With the advantages of non-invasiveness, uniqueness, stability and low false recognition rate, iris recognition has been successfully applied in many fields. Up to now, most of the iris recognition systems are based on PC. However, a PC is not portable and it needs more power. In this paper, we proposed an embedded iris recognition system based on ARM. Considering the requirements of iris image acquisition and recognition algorithm, we analyzed the design method of the iris image acquisition module, designed the ARM processing module and its peripherals, studied the Linux platform and the recognition algorithm based on this platform, finally actualized the design method of ARM-based iris imaging and recognition system. Experimental results show that the ARM platform we used is fast enough to run the iris recognition algorithm, and the data stream can flow smoothly between the camera and the ARM chip based on the embedded Linux system. It's an effective method of using ARM to actualize portable embedded iris recognition system.