported Hardware

Debian does not impose hardware requirements beyond the requirements of the Linux kernel and the GNU tool-sets. Therefore, any architecture or platform to which the Linux 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/mips/ for more details on Mips architecture systems which have been tested with Debian.

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

2.1.1. Supported Architectures

Debian 3.1 supports eleven major architectures and several variations of each architecture known as “flavors”.

Architecture Debian Designation Subarchitecture Flavor
Intel x86-based i386   vanilla
Motorola 680x0 m68k Atari atari
Amiga amiga
68k Macintosh mac
VME bvme6000
DEC Alpha alpha    
Sun SPARC sparc   sun4cdm
ARM and StrongARM arm   netwinder
IBM/Motorola PowerPC powerpc CHRP chrp
PowerMac pmac
PReP prep
APUS apus
HP PA-RISC hppa PA-RISC 1.1 32
PA-RISC 2.0 64
Intel ia64-based ia64    
MIPS (big endian) mips SGI Indy/Indigo 2 r4k-ip22
Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM) sb1-swarm-bn
MIPS (little endian) mipsel Cobalt cobalt
DECstation r4k-kn04
Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM) sb1-swarm-bn
IBM S/390 s390 IPL from VM-reader and DASD generic
IPL from tape tape

This document covers installation for the Mips architecture. 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. CPU, Main Boards, and Video Support

Debian on Mips currently supports two subarchitectures:

  • SGI IP22: this platform includes the SGI machines Indy, Indigo 2 and Challenge S. Since these machines are very similar, whenever this document refers to the SGI Indy, the Indigo 2 and Challenge S are meant as well.

  • Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM): this is an ATX form factor evaluation board from Broadcom based on their SiByte processor family.

Complete information regarding supported mips/mipsel 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

On SGI IP22, SGI Indy, Indigo 2 and Challenge S with R4000, R4400, R4600 and R5000 processors are supported by the Debian installation system on big endian MIPS. The Broadcom BCM91250A evaluation board comes with an SB1250 chip with two SB-1 cores which are supported in SMP mode by this installer.

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

2.1.3. Graphics Card

Debian's support for graphical interfaces is determined by the underlying support found in XFree86's X11 system. Most AGP, PCI and PCIe video cards work under XFree86. Details on supported graphics buses, cards, monitors, and pointing devices can be found at http://www.xfree86.org/. Debian 3.1 ships with XFree86 version 4.3.0.

The XFree86 X11 window system is only supported on the SGI Indy. The Broadcom BCM91250A evaluation board has standard 3.3v PCI slots and supports VGA emulation or Linux framebuffer on a selected range of graphics cards. A compatibility listing for the BCM91250A is available.