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A Debian distribution for both little and big endian machines can be found at http://www.debian.org/ports/mips/. At the time of writing (May 2005) it is using a 2.4 kernel and supports only O32 ABI.

Debian/MIPS status

RedHat 7.1 based

A complete distribution based on RedHat's 7.1, ported by H.J. Lu, can be found at ftp://ftp.linux-mips.org/pub/linux/mips/redhat/7.1/.

Maciej W. Rozycki

A little-endian only distribution is maintained by Maciej at ftp://ftp3.ds.pg.gda.pl/people/macro/ or the mirror ftp://ftp.rfc822.org/pub/mirror/ftp3.ds.pg.gda.pl/people/macro/.

Gentoo Linux

Gentoo Linux is a source based distribution which suports many different architectures, including MIPS. Currently two platforms are supported; Silicon Graphics Workstations, and Cobalt servers.


OpenEmbedded is a source based meta distribution similar to Gentoo, but especially targeted for cross-compilation and embedded systems, including MIPS architectures. http://www.openembedded.org

MIPS Technologies

MIPS maintain a version of the above, including complete installable CD-ROM images, at ftp://ftp.mips.com/pub/linux/mips/installation/redhat7.1/.

The following companies provide commercial, supported Linux/MIPS solutions for the embedded market, on a number of different platforms.


MontaVista Software provides a commercial-grade Linux-based operating system and universal development platform. http://www.mvista.com/


Build your own Linux from the source code for the MIPS. Location for Cross-LFS is located at http://cross-lfs.org


DENX Software Engineering provides the ELDK (Embedded Linux Development Kit), a commercial-grade distribution including U-Boot boot loader, Linux kernel tree, cross development tools and an extensive set of native tools. The ELDK which is Free Software is available for PowerPC, ARM, and MIPS processors and can therefore be downloaded for FREE. See http://www.denx.de/wiki/DULG/ELDK


emlix provides a collection of system software for the Au1100 based F+S NetDCU6 boards and the respective BSP (Board Support Package). It is a commercial-grade distribution including U-Boot boot loader, Linux kernel with an extended driver set, cross development tools for Linux/ia32 (including nano-X aka MicroWindows) and a ready-to-run filesystem for the target. Prior targets for emlix were the NetDCU3 and NetDCU5, upcoming targets (fall 2005) will be the NetDCU8 with an ARM cpu.


TimeSys's TimeStorm Linux Development Kits are ready-to-run, Linux distributions that are available optimized for specific target processors.


midge is a linux mini-distribution for ADM5120 based routers, such as Edimax BR-6104K. It includes basic tools such as sh, ssh, inetd, syslogd, telnet, netcat, tftp, wget, udhcpd, vi, etc. Also midge uses ipkg package manager, which can be used for installing new software


AMiLDA is a distribution for ADM5120-based devices, which provides a user-friendly interface, along with a really secure environment. It evolves quickly, and every release includes major new features and bug fixes.

Wind River Linux

Wind River Linux is based on pristine source kernel and code, fully tested and validated Linux offering, with optimized tools and development environment Wind River Workbench, an integrated, Eclipse-based development environment.


KaeilOS® (formerly Klinux) is a GNU/Linux embedded distribution GPL Open Source for industrial applications. It includes an integrated development environment (IDE) and debugging instruments for embedded and real time systems. KaeilOS is based on kernel 2.6.15 and 2.4.x. It supports all the processor families x86, ARM, and optionally MIPS, PPC...

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