FreeBSD/arm64 is the FreeBSD port to the 64-bit ARM architecture, also known as AArch64 or ARMv8. All supported FreeBSD releases include out-of-the-box support for ARMv8, and over 20,000 packages are available in the 3rd party software collection. Ampere eMAG and Altra platforms are the primary reference platforms for FreeBSD/arm64. arm64 is classified as a Tier-1 architecture on FreeBSD as of FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE. Before that it was classified as tier-2.

Kyua tracking.


FreeBSD Release Engineering builds specific images for arm64 including Pine64 and RPi3 & 4. The Cavium Thunder and SoftIron Overdrive series are supported via the normal build chain. Images for certain other boards can be built by crochet.


The basic FreeBSD/arm64 support is available in FreeBSD-CURRENT, FREEBSD-13-STABLE, FREEBSD-12-STABLE, and FREEBSD-11-STABLE. (For reference, also see the history of FreeBSD/arm64 commits).

main (CURRENT) build status:

stable/13 (13.x-STABLE) build status:

stable/12 (12.x-STABLE) build status:



The standard buildworld sequence works:

export MAKEOBJDIRPREFIX=<path-to-suitable-objdir>
make buildworld TARGET=arm64


The build sequence for the kernel is a fairly standard one:

export MAKEOBJDIRPREFIX=<path-to-suitable-objdir>
make buildkernel TARGET=arm64

This results in an image called 'kernel' created in:


** See the 'Source' section above for the svn-checkout-path.



ARM Foundation Model

The ARMv8 Foundation Model is available from ARM. You must read and accept a click-through license to obtain it. The Foundation model may be run in a Linux virtual machine, or by using the experimental 64-bit Linux emulation support.

AndrewTurner has a GitHub repo set up to help run on the Foundation Model.


QEMU now has aarch64 system mode emulation support. It is available by installing the qemu-devel package or emulators/qemu-devel port.

The Release Engineers build periodic snapshots, including for arm64 on QEMU. Instructions on where to find these are sent to the snapshots mailing list.

See arm64/QEMU for further details on booting FreeBSD/arm64 in QEMU, including links to AArch64 EFI firmware files that are not included with the QEMU port.

Single Boards




Gem5 instructions


The HiKey is a low cost (~$75 - $100 + shipping) ARMv8 board from Linaro.


The series of boards is supported.

As noted by Greg at

affordable 4-core (Cortex A72) with DDR4 (takes one full size DIMM), SATA, USB 3.0 and PCIe.
There is excellent firmware support (upstream EDK2+!TrustedFirmware).  However, an affordable 4-core (Cortex A72)
with DDR4 (takes one full size DIMM), SATA, USB 3.0 and PCIe.

However, the PCIe is rather quirky.

Allwinner based boards

See main Allwinner page at arm/Allwinner

Rockchip based boards

This section has moved to arm/RockChip

Raspberry Pi 3 + 4 ( RPI3 + RPI4 + RPI400 )

This section has moved to arm/Raspberry Pi

Complete Systems

Cavium ThunderX

Cavium's ThunderX is the initial reference target platform for FreeBSD/arm64.

FreeBSD supports the ThunderX EVB (evaluation board) and CRB (customer reference board) in SMP mode (48 CPU cores). SATA drives, PCIe expansion cards, and the on-chip network interface are fully supported.

FreeBSD is available on the 2 socket, 96 core Type 2A ThunderX systems at

Demo of SMP kernel on ThunderX


Although the HoneyComb from SolidRun is available as a single board, it is more targeted at the workstation market.

(See this mailing list thread for current FreeBSD developer notes.)

Lenovo ThinkSystem SR330/SR350

These servers are based on the Ampere eMAG chipset. There is ongoing active work to support them. A number of FreeBSD developers have these systems, and they are well supported from 13.0-RELEASE onwards.

See arm/Ampere for more details.

SoftIron Overdrive 1000

The FreeBSD 12.0R GENERIC (and later) memstick installation images work on the SoftIron Overdrive 1000 but requires opensolaris_load="YES" to be set in /boot/loader.conf. This can be performed at the end of installation or on first boot by typing ESC during the (likely garbled) "Beastie" boot screen, and typing:

load /boot/kernel/kernel
load /boot/kernel/opensolaris.ko
load /boot/kernel/zfs.ko

Otherwise, the first boot will hit mountroot>

Once booted, add "opensolaris_load="YES" to /boot/loader.conf with the editor of your choice.

To suppress the garbled Beastie boot screen, add beastie_disable="YES" to /boot/loader.conf

Other notes:

The power button is the vertical chrome rectangle on the front.

Be cautious not to frequently cut power to the OD1K as it may corrupt the firmware.

SoftIron Overdrive 3000

FreeBSD mostly works, other than the internal dual 10G networking, however support for this is being worked on. In the interim PCIe NICs work.

Cloud Services





Useful Links

Known Limitations


Search for open PRs with Hardware = arm64.

Ports and Packages

arm64 (last edited 2023-09-24T17:31:54+0000 by AymericWibo)