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Linux on Apple M1 silicon is right around the corner

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Preliminary support for Apple M1-powered devices could potentially land in the next version of the Linux kernel, v5.13.

The efforts are spearheaded by Hector Martin’s crowdfunded Asahi Linux project. From the get-go, Martin’s objective has been to upstream his work to the mainline kernel for wider reach. He’s just submitted the final set of changes that’ll get the Linux kernel to boot on the M1-based devices.

“Finally! It's been a long time coming, but it's done! This is just basic bring-up, but it lays a solid foundation and is probably the most challenging upstreaming step we'll have to do, at least until the GPU stuff is done,” shared Martin on Twitter.

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5.13 Will be the First Linux Kernel With Initial Support

  • 5.13 Will be the First Linux Kernel With Initial Support for Apple M1 Device

    While we have already witnessed Ubuntu run on Apple M1, there was another community project that was also working to bring Linux support to Apple’s M1-powered devices – Asahi Linux.

    Now, it looks like Hector Martin from Asahi Linux sent in a pull request to include Apple M1 SoC platform in the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.13 release.

Linux 5.13 update expected to add Apple Silicon M1 support

  • Linux 5.13 update expected to add Apple Silicon M1 support

    Although Linux has been already been run on Apple Silicon M1, it's been through a series of patches designed to make a version boot on the new machines. Now Linux 5.13 is expected to gain preliminary support in its kernel.

    According to Phoronix, developer Hector Martin initial M1 support is in the running to be part of 5.13, which is expected to get a stable release around June 2021. Martin previously launched a Patreon crowd-funding effort to support his development work on the project.

    "This initial Apple M1 Linux port gets the UART, interrupts, SMP, and DeviceTree bits in place for offering basic functionality," says Phoronix. "There is also a SimpleFB-based frame-buffer but getting working 3D/video acceleration will obviously be a daunting challenge."

    Key areas of full M1 support have yet to be addressed. Specifically "getting the Apple M1 graphics systems fully working under Linux for day to day use is likely to take some time."

Official support for Linux on the M1 Macs could come...

Asahi Linux devs merge effort to run Linux on Apple M1 silicon

  • Asahi Linux devs merge effort to run Linux on Apple M1 silicon into kernel

    The Asahi Linux project, an effort to bring the Linux kernel to Apple’s M1 silicon, has merged its work and is on track to have it accepted in version 5.13 of the kernel.

    A merge from kernel hacker Arnd Bergmann of Linux-on-Arm outfit Linaro and a kernel mailing list post from Asahi Linux backer Hector Martin delivered the news.

    Martin also tweeted an alert, while also acknowledging that Linux overlord Linus Torvalds could banish the effort.


    “This has been tested on an Apple M1 Mac Mini booting to a framebuffer and serial console, with SMP and KASLR, with an arm64 defconfig (+ CONFIG_FB_SIMPLE for the fb),” he wrote.

    Instructions on how to boot Linux on an M1 box can be found here.

    The code has been merged for the next version 5.13 of the Linux kernel. Linus Torvalds this week issued rc6 of version 5.12, and each release usually runs to eight weekly release candidates and then a two-week merge window. If all goes well, Asahi Linux could therefore be a reality in about 12 weeks.

Apple M1 hardware support merged into Linux 5.13

  • Apple M1 hardware support merged into Linux 5.13

    Asahi is the Japanese name for what we know as the McIntosh Apple—the specific fruit cultivar that gave the Mac its name. Asahi Linux is a fledgling distribution founded with the specific goal of creating a workable daily-driver Linux experience on Apple M1 silicon.

    This is a daunting task. Apple does not offer any community documentation for Apple Silicon, so Martin and cohorts must reverse-engineer the hardware as well as write drivers for it. And this is especially difficult considering the M1 GPU—without first-class graphics support, Asahi cannot possibly offer a first-class Linux experience on M1 hardware such as the 2020 M1 Mac Mini, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro.


    As exciting as the news of Martin's work landing upstream might be, don't rush out to buy an Apple M1 device for Linux use just yet. It's been five months since we tested the first Apple M1 hardware—and it's taken every day of that time to get to a completely vanilla boot environment "just about suitable for debugging."
    It's impossible to guess how long it will take the Asahi developers to reverse-engineer the M1's GPU and produce a quality open source driver. Even now it's not impossible they'll fail to do so entirely; or for some reason their work might not be accepted upstream.

    We're cautiously excited about the idea of first-class Linux support on the M1, but we absolutely do not recommend buying M1 hardware for that purpose unless and until the Asahi project gets much, much farther down the road than it's managed so far. This isn't because we doubt Martin—his effort in getting the project as far as it's gotten already is outstanding—it's just far too early to assume success, let alone success within a concrete timeline.

Work to make Linux run on M1 still in early days, says Torvalds

Emulation, Virtualization, and Rosetta 2: A Blend of Old, New...

  • Emulation, Virtualization, and Rosetta 2: A Blend of Old, New, and Yet To Come

    Apple’s latest entrant in the emulation field is Rosetta 2, which enables Intel-based apps to run on Apple’s M1 chips. But there’s more to come that could improve the transition from Intel to Apple silicon for Mac users—like a virtualization app that would let us launch 10.15 Catalina or previous Intel-only versions of macOS, or Intel flavors of Windows, Linux, and other operating systems. What stands in the way?

Official Support For Linux On M1 Macs Could Be Coming Soon

  • Official Support For Linux On M1 Macs Could Be Coming Soon

    There has been work to try and bring Linux onto the M1 Macs, and it seems that the developers are confident that they could have something stable enough this June. This is according to a report from Phoronix in which they claim that the Linux 5.13 cycle could be when support for Apple Silicon could be introduced.

    However, it should be noted that it won’t necessarily provide the full Linux experience just yet. The initial port could see things like UART, interrupts, SMP, DeviceTree, and so on, so this port is more like a working proof of concept that an M1 compatible Linux is a possibility. If you plan to use Linux often, then maybe it might not be a good idea to rely on this port just yet.

    This development comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this year where Corellium was successful at porting Ubuntu onto M1 Macs, although it wasn’t necessarily the “core Linux kernel”.

You might be able to run Linux natively on Apple M1 Macs...

Linux could run on Apple M1 chips in just a few months

  • Linux could run on Apple M1 chips in just a few months

    Apple's latest M1-based range of laptops and desktops has impressed many with the impressive speed boost over Intel chips. While many macOS fans have been eagerly waiting for their favorite apps to be ported across, others have been waiting to the arrival of Linux.

    And with the launch of version 5.13 of the Linux kernel, this should become a reality. The hard work of developers means Linux support could be coming to M1 Apple devices as soon as June this year.

    Support will initially, understandably, be somewhat rudimentary. But it will at least be official and -- hopefully -- rather more reliable than cobbled-together hacks. While the early stage of support will mean that not everything will be working as everyone might hope, it will serve as an important starting point from which to build.

Linux will soon get official support for M1 Macs

  • Linux will soon get official support for M1 Macs

    There are several different ongoing projects to bring Linux to the latest Macs - including the news back in January of a working version based on a variant of Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi - but we may soon get official support. The upcoming Linux kernel 5.13 is in "good enough shape" to work with Apple's M1 computers, writes Phoronix.

Apple M1 Hardware Support to be Merged into Linux

  • Apple M1 Hardware Support to be Merged into Linux Kernel 5.13

    Linux users will be able to install their favorite distribution on Apple’s M1-based hardware.

    Hector Martin has merged the initial support for Apple M1 hardware into the Linux SOC (System On a Chip) tree. Martin is the founder of Asahi Linux, a project to port Linux to Apple Silicon Macs. The project was started in 2020, using the M1 Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro hardware. The Asahi goal is “not just to make Linux run on these machines but to polish it to the point where it can be used as a daily OS.”

    Now that M1 support has been merged into the tree, it should make it into the Linux kernel for the 5.13 release (which should come sometime this summer). That does not mean, however, you’ll be able to run Linux on Apple Silicon this summer. In fact, at the moment there is no timetable for full support. The reason for this is porting Linux to Apple Silicon is a daunting task. Because Apple doesn’t release any documentation for the M1 hardware, everything must be reverse-engineered and drivers must then be written.

Linux kernel will soon have initial support for Apple’s M1 chips

  • Linux kernel will soon have initial support for Apple’s M1 chipset

    Apple revealed its first desktop-class System-on-a-Chip design last year, the Apple M1, based on the same ARM architecture as most smartphones and tablets. While Linux has worked well on ARM devices (like the Raspberry Pi) for years, Apple’s hardware is heavily customized and requires specific software support. Thankfully, we’re now one step closer to running Linux on Apple Silicon.

    Asahi Linux has been working to bring “a polished Linux experience” to Apple Silicon Macs and has been submitting its code to the Linux project for inclusion in the official Linux kernel. The group’s initial work has been merged into the Linux SoC codebase, and will likely arrive as part of the upcoming Linux 5.13 update.

You can finally run Windows 10 along with Ubuntu Linux...

  • You can finally run Windows 10 along with Ubuntu Linux on Apple M1 Mac computers

    When Apple switched from Intel to its own ARM-based processors for new Mac computers, some people were dubious that the transition would go smoothly. Well, guess what? Apple did it, folks. The company moved to a new chip type without any major negative issues. In fact, Apple's M1 chip has been universally praised as being both fast and energy efficient.

    Earlier this year, some people got Linux-based Ubuntu running on the M1 hardware, and that process is getting better all the time. Sadly, owners of M1 Mac computers have been unable to run Windows 10 like they could on older Intel-based Mac machines. Until now, that is. Yes, you can finally run Windows 10 on Apple M1 Mac computers -- sort of.

    Why do I say "sort of?" Well, while it is Windows 10, it is the ARM variant, which means it is more limited than the normal x86_64 version. Also, Windows 10 on ARM is not running natively, but using Parallels Desktop 16.5. With that said, Parallels promises the performance to be the same as if it was native.

Native M1 Mac Support Coming Soon To Linux

  • Native M1 Mac Support Coming Soon To Linux

    Since the launch of the M1 Mac a few groups have been scrambling to get Linux running on it and while there was some early headway we thought native Linux was still a long way away, turns it out it may be closer than expected.

Why port Linux to Apple Silicon?

  • Why port Linux to Apple Silicon?

    When Apple first released their new M1-based hardware, a small fraction of the Linux community was up in arms. Why? Because that community tends to prefer installing their favorite open-source operating system on Apple laptops. So upon launch of the new Apple Silicon-based hardware, it became clear that the usual route to getting Linux installed wouldn't work.

    And thus a movement was put into motion to successfully install Linux on M1-based hardware. One company, in particular, Corellium, set out to make it happen. This company had a leg up on this, thanks to their virtualization platform having been a provider of security research with particular insights into how operating systems function on Apple ARM CPUs.

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