Linaro announces Software Reference Platform for ARM servers

Linaro Ltd, the collaborative engineering organization developing software for the ARM® architecture, today announced a complete open source Software Reference Platform for servers running on ARMv8-A processors. Linaro released alpha source code on 23 December 2015, and plans to partner with its members to provide access to the Software Reference Platform running on developer cloud instances in Europe, China and the US in the first half of 2016.

This launch has, for the first time, made not only a complete end to end open source server software stack for servers and cloud providers available, but will also provide access to enterprise-class ARM based server hardware for developers worldwide.

The Reference Software Platform releases are expected to be used by Linaro members and the wider community for enterprise products and cloud instance development and deployment. Releases will be provided for different market segments, and early access to the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG) and Linaro Mobile Group (LMG) builds is now available. The alpha release of the LEG build offers a complete reference implementation for ARM servers, including open source boot software and firmware implementing the ARM Trusted Firmware, UEFI and ACPI standards, a Linux 4.4 kernel, tested latest Debian and CentOS distributions, OpenStack, OpenJDK, Hadoop and Spark.

During 2016 the Linaro Software Reference Platform releases will support an increasing range of data center, networking and home gateway applications. These releases will provide market segment specific application stacks for end to end use case development.

Since the launch of ARM based server SoCs in 2014, products have developed rapidly and servers are already being used in a number of commercial organizations, government institutes and higher education establishments. The new developer cloud instances being planned by Linaro and ecosystem partners will make access to ARM enterprise computing available to a broader audience who want to develop for this new technology without upfront hardware investment. Linaro has offered bare metal access to ARM servers in a limited colocation facility for the last year. The organization has been using this to help develop a complete cloud stack that will include a management interface and support for virtualization and data analytics.

The initial launch of the developer cloud instances will happen on existing ARM powered server hardware. As 96Boards Enterprise Edition boards are released, Linaro will also use them as a standardized hardware platform to test the Reference Software Platform and provide developers with a lower cost option to install their own local developer cloud or single server instance.

“We have released the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG) Reference Software Platform build to help accelerate the testing and deployment of the ARM architecture in data centers”, said Ricardo Salveti, Engineering Manager for the Software Reference Platform. “This will be the first time that all the foundational software components required to run a server on the ARMv8-A architecture have been brought together, tested and released openly.”

About Linaro

Linaro is leading collaboration on open source development in the ARM ecosystem. The company has over 250 engineers working on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the ARM architecture, including developer tools, the Linux kernel, ARM power management, and other software infrastructure. Linaro is distribution neutral: it wants to provide the best software foundations to everyone by working upstream, and to reduce non-differentiating and costly low level fragmentation. The effectiveness of the Linaro approach has been demonstrated by Linaro’s growing membership, and by Linaro consistently being listed as one of the top five company contributors, worldwide, to Linux kernels since 3.10.

To ensure commercial quality software, Linaro’s work includes comprehensive test and validation on member hardware platforms. The full scope of Linaro engineering work is open to all online. To find out more, please visit and

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