Arch Linux ARM was started in 2009 as an optware-like distribution called PlugApps for the emerging plug computer market, followed shortly by a transition to being the first ARM port of the Arch Linux distribution supporting ARMv5 systems. By the end of 2010 a nearly complete port was available.

In mid-2011, the distribution was expanded with a port for hard-float ARMv7 and was renamed to Arch Linux ARM to better encompass the goals and direction of development. A third port for hard-float ARMv6 was added in 2012. An ARMv8 AArch64 port was added in 2015.

Arch Linux ARM continues the philosophy of Arch Linux into new architectures. As a port of the distribution, as opposed to a derivative, packages are released as-is with modifications made only to support building on ARM. A custom package build infrastructure brings new upstream Arch package releases to the four supported ARM architectures within hours of their release to x86 systems.

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