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Could this ambitious project see Linux on Apple M1 Macs?

MacBook Pro with Asahi Linux logo
(Image credit: Asahi Linux)

Experienced Linux porter Hector Martin has kicked off work on bringing Linux to the new Apple M1 Macs. His endeavor is named Asahi after the Japanese name for the McIntosh apple.

Martin has been porting Linux to other devices for a long time, and is popular for getting the open source kernel to work on the PS4 with full OpenGL/Vulkan graphics support along with the ability to run Steam. 

With Asahi, Martin will first target the M1 Mac Mini, but assures that “all Apple M1 macs are in scope, as well as future generations as development time permits.”

Well begun

A freelance developer based in Japan, Martin launched a campaign to crowdfund the porting effort. He completed his kick-off goal overnight, which isn’t really a surprise considering that even Linux’s head honcho, Linus Torvalds, has expressed interest in using the new MacBooks, if they only ran Linux. 

Besides monetary contributions, sponsors have also provided him with a Mac Mini, Air, and Pro. 

Martin formally launched the project at the start in 2021 with a website to engage with the community. “All development will be in the open,” writes Martin and the code will be dual-licensed so that it can be reused by other projects and OSes as well. He writes that when it’s done Asahi Linux will be a remix of Arch Linux ARM.

The ARM-based Apple Silicon is an impressive piece of hardware that’s been outperforming its peers since its launch. But Apple’s not keen on releasing much details about its internals, which is why while Linux runs on virtually every processor in production, Martin has his work cut out for him to get it to run on the M1 Macs.

Via: The Register