Supported hardware

Now showing on a screen near you. Adélie Linux runs on most computers that support the Linux kernel. One of our primary goals is to make a Linux distribution that can be used on older hardware. After all, that was a major use of Linux in times past — revitalising old computers and giving them a new life. That isn't to say we make any sacrifices; we also support the latest and greatest hardware including CPUs based on the Intel® Haswell® and Broadwell® microarchitectures, and some of the newest graphics cards from AMD and nVidia.

Official support vs community support

Take Adélie for a spin in your own direction. We officially support the x86 (32-bit and 64-bit), PowerPC (32-bit and 64-bit), MIPS (32-bit and 64-bit), and ARM (32-bit) architectures. That means the latest releases are always tested on these architectures and we prioritise any issues found on these platforms. However, we also offer limited community support for more extravagant architectures, such as the 64-bit SPARC, PA-RISC, ARM, and Alpha platforms. We are also always happy to help with porting our code to other platforms. Just ask!

List of Tier 1 (officially supported) platforms

Intel x86
Subarchitectures supported:
  • 32-bit
  • i386 (generic, slow but works anywhere)
  • i586 (Pentium and most embedded SoCs)
  • Pentium 4 (with or without HT, small performance cost)
  • 64-bit
  • Xeon / Core (all multicore models)
  • Haswell
Subarchitectures supported:
  • 32-bit
  • G3/G4
  • 64-bit
  • G5/POWER4 and newer (in big endian mode only)
The r4k is supported along with most MIPS32 EVBs (using a generic MIPS32 ABI).
ARMv6 (ARM11) and ARMv7 (Cortex) are expected to be supported.

List of community supported platforms

The Cell BEA is an eventual target but it remains untested and unstable.
The r10k CPU should be supported, but can only be tested in QEMU due to lack of test hardware.
The Alpha AXP was planned to be a Tier 1 architecture, but our Alpha tester took San Francisco to the knee. As such, it is currently community supported only.
Not currently available due to lack of test hardware.
64-bit ARM / AArch64
As the architecture itself is in an early stage, we cannot provide a stable user experience for 64-bit ARM users. We will continue to evaluate the platform and announce a stable version at some point in the future.

In-depth technical Q&A

Ask Us Anything. These are the most common questions we see, and answers to them.

Why a new distribution?

The core Adélie Linux team are Linux developers that wanted to have the power of Gentoo combined with the ease-of-use of a binary package manager. Portage's binpkg format is interesting, but it doesn't really solve everything, and keeping similar configurations across multiple systems and multiple architectures becomes quickly overwhelming.

The Gentoo project was found to be unsuitable as a base system for the Adélie project for numerous reasons. The important work that Adélie had done was ported to Alpine's tooling. We remain an independent distribution, but use the build tools and share some system-level packaging with Alpine Linux.

Why APK?

The APK package manager was chosen because it is very fast, and its dependency resolver is one of the best available for Linux. It is also more compact and easier to manipulate than other binary formats, such as RPM and DEB.

Why support non-x86_64?

This is actually asked with an alarming frequency. The world is not built entirely on x86. Plus, as stated above, one of our tenets is bringing new life to machines that are not the latest and greatest. Most of these systems are still entirely useable under Linux; the only thing preventing them from running modern software is the lack of anyone stepping up and packaging for them. In addition, there are new PowerPC and ARM systems launching regularly. We look forward to a more diverse and libre computing landscape in the future.

What are some of the features that you explicitly support or do not support from Alpine?

We explicitly support the following features from Alpine Linux:

  • The APK package manager.

We explicitly do not support the following features from Alpine Linux:

  • The ZFS file system: Licensing concerns and instability on non-x86 architectures prevent us from officially supporting ZFS. We recommend LVM as an alternative solution.
  • BusyBox providing /bin: BusyBox utilities are limited, and do not conform to the POSIX standard. They are also not as widely tested on more exotic architectures.
Who makes Adélie Linux? How do I contact Adélie?
See our about page for developer and contact information.