Alternative Architectures Abound in CentOS 7 (1511)

Sunday, 17, January 2016 Johnny Hughes altarch, arm, General, i686, ppc 6 Comments

With the latest release of CentOS-7, we have added several new Alternative Architecture (AltArch) releases in addition to our standard x86_64 (x86 {Intel/AMD} 64-bit) architecture.

Architectures (aka arches) in Linux distributions refer to the type of CPU on which the distribution runs.  In the case of our standard release, it runs on x86 64-bit CPUs like Intel Pentium 64-bit and AMD 64-bit processors.  A few months ago, in the CentOS 7 (1503) release, we added the x86 32-bit (i686) as well as the Arm 64-bit (aarch64) architectures to CentOS-7.  These two arches have been updated to our latest CentOS-7 release (1511).

We have additionally added 3 new architectures to our latest release.  Arm32 Userland (armhfp), PowerPC 7 (ppc64) and PowerPC 8 LE (ppc64le).  Here is the Release Announcement.

These new architectures provide a long lived community based platform based on our x86_64 releases many new machine types.  The CentOS team is very excited to be able to provide our code base for these architectures and we need help from the community to make them all better.

We are hosting a CentOS Dojo in Brussels, Belgium on the 29th Jan 2016. Lots of the key people working on the AltArch builds will be present there and it would be a great forum to engage with these groups. You can get the details for the event HERE, including the registration links. (Note: Registrations are currently closed, but we are trying to find more space, so they could open before the event)

We will also have a booth at FOSDEM 2016, as well as talks in the Distributions DevRoom, see you there.

6 thoughts on "Alternative Architectures Abound in CentOS 7 (1511)"

  1. poiuz says:

    Can I 'forcepae' with the i686 kernel?

    It would be great to test CentOS 7 on my Pentium M system!

    1. Nikolay Simonov says:

      It seems to me that the i686 kernel can work ONLY on PAE-enabled systems. I can confirm that it works well with Pentium M - I use it on my EeePC 900 old laptop 🙂

      1. Johnny Hughes says:

        yes, PAE only.

    2. Nikolay Simonov says:

      Funny thing.. I told you it worked on Pentium M, but as it turns out I confused the CPU model of eee pc 900 - it is actually a Celeron M, not Pentium M.

      But what do you think.. Now I've stumbled at a REAL Pentium M which indeed requires 'forcepae' on Ubuntu-based systems (my model is 745, Asus M2000 laptop).

      I've got it working finally. I had to install the system in a virtual machine and then copy the image onto the hard drive with dd. But there's another gotcha: while still in the virtual machine, edit file /etc/grub.d/10_linux as to remove "16" from the variable $sixteenbit or the variable itself and regenerate grub.cfg. This way grub2 has 'linux' and 'initrd' instead of 'linux16' and 'initrd16' and skips checking the CPU model before loading the system.

      After these hacks, Centos 7 i386 boots okay.

  2. Nikolay Simonov says:

    And could you please tell: are there any mirrors available for the altarch trees?

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