Mainline the Nios2 Linux Kernel port

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Mainline the Nios2 Linux Kernel port
Tobias Klauser


The Nios II as an embedded softcore processor for Altera FPGAs (see for more information). It is configurable and may include an optional MMU.

There has been a port of the Linux Kernel for Nios II without MMU for quite some time now, but it never made it into mainline until now. Since 2009 there is also a (separate) port for Nios II with MMU.

The two version are currently separated into two trees, but work is ongoing to merge them. There are also people working on getting full device tree support to the port and converting drivers.

Linus' git tree is regularly merged into the main development branch of the tree to keep it up-to-date with current mainline and make possible mainline inclusion simpler.

Some drivers out of the project have already been submitted and included into mainline (e.g. altera_ps2 serio driver, altera_uart and altera_jtaguart serial drivers). Some drivers such as the altera_tse ethernet driver, the nios_mmc MMC host driver or the spi_altera SPI driver still need to be brought into shape for mainline submission. Especially the altera_tse driver needs some serious work, maybe it could be submitted for inclusion into staging first.

The task would include finishing the work on the NOMMU/MMU tree merge and FDT support, fixing emerging bugs, submitting the code to LKML for review, incorporating review feedback etc. until the architecture could finally be merged into mainline.

Related work

    • Background Information for the "MMU port":,
    • Background Information for the "NOMMU port":
  • Nios II Processor Reference Handbook:


Around 4 weeks (full-time) to get the tree ready for initial mainline submission. Work amount afterwards heavily depends on the review feedback which needs to be included.

Contractor Candidates

Thomas Chou is the "official" maintainer of the port and also works on the Das U-Boot for Nios2, he would certainly be a great candidate.

I worked with and on Nios2 Linux for some time now and am one of around 5 people contributing to Nios2 Linux regularly (currently working on the NOMMU/MMU merge), so I'd also like to nominate myself.