Official support for Linux on the M1 Macs could come as soon as June

While we’ve seen a variety of different efforts to bring Linux support to the M1 Macs, official support could be coming sooner than expected. As reported by Phoronix, the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle could be when preliminary support for the M1 Macs is added.

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The report explains that while the experience of running Linux on an M1 Mac still has ways to go, things are now in “good enough shape” that the Linux 5.13 kernel could add support. The Linux 5.13 kernel is expected to be released sometime in June.

Since earlier this year have been a few rounds of Apple M1 Linux kernel patches for bringing up the essential drivers needed to get the Linux kernel booting on the 2020 Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air powered by the in-house Apple Silicon. It’s in good enough shape that this very early code is likely to indeed land for Linux 5.13, which in turn will debut as stable in the June timeframe.

As for what to expect in the initial merge, the report says:

This initial Apple M1 Linux port gets the UART, interrupts, SMP, and DeviceTree bits in place for offering basic functionality. There is also a SimpleFB-based frame-buffer but getting working 3D/video acceleration will obviously be a daunting challenge.

As Tom’s Hardware explains, a pull request for the Linux 5.13 kernel submitted on Thursday is the basis for these expectations. The pull request was submitted by developer Hector Martin, who works on the Asahi Linux project.

He also said that Asahi Linux is “developing an initial bootloader, m1n1, to take care of as many hardware peculiarities as possible and present a standard Linux Arm64 boot protocol and device tree.”

This comes after Corellium was able to port Ubuntu – a popular Linux distro – to the M1 Macs in January. This, however, was not based on “bringing Apple Silicon support to the core Linux kernel.”

You can find more details about these efforts on GitHub.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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