Installing Ubuntu 21.04 on the HiFive Unmatched

There’s another 3 pin connector that you can try. One of the GPIOs is labelled PWM so I plan to eventually play around with that and see if I can get full PWM fan control.

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ssh is probably easier for most people without NFS already set up

ssh me@myLinux cat xfer/ubuntu-21.04-preinstalled-server-riscv64+unmatched.img | sudo dd of=/dev/nvme0n1 bs=1M status=progress iflag=fullblock


i follow Installing Ubuntu 21.04 on the HiFive Unmatched - Tutorials - Ubuntu Community Hub .
but it looks same as your writing .

any way yesterday is the very exciting and thrilling day for me because GUI run on risc-v architecture at first time ,

i use micro SD card (for booting ) and nvme (for root) .

i wrote my expirience at
( but japanese language) .


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Yes I wrote that post as well. Thank you for sharing your experience to a wider audience!

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the light weight web browser midori is good for ubuntu .
of course it has no ability to watch youtube .

concerning youtube , smtube can watch youtube with sound by HDMI connection to TV

firefox is extremely slow, im not sure if that is because of javascrip engine not being optimized or just that compilers in general arent optimized much for risc-v?

even at 1.0ghz with 4 cores i would expect performance to be close to my 12-inch macbook (which is 2-core 1.2ghz) but its not even close…

You mean PowerBook not MacBook?

There was never a 1.2 GHz 12" PowerBook G4, only 887 MHz, 1.0, 1.33, 1.5 GHz. And those are single core.

Of course there is no chance whatsoever of performance being comparable to a 1.2 GHz Core M Intel machine. Those have a vastly more sophisticated OoO “Broadwell” microarchitecture, and also actually mostly run at 2.6 GHz “turbo” speed.

It might be close to a PowerBook. I don’t have one of that vintage any more, but I’m planning to pull a 1.25 GHz G4 Mac Mini out of storage next week and compare it. The G4 is still a bit more sophisticated microarchitecture (and has SIMD), but with more modern RAM etc and bigger L2 caches (2 MB vs 512k) it might be close.

I have a 1.83 GHz Core2Duo Mini there too. There’s no “turbo” on those.

How did you get Firefox? There’s no package (at least in the default repositories). Or did you build from source?

Thank you for the guide, but I failed to boot Ubuntu.
According to the log, the u-boot tried to boot Ubuntu, but could not find the file “-hifive_unmatched_fu7”.
The following is the boot log.
Can you tell me how to fix the problem?

Scanning nvme 0:1…
Found /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf
Retrieving file: /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf
729 bytes read in 0 ms
U-Boot menu
1: Ubuntu 21.04 5.11.0-1007-generic
2: Ubuntu 21.04 5.11.0-1007-generic (rescue target)
Enter choice: 1
1: Ubuntu 21.04 5.11.0-1007-generic
Retrieving file: /boot/initrd.img-5.11.0-1007-generic
182268553 bytes read in 200 ms (869.1 MiB/s)
Retrieving file: /boot/vmlinuz-5.11.0-1007-generic
27355136 bytes read in 31 ms (841.5 MiB/s)
append: root=/dev/nvme0n1p1 ro earlycon
Retrieving file:
Failed to load ‘/lib/firmware/5.11.0-1007-generic/device-tree/-hifive_unmatched_fu7’
Skipping l0 for failure retrieving fdt
2: Ubuntu 21.04 5.11.0-1007-generic (rescue target)
Retrieving file: /boot/initrd.img-5.11.0-1007-generic
182268553 bytes read in 201 ms (864.8 MiB/s)
Retrieving file: /boot/vmlinuz-5.11.0-1007-generic
27355136 bytes read in 31 ms (841.5 MiB/s)
append: root=/dev/nvme0n1p1 ro earlycon single
Retrieving file:
Failed to load ‘/lib/firmware/5.11.0-1007-generic/device-tree/-hifive_unmatched_fu7’
Skipping l0r for failure retrieving fdt
SCRIPT FAILED: continuing…
libfdt fdt_check_header(): FDT_ERR_BADMAGIC
Scanning disk mmc@0.blk…
** Unrecognized filesystem type **
** Unrecognized filesystem type **
Scanning disk nvme#0.blk#0…
** Unrecognized filesystem type **
** Unrecognized filesystem type **
Found 12 disks
** Invalid partition 21 **
Cannot read EFI system partition
BootOrder not defined
EFI boot manager: Cannot load any image
Scanning nvme 0:f…
** Unable to read file / **
Failed to load ‘/’
libfdt fdt_check_header(): FDT_ERR_BADMAGIC
BootOrder not defined
EFI boot manager: Cannot load any image
starting USB…
Bus xhci_pci: Register 4000840 NbrPorts 4
Starting the controller
scanning bus xhci_pci for devices… 4 USB Device(s) found
scanning usb for storage devices… 0 Storage Device(s) found
Device 0: unknown device
switch to partitions #0, OK
mmc0 is current device
Scanning mmc 0:3…
Found /extlinux/extlinux.conf
Retrieving file: /extlinux/extlinux.conf
204 bytes read in 9 ms (21.5 KiB/s)
1: OpenEmbedded-SiFive-HiFive-Unmatched

You have to burn the Ubuntu image onto the SD card too.

Do you mean that I should “dd” the Ubuntu image as follows?

dd if=ubuntu-21.04-preinstalled-server-riscv64+unmatched.img of=/dev/(SDCARD) bs=1M status=progress

Thank you, drmpeg.
I could boot ubuntu2104 on my Unmatched board.

im sorry, completely mistyped that… on linux, in my brain anything that isnt chrom(ium) is firefox :sweat_smile:

what i meant was epiphany browser (which i havent used until now and my brain just completely associated it with firefox)

sorry about that!

interesting… if that is so, then the performance is actually pretty impressive ^^

im curious though, why is sifive not putting out more sophisticated chips? is it strategy (let others do the high performance) or just resources (time/money, chip designers, process node) etc?

a few things that make it hard for me to use as a productive machine are mostly things like type-lag (esp in the browser) and the gui sometimes freezing for a short period and then moving again… if its around a 1ghz g4 class system (w/4cores) i think there should be no issues like that, because even with a g4 i never experienced that (well modern web pages are quite heavy ill give it that)

i just wonder where the bottleneck is… in the linux gui layer/apps itself? or schduler issues (kernel etc?) and how i can optimize the ui some more…

Because it takes time and money and you need to walk before you can run?

Building a high end modern CPU such as current Intel and AMD chips or the Apple M1 is a multi-billion dollar expense. SiFive has total funding so far of under $200 million.

The “others” are generally putting out less sophisticated chips. SiFive’s U84, announced 20 months ago and one assumes nearing first silicon around now, is similar to ARM A72 as in the Pi 4. Alibaba have the C910 which they say is around A73 class (not that there’s much difference). The Esperanto ET-Maxion is similar too.

All those are at a level similar to the best cores ARM announced in February 2015 (before SiFive was founded) and shipped a couple of years later. ARM has better cores now, but not all that much better. Are you asking why ARM are leaving the more sophisticated chips to others? They’ve been around for 35 years, after all.

yes, totally makes sense and was the answer i was looking for ^^

i was just curious the direction things will go in etc…

i reuproad