We have been talking about the possibility of installing Linux on Apple’s M1 processors for almost a year. After more than a year of work and thanks to Héctor Martín (Marcan) who started the project last year, through a crowdfunding campaign, the possibility of installing Linux on the M1 is already a reality, although it still lacks a bit.
The team behind the Asahi Linux project, tasked with developing a version of Linux for Apple’s ARM processors, claims that the software is now “usable as a basic Linux desktop.” no GPU acceleration on devices like Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 and MacBook Air with M1.
In a recent update of progress this week, the team stated:
It has been a very busy month! We’ve had a lot of movement with the kernel, as well as some improvements to the tools and reverse engineering sessions. Right now, Asahi Linux is usable as a basic Linux desktop (without GPU acceleration). The ground has been shaky so far, but we are seeing the controllers settle down.
The report documents the progress of Linux drivers and the challenges of Apple’s exclusive silicon hardware, but overall, there is good news:
With these drivers, M1 Macs are really usable as desktop Linux machines! Although there is no GPU acceleration yet, the M1’s CPUs are so powerful that a software-rendered desktop is actually faster on them than on, for example, hardware-accelerated Rockchip ARM64 machines.
The team they are working on an official installer, but that won’t be a polished experience for some time to come. Asahi Linux plans to tackle the GPU to support this as well, but hasn’t been able to announce a schedule.