The hardware platforms are multiplying, and the demarcation line is no longer all that well defined. There used to be some very clear architectures, and open source projects, including GNOME, knew very well how to better support them.
Now a new family of devices based on ARM hardware is becoming more and more popular, not to mention powerful. Making sure that the software is optimized for specific hardware is important, but GNOME needs help from the community.
Since the GNOME Foundation is a non-profit organization, acquiring all the hardware needed can be a little too expensive, so it’s much easier to just ask for donations from the community. Especially since the developers don’t need physical access to those devices.
ARM hardware needed
Devices and boards such as Raspberry Pi, C.H.I.P., Banana Pi and on are now everywhere, and they can have various functions. Moreover, there are plenty of Linux distributions out there, and many of them are using some packages from the GNOME stack.
“As ARM devices like the Raspberry Pis, Cubieboards, C.H.I.P.s and the just announced Endless Mini become more prominent we want to make sure GNOME software is ready for those platforms as well to the extent possible. So I have asked the board for permission to try to reach out to organizations willing to donate ARMv7 servers to the GNOME Foundation for our continuous infrastructure,” explained GNOME developer Alberto Ruiz.
The interesting aspect of this request is that they don’t actually need those devices. They only need to have a decent Internet connection, which means that you can “donate” the services of your ARM hardware from all over the world, as long as you have the proper Internet connection.