Linaro provides go-to Linux-based software stack for ARM servers

Linaro doesn't want searching for ARM server software to be a treasure hunt

While ARM processors don't lack for software development support in the mobile device space, it's a different story when it comes to servers.

Software and firmware tools for ARM servers are fragmented, and there's no single go-to package for users to configure and get ARM servers up and running easily.

Recognizing that challenge, standards organization Linaro is pushing a new open-source software reference platform that will provide easy access to firmware and common software tools for easier integration of ARM servers in data centers.

Linaro is a major player in the development of Linux and Android software for ARM-based devices and servers. The organization is handling the development of Android for Google's Project Ara custom smartphone, and has adapted the Chrome browser for mobile devices. 

With the server reference platform, Linaro is trying to standardize server software development among the varied ARM platforms. That is similar to Intel-based servers, where software can be installed without worrying about compatibility with the underlying hardware.

The reference platform includes boot and firmware tools, and software for cloud and distributed computing deployments. The software stack includes OpenStack, Hadoop and OpenJDK tools and can be incorporated in the latest Debian and CentOS Linux distributions.

ARM servers are already recognized as a stable platform for the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack, used for serving Web applications.

Linaro will provide access to the software through its partners in early 2016, the organization said. Versions of the reference platform will be offered for storage and networking appliances in the future.

ARM licenses processor designs to third parties like Apple, Samsung, Nvidia and others. A handful of servers are shipping today with ARM server chips from companies like AMD, AppliedMicro and Cavium. Qualcomm has announced an ARM server chip.

All the major ARM server chip makers are members of Linaro. AMD is the only company with a major software development program underway, working with Oracle on the OpenJDK program for native Java support on ARM processors. It is also driving the development of HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) standards -- which could replace OpenCL -- so software can be broken up to run among different processing units in computing devices. 

The server market today is ruled by Intel, but AMD has said ARM could comprise 20 percent of the market by 2020.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?