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Apple Silicon hardware support merged into Linux 5.13

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Asahi Linux has merged initial support for Apple Silicon hardware into the Linux system-on-chip (SoC) tree, where it will hopefully make it into the Linux 5.13 kernel (due roughly in July).

The new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini are now powered by M1, Apple’s revolutionary chip.
The new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini are now powered by M1, Apple’s revolutionary chip.

Jim Salter for Ars Technica:

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.

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.

MacDailyNews Take: It’ll be awhile – perhaps quite awhile – before Linux on Apple Silicon becomes viable.

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