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Developers can now launch Linux instances on Apple M1

A man standing in front of a rack of servers inside a data center
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Gorodenkoff)

Canonical, the power behind the development of Ubuntu, has launched the latest version of Multipass that will now let M1 Macbook users run Ubuntu virtual machines (VMs), with minimal fuss.

Multipass is a lightweight VM manager for Linux, Windows and macOS, which helps developers spin up a fresh Linux environment with a single command.

According to Canonical, with the support for M1 MacBooks, Multipass will help get developers running Linux faster than any other option on the market. 

Multipass M1

 “Canonical wants to get developers running on Linux faster than any other option on the market, and the Multipass team has helped accomplish that,” said Canonical product manager Nathan Hart.

One highlight of the new release is the Aliases feature, using which developers will be able to tie commands within a VM to commands on the host OS, in essence giving users a near-native experience for any Linux app

Linux on the M1

Canonical notes that M1 users haven’t had many options for running Linux, with at best experimental support for the new architecture in popular VM platforms such as VirtualBox and VMware.

Furthermore, it contends that where support does exist, getting everything set up usually requires hands-on configuration, management, and maintenance. 

“Multipass is Canonical’s answer: free VM software that removes all set-up and configuration overhead so developers can get straight to the projects that matter to them,” claims Canonical.

It adds that Multipass can not only spin up and destroy multiple VMs with ease, it also enables developers to choose from a growing library of images and special purpose machines such as the Anbox Cloud appliance, which allows developers to run Android apps in Multipass. 

To help you run Linux, we’ve rounded up the best Linux laptops 

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.