Finally going ARM-only: what to focus efforts on?

Hi all,
while I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Notebook I keep thinking “I wonder which parts of my daily setup I’ll be missing in the beginning?”

Of course, everyone’s setup is different, but I’d still like to hear from folks who have been using arm machines as their daily drivers where the pain points currently are.
I’ve been working on getting some of the software I use daily to work on arm64 (notably by bumping my otherwise-deprecated scuttlebutt client to electron 11; yes, it’s still electron and will suck the machine dry) and finding replacements that should work better; I know that I’ll finally (have to, but with great pleasure) make the switch to wayland & sway.

What else is there? Anything that wasn’t obvious to you?

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For starters, if you aren’t used to Debian, you may want to get used to that for the time being. Some customizations are being done in the images to optimize for this specific laptop.

AARCH64 booting is split between UEFI for “enterprise”/“server” and u-boot for almost everything else, with the exception of some one-offs that are just blobs written at the front of boot media, sometimes encrypted.

Short version, you won’t be able to easily boot other OSes/distros easily or immediately.

Talking about this got me thinking, and I made a new topic about it.

Other than that, most of the standard software in the base repos is there and works out of the box. x86 and AARCH64 are little endian byte order, so most data is directly compatible. Thanks to the prevalance of cell phones using aarch64, there are assembly/SIMD optimizations for many projects that make them as optimized as their x86 counterparts as well. Sometimes the memory page size can be other than 4k, which will not match up with x86, so programs like hangover (WINE with an x86 emulator in it) will only operate if your kernel is started in 4k page mode.

I’ve been running Sid for the last… 5 years? Ubuntu/Gentoo/Debian in general since 2007. In general linux terms I’ll be fine I guess. I was more wondering if there are applications that are surprisingly incompatible.

Gentoo has a wiki page for the MNT Reform

I believe Niklaus 'vimja' Hofer ( - is using it as his daily driver


Everything I am using on x86 works on ARM64 as well so far. Considering that most Android applications are written for ARM and now with the Apple M1 there is plenty of ARM support already. I heard that Widewine still has issues but the vast majority of programs should work.

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