Creating VMs on aarch64 is no different than on x86, or at least so I thought. I've got a nice OverDrive3000 sat here that I had been using for builds and other nonsense and had encountered some inconsistencies with some of the third party software that I've been looking at.
So why not spool up a VM per distro and run the builds on each distro and see what happens, actually sounds somewhat sensible to me (which scares me a bit). +Marcin Juszkiewicz
and +Jim Perrin
have documented how to do this, and really the only additional step to x86 is making sure you've got the firmware repo added and installed the required edk2/efi pieces.
Naturally I installed openSUSE first, both Leap & Tumbleweed installed without a hitch. Next up was Debian 8.4 and then Ubuntu 16.04, again they installed without so much as a how do you do. I hadn't installed Debian in what felt like forever (2009 on the way to LUGRadio Live) so it was interesting to see that the installer seemed similar to back then, yet improved. It feels to me that Debian have taken Ubuntu's installer, which is no bad thing, as the default assumptions are sane and are enough to get you up and running.
After installing 4 distros with ease, I thought perfect a couple more and I should be good to go. Unfortunately Fedora 24 and CentOS 7 had other plans. Fedora ends up barfing when trying to get the nearest mirror, so I tried to specify the repo manually that enabled the install to start. However, it looks like Fedora's mirror management has a lot to be desired; that and Anaconda not letting you retry. Rather than giving the user the opportunity to retry downloading a package it struggled to download for whatever reason, the installer throws a fatal error and terminates the install. CentOS for whatever reason just doesn't like the repo url that's specified in the ReadMe.txt on their own website. So I'm stuck on both of these - yes I'm downloading the full DVD isos and will try later, but that's not the point.
One thing to note, Anaconda in text mode is UGLY
, it actually causes me more pain now than the Debian installer did back in 2009! I know Fedora are spending a load of cycles on improving Anaconda, but peeps don't forget about text mode! there is no natural flow, everything has to be entered via menus, it's just feels really cumbersome. Both Ubuntu/Debian & openSUSE have a good flow where you can change if you want or go with reasonable defaults and change afterwards.