The new M1 MacBooks are finally compatible with Linux. To be more specific, the open-sourced Linux can be loaded onto the M1 MacBook as another option for operating systems aside from Apple's proprietary MacOS.
Attempting to Run Linux on the M1 MacBook
According to the story by Hackaday, regardless of the chipset or the originally intended use of any particular computer system, there could be someone out there that would still want to attempt to run Linux on it. Although the process of doing so is kind of tricky, Hector Martin was able to do it!
Linux is known as versatile and free to use while remaining open-source enabling it to run on almost any type of computer. Of course, it still takes a while for the people at Linux to port the software directly to a brand new hardware but despite that, it's actually still guaranteed.
Arch Linux ARM on M1 MacBook Pro
Although it might take some time to get Linux running on some computers, the article notes that it is "virtually guaranteed" that it will only take a matter of time before Linux can run on even the most exclusive and locked-down hardwares. This, of course, includes the Apple M1 MacBooks.
The project was shared to Twitter by Hector Martin who was responsible for running KDE Plasma 5 on Arch Linux ARM on his M1 14-inch MacBook Pro. He also noted that he was able to make NVMe work on the device as well.
Hector Martin's Project
Hector Martin, otherwise known as marcan, has really been hard at work in order to get Linux up and running on Apple's latest devices with their very own ARM-based M1 processors. Hector Martin or marcan's project was uploaded and is available for viewing on Github.
Since the hardware is completely divorced from their own x86 product line, the processors were then worked from the ground up including both booting Linux as well as modifying kernel in order to include support for the specific hardware. It was said that marcan has a lot of hardware working within the project.
USB Ports and SD Card Slot Used
Hardware that marcan used included USB ports and of course, an SD card slot. Mararcan noted that his setup is even compatible with the newer webcam notch that is included in Apple's latest batch of MacBooks.
As of the moment, there are still some things missing. Martin ran Arch and still did not have the GPU configuration yet. This meant that all the graphics needed to be rendered in software.
The Future of Linux on Apple
However, marcan was able to put the computer through the wringer which includes running some computationally-intensive software for almost a complete day before realizing the machine did not charge. This did not actually make a lot of difference when it comes to performance.
The machines were found to be indeed capable along with their new ARM chipsets. The article notes that hopefully marcan's work can help bring the Linux to the other users of Macs.
Say hi to an M1 Pro 14" MacBook Pro running KDE Plasma 5 on Arch Linux ARM! Notch compatible!— Hector Martin (@marcan42) November 10, 2021
I made NVMe work today and decided it's time to properly install a distro ;) pic.twitter.com/ksSeTzJ1df
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Written by Urian B.