Ubuntu and ARM

ARM and Canonical are working together to deliver ARM processor support for the Ubuntu platform across many different classes of devices.

Ubuntu is the best scale-out server platform and the leader in Hyperscale computing for ARM. Ubuntu is also active in supporting ARM for many other devices.

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ARM architecture

The ARM Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) has rocketed in popularity since the company started licensing its CPU cores in 1990. It has become the de-facto standard for modern digital devices from cell phones to tablets, now shipping in millions of units.

ARM is also designing chips for use in servers in enterprise datacentres. In datacentres, multiple ARM-based servers are being deployed in hyperscale computing configurations, supported by the highly-scalable Ubuntu operating system.

The popularity of ARM ISA is a result of its high performance coupled with world-beating power efficiency and compelling price-points.

ARM and Canonical working together

Since 2008, ARM and Canonical have worked together to optimise their technologies and enable a range of devices to run efficiently on Ubuntu and ARM architecture. Initial engineering collaboration focused on Cortex A8, A9 and A15-like processors with ARM and Canonical collaborating to ensure ARM architecture support in both Ubuntu and the Linux kernel.

This work has led to innovators like Calxeda, Marvell and Texas Instruments to provide specific System on a Chip (SoC) Ubuntu releases.

As a founding member of Linaro, Canonical is committed to making this cross industry collaboration successful.

Ubuntu in connected screens

We live in a world of increasingly connected screens. Whether those screens are on smartphones, tablets, or other embedded systems, the processors behind those screens are often ARM-based.

Ubuntu is working to support a wide variety of devices based on ARM.

Hyperscale solutions

ARM processors are already a key presence in the datacentre, powering devices such as networking routers and storage controllers. With the availability of higher performance, multi-core capable processor cores, the breadth of applications that can be addressed by ARM technologies is growing. Advanced server operating systems are therefore required.

ARM and Canonical have worked in close collaboration for a number of years to ensure that datacentres running advanced workloads such as distributed data processing or cloud infrastructure, run best on Ubuntu.

In November 2012 Canonical became a founding member of the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG) which was set up to promote the ecosystem for ARM-based servers.