Linux Format

Apple M1 Macs get Linux support

Apple’s OS 11.2 now supports booting custom kernels


Apple recently released OS 11.2 beta, which brings full custom kernel support to the Macs and Macbooks that were released late last year, and which run on Apple’s own Arm-based M1 chips. Hector Martin, who is behind the Asahi Linux project (more on that in a moment), posted on Twitter ( LXF273M1TW­EET) a brief video of an M1 Macbook Air seemingly successful­ly booting into Linux.

So, it looks like there’s one fewer hurdle to getting Linux running on M1 Macs for the time being. However, plenty of hurdles still remain – for a start, the M1 chip combines both a CPU and GPU, so getting drivers for the latter to work properly, for example, could be tricky. Still, it’s a promising developmen­t, especially for Asahi Linux (­ilinux), which is a Linux distro being developed specifical­ly to run on Apple M1 devices.

The Asahi Linux Github posted above has an in-depth look into the challenges – and opportunit­ies – presented by getting Linux to run on M1 silicon. Interestin­gly, Martin identifies iboot, the main bootloader, and macos’ Recovery Mode as ways to get Linux working. As Martin explains, “Recovery mode is like a supercharg­ed UEFI shell and UEFI setup menu combined into one. It should be powerful enough for us to build a Linux installer off of.”

 ??  ?? Work is gathering pace on getting Linux to run on M1-powered Macbooks.
Work is gathering pace on getting Linux to run on M1-powered Macbooks.

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