AArch64 desktop: day one

Three years ago I was working on getting AArch64 toolchain built. Then lot of things happened.

Nowadays if you are lucky you can even have AArch64 hardware. The problem is that there is no desktop class one still. Mustang and Seattle are server boards, Juno is development platform, Hikey is out of stock, Dragonboard 410c has 1GB of memory (same as Hikey) and rest of “publicly available” AArch64 hardware is in Android or iOS devices.

I played with getting X11 running for quite long time so decided that it is time to make use of it. Moved Mustang mainboard into microatx tower case, added PCI Express riser with Radeon HD5450 graphics card in it. Then two hard drives (one for systems, second for testing installers) and fun started. Two monitors connected, speakers got some waves from cheap (1.5€) USB sound card, mouse and keyboard also migrated from my x86-64 desktop. I called resulting machine “desktopstein”.

Pressed power and machine booted. Nothing on screen for about 1.5-2 minutes because UEFI firmware does not initialize graphics and then some messages appeared and I was able to login to text console. Enabled lightdm and logged into KDE session.

Konsole works, Firefox works (copied whole profile from x86-64), Thunderbird fetched mails (also copied profile). No Chrome nor Chromium is fine. Had to switch to other music provider than Deezer as their web player requires Adobe Flash. But there are still lot of MP3 streaming services so VLC (from own rpmfusion rebuild) got something to play.

So far works good. During week I plan to do my normal work and try some random things.

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