Ubuntu Maverick on ARM (Beta Released!)
For Maverick Meerkat we’re continuing improving the ARM support for Ubuntu. With Lucid we got the first release optimized for ARMv7 (Thumb2 and SoftFP but not NEON), and for Maverick the plan is to keep the same ARM optimizations as base, but improving board support and user experience.
The main decisions to support these boards are basically the upstream support, solid community around them, easy hardware access and CPU power (standard Ubuntu is quite heavy, so we need a good and powerful machine).
At the moment we already got a good support for them, and the Beta release is somehow usable already! There are some development on-going to have a full working 3D interface (unity) for OpenGL ES much the same way we have for normal OpenGL devices. The only bad thing is that currently most of the 3D drivers for ARM (if not all) are closed source, so the development is a little bit harder than the usual.
If you just got your BeagleBoard xM, or want to try Ubuntu on your C4, please give it a try. For Maverick the idea is to give the users a pre-installed image, that you just need to ‘dd’ to your SD card, boot and adjust the environment.
Here are the instructions needed to get Ubuntu up and running at your OMAP device: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM/OMAPMaverickInstall
In case you don’t have any of these boards, but want to use Ubuntu with different devices remember you can always try to build a ‘rootfs’ with RootStock. You’ll only need a working and compatible kernel and boot-loader.
And please, in case of you find any bug, want to help testing and getting Ubuntu better on your ARM device, just poke us at #ubuntu-arm (freenode). We’ll for sure be happy to assist you with any problems you may find.
Note for Beagle xM users: in case you find that your Maverick Beta image doesn’t boot with your board, please check bug https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/628243. This means that you have a Numonyx memory chip, and unfortunately the fix didn’t make Beta. To work around it just mount the first partition of your SD card (after giving ‘dd’) and replace your MLO with http://people.canonical.com/~rsalveti/maverick/boot/xM/MLO. After this just umount the partition, put it at your board and boot it.