From Fedora Project Wiki

Fedora 21 Beta for ARM

This is pre-release software and not intended for general use.

The Beta release contains all the exciting features of Fedora 21's products in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we make a Beta release available. A Beta release is code-complete and bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The final release of Fedora 21 is expected in December.

We need your help to make Fedora 21 the best release yet, so please take some time to download and try out the Beta and make sure the things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug, please report it – every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the experience for millions of Fedora users worldwide. Togethe r, we can make Fedora a rock-solid distribution. We have a culture of coordinating new features and pushing fixes upstream as much as feasibl e and your feedback will help improve not only Fedora but Linux and free software on the whole. (See the end of this announcement for more information on how to h elp.)

Overview of Hardware Support Status

Download the Disk Image & Copy to Media

The image-based installation process involves downloading an image file (depending upon desktop/non-desktop option desired), inserting removable media into a "host" system (e.g. an ARM or x86_64 PC class desktop, laptop, etc.) and performing a few simple commands to write this image onto the media. This media is then used by the ARM "target" system to boot t he Fedora 21 Beta environment.

After writing the image and correct U-boot file(s), insert the media into the target platform and boot.


The examples provided here are from a Fedora 19/20 host and may need to be adjusted depending on your host environment.

Execute the following script as a user with sudo privileges. It will copy the selected disk image and write the appropriate U-Boot for the target hardware platform. Optionally you can also enable and disable SE Linux and remove the root password requirement (allowing log in without completing initial setup). To add a board not listed, simply create a bash sc riptlet with the commands needed to copy U-Boot to media and add to the 'boards.d' directory.


Usage: <options>

   --image=IMAGE    - xz compressed image file name
   --target=TARGET  - target board
   --media=DEVICE   - media device file (/dev/[sdX|mmcblkX])
   --selinux=ON/OFF - Turn SELinux off/on as needed
   --norootpass     - Remove the root password
    -y		    - Assumes yes, will not wait for confirmation
   --version	    - Display version and exit

Example: --image=Fedora-Rawhide.xz --target=panda --media=/dev/mmcblk0 --selinux=OFF


Choose a disk image.

Write the image to your media

TYPE=  # options include KDE, LXDE, XFCE, SoaS, Mate and Minimal
MEDIA= #/dev/<location-of-your-media
xzcat Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw.xz | sudo dd of=$MEDIA; sync

After writing the image, read the new partition table and mount the root partition

partprobe $MEDIA
mkdir /tmp/root; sudo mount /dev/<media-location> /tmp/root

Copy the appropriate U-Boot files for your target hardware listed below.

Write U-Boot to Media

Follow theses steps to write the appropriate U-Boot for your Hardware.

For the Banana Pi (Allwinner A20)

At this time you must have a serial console cable for the Banana Pi (Allwinner A20). For those that do not, please see the FAQ at the bottom of the page

sudo dd if=/tmp/root/usr/share/uboot/Bananapi/u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/<media-location> bs=1024 seek=8 conv=fsync,notrunc Media should now be ready to boot on the Banana Pi. Insert into the device and boot.

For the CubieTruck (Allwinner A20)

At this time you must have a serial console cable for the CubieTruck (Allwinner A20). For those that do not, please see the FAQ at the bottom of the page
sudo dd if=/tmp/root/usr/share/uboot/Cubietruck/u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/<media-location> bs=1024 seek=8 conv=fsync,notrunc

Media should now be ready to boot on the Cubietruck. Insert into the device and boot.

For the BeagleBone ( Black & White )

At this time you must have a serial console cable for the BeagleBone. For those that do not, please see the FAQ at the bottom of the page
sudo dd if=/tmp/root/usr/share/uboot/beaglebone/MLO of=/dev/<media-location> count=1 seek=1 conv=notrunc bs=128k
sudo dd if=/tmp/root/usr/share/uboot/beaglebone/u-boot.img of=/dev/<media-location> count=2 seek=1 conv=notrunc bs=384k

Media should now be ready to boot on the BeagleBone. Insert into the device and boot.

For the CompuLab TrimSlice

You must use the latest Device Tree enabled U-Boot to boot the Fedora 20 Trimslice image, which you can find [

im-Slice_Firmware_Updater#v2012.04-1.02 here]. And environmental variables described [

le here]. Failure to do so will result in a non-booting system.

The Trimslice requires no additional steps, U-Boot is included on the device.

For the Wandboard (Freescale i.MX6)

Note - The Wandboard includes a Solo, Dual, and Quad core configuration. Determine your hardware configuration and use the appropriate value. While the Wandboard Quad has been tes ted and confirmed working, the Solo and Dual core models should also work as well. The Wandboard Solo uses the same dtb as the Dual(imx6dl-wandboard.dtb). Copy the U-boot for the Wandboard hardware in use:

BOARD= # Choose 'solo', 'dl' or 'quad'
 sudo dd if=/tmp/root/usr/share/uboot/wandboard__$BOARD/u-boot.imx of=/dev/<location-of-your-media> bs=1k seek=1 conv=fsync; sync

Remove the media and insert into the Wandboard and boot.

MicroSD for booting is located under the heatsink

For the Pandaboard

sudo dd if=/tmp/root/usr/share/uboot/panda/MLO of=/dev/<location-of-your-media> count=1 seek=1 conv=notrunc bs=128k
sudo dd if=/tmp/root/usr/share/uboot/panda/u-boot.img of=/dev/<location-of-your-media> count=2 seek=1 conv=notrunc bs=384k

Media should now be ready to boot on the Pandaboard. Insert into the device and boot.

For Versatile Express Emulation with QEMU

No ARM hardware? No problem! Even without hardware, it is possible to run the Fedora for ARM images using the QEMU emulator program. Any image can be used, and you can choose a scr ipt method or manual depending on your preference.

Using an Existing Disk Image

Choose a disk image.

Extract the image:

TYPE= # Type of image used. (eg Minimal, KDE, Xfce, SoaS, MATE)
unxz Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw.xz

Install 'libguestfs-tools' to use virt-copy

sudo yum install -y libguestfs-tools

Extract the kernel and initramfs for use with booting.

virt-copy-out -a Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw /boot .

To boot (you will need to determine the kernel version used in the disk image):

KERN= # kernel version
INITRD= # initrd version
DTB= # dtb version
TYPE= # image used (Minimal recommended due to ongoing work with vexpress display)
sudo qemu-system-arm -machine vexpress-a9 -m 1024 -nographic -net nic -net user \
 -append "console=ttyAMA0,115200n8 rw root=LABEL=_/ rootwait physmap.enabled=0" \
 -kernel $KERN \
 -initrd $INTRD \
 -sd Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw \
 -dtb $DTB

For convenience you can also download a script for booting the system here. To run the script:

chmod 755 boot-vexpress
./boot-vexpress -h
Usage: ./boot-vexpress [--gui] --kernel=vmlinuz... --ramfs=initramfs --image=fsimage --dtb=vexpress.dtb

NOTE: Booting with device tree is required. Passing --gui for graphics will not work at this time (this is due to ongoing platform reword occurring within the Versatile Expr ess kernel code).

Expanding the Disk Image

You can easily expand the root partition of the disk image using qemu-img.

For example to increase the image size by 10GB you can issue:

 qemu-img resize Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw +10G

Interactive Network Installation

Fedora 21 Beta offers the ability to perform a network installation using either 'vexpress-a15' or 'vexpress-a9'. Using 'vexpress-a15' will allow you to leverage more RAM using the

LPAE kernel.
# vexpress-a15
# Create the disk image
qemu-img create Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw $SIZE #add a size EG 8G
# retrieve DTB
# Begin Install
sudo virt-install --name Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4 \
--ram 2048         \
--arch armv7l      \
--machine vexpress-a15 \
--location= \
--disk Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw \
--extra-args="console=ttyAMA0 rw" \
--os-variant fedora20             \
--graphics none \
--boot dtb=`pwd`/vexpress-v2p-ca15-tc1.dtb

# vexpress-a9
# Create the disk image
sudo qemu-img create Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw $SIZE #add a size EG 8G
# retrieve DTB
# Begin Install
sudo virt-install \
--name Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4 \
--ram 1024 \
--arch armv7l      \
--machine vexpress-a9 \
--location= \
--disk Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw \
--extra-args="console=ttyAMA0 rw" \
--os-variant fedora20             \
--graphics none \
--boot dtb=`pwd`/vexpress-v2p-ca9.dtb

Complete a Text or VNC Installation choosing a software packge and partitioning scheme (note when choosing LVM or BTRFS you will need to edit the kernel arguments appropriately). T he system will attempt to reboot but fail until the next step is completed.

Extracting Files from the Disk Image

Once completed you will need to copy the kernel and initramfs and DTB from the disk image for use with Virt-Manager or command line.

KERN= # kernel version
INITRD= # initrd version
sudo virt-copy-out -a Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw /boot/{$KERN,$INITRD} .
# vexpress-a15
sudo virt-copy-out -a Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw /boot/dtb-*/vexpress-v2p-ca15-tc1.dtb .
# vexpress-a9
sudo virt-copy-out -a Fedora-QEMU-armhfp-21_Beta-4-sda.raw /boot/dtb-*/vexpress-v2p-ca9.dtb .

Booting the New System

Once the files have been extracted you can choose to use the system on commandline or with Virt-Manager. Virt-Manager offers additional flexibility and is recommended for most user s.


  • Open Virt-Manager and select the image created above. Click on "Edit-> Virtual Machine Details -> View -> Details"
  • Under "Boot Options", add the kernel, initramfs and dtb extracted above (the DTB should point to the correct path)
  • For kernel args add (note- if custom partitioning was used for the installation you will to make adjustments to 'root='):
# If you selected Standard Partitioning
console=ttyAMA0,115200n8 rw root=/dev/vda3 rootwait
# If you selected LVM
console=ttyAMA0,115200n8 rw root=/dev/mapper/fedora-root rootwait
  • When using the A15 DTB and LPAE kernel it is possible to use more RAM.

Booting for the First Time


  • During the first boot the system will launch the 'initial-setup' utility. For graphical images this will occur on the display, for minimal images this will occur on the serial co

nsole. Failure to complete the initial-setup will prevent logging into the system. To log in to the root account without completing the initial-setup you will need to minimally edi t '/etc/passwd' file and remove the 'x' from the line beginning with 'root' (this will allow you to log into the root account without entering a password).

Resize the Root Filesystem

To resize the root partition use 'gparted' on a Fedora host.

Known Issues & Usage Tips

  • Display is not currently working in vexpress emulation.
  • A15 emulation through QEMU provides no output on console in Fedora 20(qemu-system-arm-1.6.2-9.fc20), working in Fedora 21(qemu-system-arm-2.1.2-6.fc21).
  • After installation with Anaconda you will need to manually edit '/etc/extlinux/extlinux.conf' and add 'fdtdir /dtb-<version>/' line.
  • U-Boot must be written to MicroSD on the Beaglebone. Writing U-Boot to the eMMC will result in an initialization error and the system will not boot. It is recommended to use the

Fedora 20 version of U-Boot if you would like to boot from eMMC.

  • Pandaboard will not set the appropriate 'fdtfile' in U-Boot when PXE booting. Prior to attempting a PXE boot 'setenv fdtfile omap4-panda.dtb'.
  • The system may hang during the update of 'initial-setup'. If this occurs, open another terminal and 'systemctl stop initial-setup-text' or 'systemctl stop initial-setup-graphical

' depending on which image is in use.

For a list of all common bugs please visit - .


QUESTION : How do I use Fedora ARM when I have no serial cable or display.

ANSWER: Though not recommended it is possible to use Fedora ARM without a serial cable or display. When doing so you may want to limit updates to reduce the possibility of n ot being able to boot. (This example is from a Fedora 19 system, you may need to adjust the mounts used).

USER= # your user name from the host system in use.
rm /run/media/$USER/__/etc/systemd/system/
rm /run/media/$USER/__/etc/systemd/system/
mkdir /run/media/$USER/__/root/.ssh/
cat /home/$USER/.ssh/ >> /run/media/$USER/__/root/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod -R u=rwX,o=,g= /run/media/$USER/__/root/.ssh/

Give the system a few minutes to boot, when it obtains an IP you should be able to ssh to the root account.

QUESTION : How do I move Fedora ARM from SSD/MMC card to a USB harddrive

ANSWER: Follow the SSD/MMC->USB migration guide HERE