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Introduction to Linux on PA-RISC

The PA-RISC project provides a native port of Linux to the PA-RISC architecture. The port was merged into linux-2.6 and linux-3.x mainstream Linux kernel tree.

PA-RISC Linux Project History tells how the project got started and the first steps. Contact the Mailing lists if you want to volunteer your time.

See the Hall of Fame for a list of folks who brought you the initial 0.9x and Debian 3.0 releases. That includes boot loader, kernel, documentation, user space programs, packaging, testing, debugging, and pulling everything together into an ISO.

Linux distributions with support for PA-RISC Linux

PA-RISC Linux is currently supported by Gentoo Linux and Debian.

Gentoo Linux
PA-RISC is a fully supported architecture of Gentoo Linux.
Many thanks to the smart people of the Gentoo Linux HPPA Development team for providing Gentoo Linux installation ISOs available for download!
If you wish to install Gentoo Linux for PA-RISC, we suggest that your read the Handbook on how to install Gentoo Linux for PA-RISC.
Debian Linux
The PA-RISC Linux development community is proud to have been officially part of the Debian 3.1 (sarge), 4.0 (etch) and 5.0 (lenny) releases.
In July 2011, PA-RISC Linux was dropped as an officially supported platform from Debian 6.0 (squeeze). Subsequently, it became a non-release architecture in the Debian Ports project.
Helge Deller and John David Anglin set up several package build servers for Debian Ports. Overtime, this infrastructure has been improved and it now uses the same wanna-build system as the release architectures.
Kernel and tool chain support was also improved with the transition to Debian Ports. For example, the glibc source can now be built directly from source.
Today, Debian Linux for PA-RISC is usable and stable. More than 11,500 Debian packages are available.
If you plan to install Debian Linux, please read how to install Debian Linux, and download one install image from this list:

Before downloading any ISOs for Gentoo, Debian or any other Linux distribution, first check the PARISC FAQ and Hardware support for issues specific to your hardware.


  • Oregon State University Open Source Lab
    • Hosting and support for the physical parisc servers "parisc" and "panama" (since 2014)
    • Funding and provisioning of a x86 virtual machine for the qemu-user based parisc build server "pasta" (since Jan 2021)
    • Hosting of this Wiki (via infrastructure)
  • Debian - Distribution and package support for Debian PA-RISC Linux.
  • Gentoo - Distribution of Gentoo Linux for HPPA.


Feb 2021 Various fixes (e.g. 12) for qemu v5.2 to further improve qemu-user emulation.

Switch to a faster page table locking mechanism with Linux kernel v5.12.

Jan 2021 PALO v2.15 released.

New parisc Debian build server "pasta", which runs in a qemu-user parisc chroot environment on a x86-64 virtual machine with 8 CPUs and 16GB RAM. Many thanks to the OSU Open Source Lab who sponsors this VM!
Additionally there is a new parisc Debian build server "paq". This qemu-user based build server runs on a Synology DS920+ in a x86-64 virtual machine with 3 Intel Celeron J4125 CPUs and 1.5GB RAM.

Dec 2020 Reached 12.000 pre-built debian packages.
Oct 2020 In Kernel 5.10 O_NONBLOCK was changed to become 000200000 (instead of 000200004). This is a binary ABI change and requires userspace (glibc, dietlibc, systemd) to be recompiled with the new value. The kernel has wrapper functions which provide backwards compatibility.
Aug 2020 Roger Sayle fixed a long-standing gcc compiler bug which unnecessarily slowed down compile time.
Jul 2020 Helge steps up as new rbootd maintainer.

Dave fixes a long-lasting kernel CPU soft lockup bug.
Many bugfixes 12 and improvements for qemu and preparations for qemu-5.1.0 release.

Feb 2020 The graphics and device patches for PA-RISC have been applied to QEMU git.
Sep 2019 PALO v2.12 released. Added kexec support and enhanced ftrace support to Linux kernel v5.4. LASI support (serial, parallel, network, PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse) and Artist graphics w/STI emulation for QEMU and SeaBIOS.
Jul 2019 Released PALO version v2.11 with important enhancements by James Bottomley like added ext4-support, IPL overlap with newer ext2/ext3 resize_inode was fixed and the iplboot bootcode loader is now placed inside the disk label.
May 2019 Linux kernel 5.2 supports SPARSEMEM instead of DISCONTIGMEM, static branches and per-pagetable spinlocks.
Apr 2019 Sven adds KGDB and KPROBES support for the Linux kernel version 5.2.
Mar 2019 Lots of fixes and improvements in the QEMU CPU- and SCSI emulation code as well as for the SeaBIOS firmware due to efforts of Sven Schnelle. See the PA-RISC Qemu Wiki page for latest updates.
Jan 2019 Debian kernel 4.20 will ship built as SMP kernel only (for 32- and 64-bit), which then patches itself at bootup to run faster on uniprocessor machines if it detects only one CPU.

The OSUOSL team was so nice to upgrade the debian buildd servers: "parisc" has now two 300 GB (instead of two 68 GB) and panama three 300 GB (instead of two 18 GB) SCSI discs. Thanks!

Nov 2018 A new complete parisc-linux mailing list archive is now available at It even contains the very first parisc-linux mail.

Linux kernel 4.20 includes the "alternative"-feature which enables us to do live-patching of the kernel code at bootup time. With this feature we will be able to build a SMP kernel which is patched at boottime to run faster on a UP system.

Sep 2018 Reached 11.700 pre-built debian unstable packages.
Jul 2018 Dave fixed a long-standing binutils bug which generated wrong debug unwind info.

Debian porterbox is now available.

Apr 2018 The Linux kernel now powers off rp34x0 and C8000 machines at shutdown via built-in BMC controller.
Mar 2018 New documentation on how to access the Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) in rp34x0 and C8000 machines.
Feb 2018 QEMU 2.12 supports parisc system-emulation (qemu-system-hppa) thanks to contributions by Richard Henderson and Helge Deller.
Jan 2018 New palo bootloader v2.00 released. The callee copies ABI of gcc (on 32-bit hppa) created lots of optimization issues and problems with OpenMP, so Dave committed a patch to switch to the caller copy ABI instead. First Qemu-related patches to Linux kernel to reduce power consumption on the host have been submitted and the Qemu hardware emulation works fully stable with a booted Linux. Even an emulated 32-CPU PA-RISC SMP machine was running stable.
Dec 2017 Development on parisc hardware emulation via qemu is ongoing. Richard Henderson maintains the hppa qemu git tree while Helge Deller works on a parisc IODC and PDC firmware emulation via a SeaBIOS fork. The emulation already boots a Debian install CD, runs through whole kernel initialization code and even runs quite far into the init process.
Sep 2017 New Debian-9 installer image is now available at official cdimage places. Many thanks to Adrian Glaubitz!

Kernel 4.14 includes full support for Page Deallocation Table (PDT), the UBSAN checker and kernel self-decompressor.

Aug 2017 Kernel 4.13 includes initial Page Deallocation Table (PDT) support to avoid using broken memory by the Linux kernel.

Dave submitted all outstanding patches for hppa to glibc v2.26. Linuxthread support was dropped and switched to the generic nptl support instead. Unwinding was fixed to support pthread cancellation.
Thomas Bogendoerfer fixed the PCI memory bar assignment on Dino/Cujo machines and as such got ATI graphic cards to work on such machines.
New palo bootloader v1.99 released which fixes problems when loading huge kernels, e.g. with kernel UBSAN support enabled.

June 2017 Mike Hosken announced a new set of Debian 9 installation medias which are available for download

New palo bootloader v1.98 released which fixes serial console on rp3410 and rp3440 servers.
There are now more than 11.600 pre-built debian unstable packages available.

May 2017 Roberto C. Sánchez sponsored a HP rp3410 server with one 800 MHz PA8900 CPU which we upgraded to 5 GB RAM and added a 146 GB hard disc. The server is now reachable as and acts as a debian buildd machine. Hosting is sponsored by OSU Open Source Lab. Thanks to all people involved, especially to the great system administrators at OSUOSL (Samarendra Hedaoo and Justin Dugger).
Apr 2017 John Paul Adrian Glaubitz and James Clarke made the debian-installer available in debian-ports repositories
Feb 2017 Alan Modra and Dave Anglin fix pie support on hppa and add -z relro support to binutils
Jan 2017 New Debian-9 installation CDs by Mike Hosken.

Reached more than 11.500 pre-built debian unstable packages.

Dec 2016 Reached more than 11.400 pre-built debian unstable packages.

John David Anglin and John Paul Adrian Glaubitz fix the Firefox webbrowser with help of Michael Karcher. The debian buildd servers switched to a unified automated build setup by James Clarke. Status of the buildds can be seen at

Nov 2016 Richard Henderson announced initial work on a user-only target of hppa to QEMU.

The website and domain has expired and all content is now archived at Thanks to Thibaut Varene for his work on

Oct 2016 New palo v1.96 bugfix release available.
Sep 2016 Reached more than 11.300 pre-built debian unstable packages.

Linux Kernel 4.7 now includes a high-resolution timer based on the cr16 clocksource. Debian perl transition finished. Debian Linux Kernel 4.7.5 available.

Aug 2016 Debian transitions to gcc-6 and boost1.61, Debian on hppa changes the default mpi implementation from mpich to openmpi
Jul 2016 Reached more than 11.200 pre-built debian unstable packages.
Jun 2016 Reached more than 11.100 pre-built debian unstable packages.
Apr 2016 Linux kernel 4.7 got improved kernel ftrace support, kernel regset support and a native high-resolution clock/timing support.

Additional debian buildd make server added (

Mar 2016 Solved a bug in gcc-4.9 (and higher) which crashes kernel 4.3+ in the SCSI/block layer.
Feb 2016 We now have more than 11.000 pre-built debian unstable packages.

Many bugs in kernel and userspace were fixed.

Jan 2016 Reached more than 10.900 pre-built debian unstable packages.
Dec 2015 Huge Page support for PA-RISC was added to the Linux Kernel.

A long-standing syscall restart bug was fixed.

Oct 2015 Dave & Helge fixed some bugs in gcc and glibc which e.g. fixed the build of Qt5/KDE packages.

For the first time ever we now have more pre-built debian packages than alpha or ppc64 and reached more than 10.800 packages.

Sep 2015 We have an additional Debian buildd server ( with 4 x 1 GHz PA8900 CPUs, 12 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD) online.

Dave fixed 64bit CAS LWS so that we will get 64bit gcc atomic builtins. Helge fixed boot problems because of early serial port irqs on C8000 with PA8900 CPUs.

Aug 2015 One of our buildd servers (hpviz) died. Debian-ports archive is now integrated with Debian buildd service again.
Jul 2015 Reached more than 10.700 pre-built debian unstable packages.
Jun 2015 Reached more than 10.600 pre-built debian unstable packages.
Apr 2015 Reached more than 10.520 pre-built debian unstable packages which is just around 60 packages less than the leading debian-ports architectures alpha and ppc64.
Mar 2015 Installation numbers of hppa debian machines grow to 25 in the Debian Popularity Contest.
Feb 2015 DEBIAN 8.0 (jessie) Installer images and Installation instructions now available.
Jan 2015 Compared to other architectures on debian-ports, the PA-RISC / HPPA architecture now has the most number of packages up-to-date:
Dec 2014 Full range of gcc atomic builtins committed into gcc-4.9 which helped us to build packages which were not posible before (in total we are now at 10.400 prebuilt debian packages).
Nov 2014 We now fully support systemd with debian packages glibc-2.19-13 and linux-image-3.16.0-4 (kernel 3.16.7).

The contents of the parisc-linux kernel mailinglist were imported into archive

Oct 2014 Reached 10.300 pre-built debian unstable packages.

Upcoming patches to support systemd on hppa

Sep 2014 Browsers will now automatically be transferred to this Wiki if one visits

We now have more than 10.200 pre-built debian unstable packages.

Aug 2014 We now have more than 10.100 pre-built debian unstable packages.

Helge Deller now owns and maintains the parisc-linux domain.

Jul 2014 New Debian unstable installer images available. Reached more than 10.000 pre-built debian unstable packages.
Jun 2014 The A500-44 is up and running as additional debian buildd server at

Kernel 3.15 is out. Added a very fast 4-way 1GHz C8000 machine with 250GB SATA SSD drive as additional Debian buildd server (, machine and hosting sponsored by Bálint Sándor Németh.

May 2014 More than 9900 debian packages built.

Kernel 3.15 will be the most best kernel ever. The A500 (mkhppa3) buildd which was sponsored and hosted by ESIEE sadly died.

Apr 2014 The PARISC boot loader palo is back in debian unstable.

More than 9750 debian packages built.

Mar 2014 The A500-44 which hosted our main webpage is being moved to

More than 9500 debian packages built.

Feb 2014 The new parisc Wiki is now at Contents of the old Wiki at was moved and the webpage redirects here.
Jan 2014 Updated Debian unstable install instructions.

More than 8000 newly built native Debian packages available.

Dec 2013 5 buildd servers for debian unstable online.

The servers hpviz and rio including hosting are sponsored by Dave Land ( Stable Debian kernel 3.12 available.

Aug 2013 Linux kernel 3.11 supports C8000 workstation (SMP, serial port, FireGL card, BMC, ...)
Apr 2013 Website updated, added Debian ports installation instructions and updated TODO list.
Mar 2013 Debian 7.0 (wheezy) without HPPA.
Feb 2013 Many PA-RISC Linux kernel patches have been integrated into Kernel 3.8. Stability will improve even further with kernel 3.9.
Feb 2012 Website is back up! Work continues on the debian-ports support for HPPA.
Sep 2010 HPPA dropped as an official release architecture for squeeze.
Sep 2009 NPTL transition is ready, thanks to the efforts of Carlos!
Feb 2009 Debian 5.0!
Apr 2007 Debian 4.0!
Jul 2006 James fixes (mostly) parisc-linux on PA8800! w00t!
Mar 2006 Fixed stifb on 64-bit machines. X now works with a 64-bit kernel!
Dec 2005 Fixed framebuffer console on 32bit HCRX graphic cards
Dec 2005 PCMCIA support added (e.g. used in Tadpole PA-RISC laptops)
Jun 2005 Debian 3.1!
Mar 2005 The parisc-linux patch set is less than 200K for the first time ever! Thanks to willy for doing such a great job pushing patches upstream!
Jun 2004    Support for PA8800/zx1 committed!
1998-2000 How it started

How to install PARISC Linux



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