The ABI armhf stand for ARM Hard-Float but what is el an abbreviation for in armel?

2 Answers 2


el stands for little-endian; see the email explaining (briefly) the decision; the follow-up emails contain more information. Endianness isn't the most distinguishing feature of armel, but that's the name that was chosen...

Further evidence is in Wookey's Debconf7 talk introducing the armel architecture; in the video at 26:47 he explicitly says "armel, basically little-endian ARM".

Other architectures using el in the same way include mipsel and ppc64el.

As pointed out by Kurt, el is the initials of "little-endian" read in little-endian order.

  • OK, but why "el" for Little-Endian and not "le"? Jan 12, 2016 at 15:09
  • 2
    Heh its a typical computer science joke, when sending the bits in a byte in little-endian you start with the right-most one first. In big-endian its left-to-right.
    – Kurt
    Oct 31, 2016 at 19:00

The e stands for EABI; the l for little-endian.

  • 6
    @August, just because it sounds good doesn't make it true (and Wikipedia is wrong here). I've dug up a video of the actual talk in which the armel architecture was presented, and armel is explicitly equated to little-endian ARM. Jan 13, 2016 at 8:35

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