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Canonical
on 10 May 2023

Canonical enables Ubuntu on StarFive’s VisionFive 2 RISC-V single board computer


May 10, 2023: Canonical published the optimised Ubuntu release for StarFive’s VisionFive 2, the world’s first high-performance RISC-V single board computer (SBC) with an integrated GPU. 

RISC-V, a new paradigm for open source hardware

Open standards and collaboration are strategic to both hardware and software across industries and geographies. In the last decade, open source and open standards have reshaped our world. RISC-V is the most prolific and open Instruction Set Architecture in history, which has led the hardware community to embrace open standards and collaboration at this level.

This open Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) is enabling a new era of processor innovation through open-standard collaboration with rapid industry-wide adoption. To become the industry standard ISA across computing, the RISC-V ISA enables software and hardware design freedom on architecture. The architecture can be applied to a broad range of processors, from low-end microcontrollers to high-end server-grade processors. 

VisionFive 2 introduced by StarFive

Founded in 2018, StarFive is a Chinese high-tech company with independent intellectual property rights, providing world-leading RISC-V-based products, including CPU IP, SoC, development boards, etc. StarFive is a leader in RISC-V technology and ecosystem development in China.

VisionFive 2 is the world’s first high-performance RISC-V single board computer (SBC) with an integrated GPU. Compared with its last generation, VisionFive 2 has been fully upgraded with significant improvements in the processor work frequency, multimedia processing capabilities and scalability. Its superior performance and reasonable price make VisionFive 2 the leading affordable RISC-V development board to date.

StarFive’s VisionFive 2

StarFive and Canonical bring Ubuntu to the VisionFive 2 SBC

“VisionFive 2 is the first RISC-V single-board computer with an integrated GPU and an exciting step forward for the whole RISC-V ecosystem, ” said Frank Zhao, Software Vice President of StarFive. “We are excited to have Ubuntu, the most popular Linux operating system, successfully running on VisionFive 2, thanks to our collaboration with Canonical. The operating system and open source software is key to high performance RISC-V applications. We are dedicated to supporting RISC-V ecosystem development, and StarFive will make further contributions to the open-source world with Canonical.”

The availability of Ubuntu running on the StarFive’s VisionFive 2 comes as the result of the joint work between Canonical and StarFive engineering teams. StarFive and Canonical have a track record of collaboration, in August 2022 Ubuntu was enabled on the first-generation VisionFive board. Canonical’s team has ported Ubuntu to the StarFive VisionFive 2 SBC, backed by the StarFive engineering team, as part of a long-term collaboration between the two companies.

Ubuntu, backed by Canonical, provides a commercial-grade Linux distribution that is also free to use by innovators and developers. “It’s a true pleasure to collaborate with innovative and visionary companies such as StarFive, and we are thrilled to announce the availability of Ubuntu on the VisionFive 2 SBC. The VisionFive 2 SBC is a high-performance and low-cost development platform that the developers and professionals will use for a range of edge compute use cases,” said Gordan Markuš, Silicon Alliances Director at Canonical. ”This partnership will provide users with a seamless development experience, allowing them to leverage the best of open source software and RISC-V through Ubuntu and VisionFive 2.”

Ubuntu for the StarFive VisionFive 2 SBC is available now

An Ubuntu image is now available for StarFive VisionFive 2 SBC, and additional follow-up work is expected to include new features and ports to the latest Ubuntu releases. 

StarFive’s VisionFive 2 SBC is supported by Ubuntu 23.04, and you can download the latest Ubuntu images for VisionFive 2 here.

For guidance and discussion on the images and the best ways to install them, please check and contribute to the installation instruction so everyone can benefit from your experience. 

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