While Windows 11 may have some problems running some x86 machines, I previously saw Windows 11 Arm on Raspberry Pi 4 with instructions telling you to download the images from UUP Dump and flash the ISO with Windows on Raspberry Pi Imager.
At the time, I did not look into details, and it seemed was some hack involved, but I’ve just been told Windows 11 could also run without modification on some SolidRun’s single board computers, namely MacchiatoBin and CN913x CEx7 evaluation board.
Marcin Wojtas explains Windows 11 Pro (version 22000.168) could be installed unmodified on an Arm computer based on MacchiatoBin mini-ITX board equipped with an NVIDIA Geforce GT630 GPU (using EFI Frame Buffer), a SATA SSD, connected through Ethernet (via USB2ETH), plus a mouse and keyboard.
So what’s the trick, and what do Raspberry Pi 4 and a board like MacchiatoBin have in common? Answer: Arm SystemReady ES certification which mandates compliance with UEFI, ACPI, and other packages in order to boot off-the-shelf images like Linux distributions, or, in this case, Windows 11. You’ll find the full list of compliant systems on Arm’s website.
The photo above shows a generic “ACPI ARM64-based PC”, and you’ll also notice the graphics card driver is missing, relying on graphics support from the EFI binary, and Ethernet is not working out of the box which is why a USB 2.0 to Ethernet adapter was used instead. WiFi and NVMe do not work at this time either.
That’s still pretty neat. You’ll find the source code of the EDK2 open-source firmware need for this to work on Marvell Armada7k8k & CN913x hardware on Github. As a side note, Marcin previously managed to run Windows 11 on top of ESXI ARM hypervisor.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.