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Core Distractions

Thursday, 25 May 2023 | Adriaan de Groot

KDE runs everywhere. Remember when it got ported to the DEC Alpha and SPARCv8? Heady times, because that was the time that a whole bunch of 32-bit assumptions got wrestled out of KDE code. And then there was a long boring period where all the world was amd64. No more! There are ARM-based SBCs, which are a world of frustration all their own for board bring-up. No more! As of today KDE e.V. – and so the KDE community – has a new core to work with. The RISC-V architecture, and the VisionFive 2 board in particular.

RISC-V Outer box under a floppy disk
RISC-V Outer box under a floppy disk

Part of the attraction of the RISC-V is that the “low end” boards are a lot more capable than “low end” ARM SBCs. I received one in the mail today for experimentation and use within the KDE community. With 8GB RAM and an nvme M2 slot (all I have lying around here is a 1TB PCIe4 stick, so total overkill) the board ought to be a lot more pleasant for development work than some others.

I only got the board today, so here’s just a shot of the box it came in, with that universally-recognized size-for-reference object, the 5 1/4” floppy (that’s 133.35 mm).