Debian 13 Will Officially Support 64-Bit RISC-V

I totally missed news that Debian has made RISC-V a supported architecture – and somewhat selfishly I’m hoping some of you missed it to so this post isn’t so late it’s moot!

Debian 13 “Trixie” will be the first version of the Linux distro to officially support 64-bit RISC-V hardware. That “officially” is an important qualifier; while it’s already possible to run Debian on RISC-V hardware those efforts have hitherto been “ports”.

Trivia: RISC-V is pronounced “Risk-Five” – though my mind still calls its “Risk-vee”.

RISC-V fans don’t need to wait until the release of Debian 13 (due in 2 years time) to get stuck in. Debian Sid exists and the archive is, Debian dev Aurelien Jarno says, in the process of being populated with the requisite (minimal) packages needed from Debian Ports.

The addition of RISC-V 64 support expands Debian support to cover a commendable crop of computing chips. This ranges from the familiar Intel/AMD chips most of us use through to more specialized processor technologies like like MIPS and IBM System z.

I’ve had no personal experience with RISC-V hardware directly. But much like ARM (I only recently acquired a Raspberry Pi 4) it’s one of those “underdog” platforms I can’t help but root for.

Plus, RISC-V has the benefit of being open-source and royalty free. Even if only in theory — most of us can’t whip up a chip fabricator in our kitchens — RISC-V is technologically democratizing.

So yeah: high-v to Debian — this is exciting stuff.

If you’re one of those lucky/brave enough to have bought the Pine64 RISC-V tablet or SBC I’d love to know if you plan to try Debian out on it.