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Debian Welcomes the Future: RISC-V64 Now an Official Architecture!

Debian officially adopts RISC-V64 architecture in its upcoming release! Unleash the potential of open-source innovation with this cutting-edge development.

A piece of good news for the open-source community as a whole. RISC-V64 architecture is officially debuting as part of the upcoming Debian release! This major advancement is set to revolutionize how we interact with software and hardware, unleashing a new era of possibilities and redefining the computing landscape.

RISC-V64 is a 64-bit instruction set architecture (ISA) that is based on the RISC-V instruction set. It is an open-source ISA, which means that it is royalty-free, and anyone can use it to design and manufacture RISC-V processors. RISC-V64 is a powerful ISA that can be used to create a wide variety of processors, from embedded systems to high-performance servers.

Debian, known for its robustness and commitment to open-source principles, has been closely monitoring the progress of RISC-V64 for quite some time. After rigorous testing and evaluation by a team of dedicated developers, it has earned its place as an official architecture in the upcoming Debian release. This move signals Debian’s trust in RISC-V64’s stability and potential to shape the future of computing.

Therefore our next step is to build a minimal set of ~90 source packages using the debian-ports archive and then import them into the official archive. These packages will be signed with a special GPG key using as the email address, enabling easy tracking. This process has already started, hence the few ACCEPTED mails on the mailing list. It will probably take a few days especially given that sid is constantly evolving.

Once done, we’ll point the build daemons to the official archive. In the meantime you can just continue to use the debian-ports archive on your devices.

Debian team

As per the announcement, you can now access the package lists on this page; however, a lot of work to be done before you start using Debian for RISC-V64 hardware. Initially, the packages would be ported and moved to Debian “sid”, – which is a testing branch of Debian. In addition, a lot of testing requires since it would be a new architecture.

The team is optimistic that officially, it will be available with Debian 13 “Trixie” release, which will be around 2025.

Many SoC chips are under development (such as Google’s Titan M2) or in production today with RISC-V64 from major companies to cut down fabrication costs and other use cases. Debian’s official support is a significant milestone in this regard.

Via the Debian mailing list

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