Installing Ansible on a RISC-V computer

Ansible runs on Python, and Python runs on... well pretty much everything. Including newer RISC-V machines.

But Ansible has a lot of dependencies, and some of these dependencies have caused frustration from time to time on x86 and Arm (so having issues with a dependency is just a way of life when you enter dependency hell)... but in this case, for the past few months, I've never had luck installing Ansible from PyPI (Python's Package Index) on any RISC-V system, using pip install ansible.

I prefer installing this way (rather than compiling from source or from system packages) because it generally gets the latest version of Ansible, with an easy upgrade/downgrade path. It's also easy to add ansible to a Python requirements.txt file and install it alongside other package dependencies.

Regardless, the cryptography library, which requires a Rust compiler to build if the package is not already built for a particular system, has made it difficult to install Ansible from pip:

Sipeed's new handheld RISC-V Cyberdeck

tl;dr: Sipeed sent a Lichee Console 4A to test. It has a T-Head TH1520 4-core RISC-V CPU that's on par with 2-3 generations-old Arm SBC CPUs, and is in a fun but impractical netbook/cyberdeck form factor. Here's my video on the Lichee Console 4A, and here's all my test data on GitHub.

Sipeed Lichee Console 4A

Last year I tested the StarFive VisionFive 2 and Milk-V Mars CM—both machines ran the JH7110, a 4-core RISC-V SoC that was slower than a Pi 3.

Sipeed introduced the Lichee Pi 4A line of computers, offering a slightly newer T-Head TH1520 SoC, which is also 4-core, but uses faster C910 cores than the JH7110.

Getting RISC-V (again): Milk-V's Mars CM

Milk-V Mars CM with Box

tl;dr: No, it's not a replacement for a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. But yes, it's an exciting tiny RISC-V board that could be just the ticket for more RISC-V projects, tapping into the diverse ecosystem of existing Compute Module 4 boards.

This tiny computer is the Mars CM. It's the exact same size and shape as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. It should be a drop-in replacement. And on its box it says it supports 4K, Bluetooth and WiFi, and has gigabit Ethernet. It's also supposed to have PCI Express!

RISC-V Business: Testing StarFive's VisionFive 2 SBC

It's risky business fighting Intel, AMD, and Arm, and that's exactly what Star Five is trying to do with this:

StarFive VisionFive 2 Black Background

The chip on this new single board computer could be the start of a computing revolution—at least that's what some people think!

The VisionFive 2 has a JH7110 SoC on it, sporting a new Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) called RISC-V.