Linux 5.13 update expected to add Apple Silicon M1 support

Posted:
in macOS
Preliminary support for the Apple Silicon M1 processor is now expected in Linux 5.13, though it may still be years before it's fully finished.

Linux running on Apple Silicon
Linux running on Apple Silicon


Although Linux has been already been run on Apple Silicon M1, it's been through a series of patches designed to make a version boot on the new machines. Now Linux 5.13 is expected to gain preliminary support in its kernel.

According to Phoronix, developer Hector Martin initial M1 support is in the running to be part of 5.13, which is expected to get a stable release around June 2021. Martin previously launched a Patreon crowd-funding effort to support his development work on the project.

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

Key areas of full M1 support have yet to be addressed. Specifically "getting the Apple M1 graphics systems fully working under Linux for day to day use is likely to take some time."

Previously, Corellium got a version of Linux on M1. However, its developers say that Apple's new and non-standard approaches made it difficult.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,404member
    I wish Apple would allow alternate OSs on their iPadOS and iOS devices also.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    davendaven Posts: 624member
    That is really amazing. While I'm sticking with MacOS, the nerd in me loves the fact that running Linux on an M1 is possible.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,242member
    daven said:
    That is really amazing. While I'm sticking with MacOS, the nerd in me loves the fact that running Linux on an M1 is possible.
    Amazing?  Linux has run on ARM since forever, I don't see what's so amazing about it.  It's once a small step beyond expected tbh.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 4 of 27
    M68000M68000 Posts: 342member
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    No, you have the right to do whatever you want on your own hardware after you buy it. 
  • Reply 6 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,242member
    cloudguy said:
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    No, you have the right to do whatever you want on your own hardware after you buy it. 
    Apple have the right to make it difficult though, they're under no obligation to help you out.  If they were able to make it impossible without compromising the product I'm sure they would.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    ppietrappietra Posts: 254member
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    Apple doesn't stop anyone from installing another OS, so that question doesn’t even make sense!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    I wish Apple would allow alternate OSs on their iPadOS and iOS devices also.
    Technically they don't "allow" or "disallow" it. There is merely:

    A) no practical way of achieving it. It isn't easy: takes a ton of work
    B) no reason to

    I mean, you "can" go through the effort of putting Linux on an iPad. Fine: what are you going to do with it? It has 4 GB of RAM, as little as 32 GB of onboard storage - not the specs that you want for running an e-commerce stack, or even for coding and testing one - and isn't very cheap. And far more practical alternatives exist: Android and Windows devices. Plus you can actually buy tablets with Ubuntu preloaded. They aren't big sellers but they exist. Before you say "but they have those slow Qualcomm and x86 CPUs", again what are you going to do with Linux running on an iPad? That you can't do with a Chromebook that has Linux built in already? 

    Now a Mac is different. Sure, the current 16 GB of RAM limits what Linux pros want/need but everyone knows that the real Macs with up to 128 GB of RAM will be available by next year. They want to buy those and use them as web and data center servers. Even the M1 Mac Minis with 8/16 GB of RAM running Linux can be used for load balancers and other light infrastructure tasks. Using an iPad for something like that for your job - as opposed to just something that you can hack for your own private network in your garage at home - would get you fired. 

  • Reply 9 of 27
    ppietrappietra Posts: 254member

    crowley said:
    cloudguy said:
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    No, you have the right to do whatever you want on your own hardware after you buy it. 
    Apple have the right to make it difficult though, they're under no obligation to help you out.  If they were able to make it impossible without compromising the product I'm sure they would.
    They had the ability to do it and clearly chose not to do so. They could have locked the booting sequence to only accept Apple signed systems and yet they allow people to select unsigned systems!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?

    No. And why? They already said in the past that you are allowed to install whatever you want on their hardware. What you are not alowed is to install macOS system on other hardware than Apple. Please read thourgh history and statements aswell as wars over last 15 years. There were attempts to break their OS validations for hardware (and we do have Hackintosh even now), but they openly said they do not restrict other software installation on theor hardware including other OS.

    Otherwise you would not have Windows running on Mac's and Apple supported that.

    In general, it would be stupid and probably against various laws if Apple wanted to restrict installation of other OS on their hardware. Also DMCA was challenged and reverse engineering was declared as legal by courts. They cannot chase anyone for someone trying to use any techniques to reverse engineer. That is what was done druing Linux port to M1 recently.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    cloudguy said:
    I wish Apple would allow alternate OSs on their iPadOS and iOS devices also.
    Technically they don't "allow" or "disallow" it. There is merely:

    A) no practical way of achieving it. It isn't easy: takes a ton of work
    B) no reason to

    I mean, you "can" go through the effort of putting Linux on an iPad. Fine: what are you going to do with it? It has 4 GB of RAM, as little as 32 GB of onboard storage - not the specs that you want for running an e-commerce stack, or even for coding and testing one - and isn't very cheap. And far more practical alternatives exist: Android and Windows devices. Plus you can actually buy tablets with Ubuntu preloaded. They aren't big sellers but they exist. Before you say "but they have those slow Qualcomm and x86 CPUs", again what are you going to do with Linux running on an iPad? That you can't do with a Chromebook that has Linux built in already? 

    Now a Mac is different. Sure, the current 16 GB of RAM limits what Linux pros want/need but everyone knows that the real Macs with up to 128 GB of RAM will be available by next year. They want to buy those and use them as web and data center servers. Even the M1 Mac Minis with 8/16 GB of RAM running Linux can be used for load balancers and other light infrastructure tasks. Using an iPad for something like that for your job - as opposed to just something that you can hack for your own private network in your garage at home - would get you fired. 


    Technically they cannot disallow. It would go against what courts ruled probably. Apple does not establish laws and use of hardware is not regulated by commercial enterprise. It could be repurposed in any way. What is illegal is copying it and violating various patent laws and copyright laws. I will give you one example from life: many military fighter jets from US compamies come with control software obviously, but Israeli Defense Forces wipe this out and install their own. Can US manufacturers of those declare it is illegal? No they cannot. You could void warranty by doing this, but you cannot fight it on any legal grounds anywhere.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,242member
    https://ipadlinux.org

    For those actually interested.  I doubt there are many.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    crowley said:
    cloudguy said:
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    No, you have the right to do whatever you want on your own hardware after you buy it. 
    Apple have the right to make it difficult though, they're under no obligation to help you out.  If they were able to make it impossible without compromising the product I'm sure they would.
    Agreed, but it wasn't the question. Indeed, I would argue that they SHOULDN'T help you out. That would put them on the hook for any number of support issues, even lawsuits. Yes, they would make it impossible ... but they can't. Software and hardware are what they are. They can be reverse-engineered. As there is a HUGE financial incentive to run Linux on Mac hardware, people would figure it out no matter how hard Apple tries to make it. Until Qualcomm, Samsung or someone else figures out how to make decent ARM processors that give even half the single core performance that the M1 does (and this is with the M1X and M2 on the way!) cracking the M1 to get that performance at very low heating costs into your data center is going to be the #1 issue for the IT world to solve. Especially since even with the "Apple tax" a Mac Pro running the M2 chip is going to be a lot cheaper than an Intel Xeon or AMD Epyc. 

    I admit, I was a huge skeptic, but you have no idea how transformational this may be if running Debian on an Apple Silicon Mac Pro may be for information technology. Data centers and cloud companies will start buying them by the truckload. The only question is whether Intel can somehow get their 60 core Xeon chips to 5nm fast enough to compete. (It may even require their going past 60 cores as Ampere and AMD have 128 core maximums.) As AMD's Epyc chips are already at 7nm, it isn't looking good. And yes, the ability to reconfigure a prebuilt Mac system won't be good for Ampere, which is the last company of note remaining in the ARM server market now that HP and Marvell have abandoned it. It probably wasn't Apple's goal to kill off the ARM server market, but that is what is likely going to happen if those 64 core Apple Silicon Mac Pros that Notebookcheck theorizes that Apple will release next year comes to fruition. Again, as the current maximum core count for any Intel chip is 60 (and until a few weeks ago it was 56) you can only imagine what a 64 core Apple CPU would be used for.

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Mac-Pro-desktop-with-up-to-64-core-Apple-Silicon-expected-to-destroy-bank-accounts-in-2022.526753.0.html



  • Reply 14 of 27
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    crowley said:
    https://ipadlinux.org

    For those actually interested.  I doubt there are many.
    Putting Linux - a desktop/server operating system - on an iPad defeats the purpose of an iPad, which is the ability to use mobile apps with a mobile UX/UI. You could put Linux on an iPad for the purposes of using KdenLive to do video editing instead of iMovie, or Blender for 3D animation instead of SketchBook Pro, but that doesn't make it a very good idea. You would be going through all that trouble in order to run worse apps and have a worse experience. And again, iPads aren't cheap

    For everything that Linux is practical for on an iPad - I can think of some things, especially for sysadmins, penetration testers, and other IT workers who either need to move around a lot or need as many screens as possible - getting an x86 Windows 2-in-1 and replacing the OS with Ubuntu Touch makes a lot more sense. And again, a 2-in-1 Chromebook makes a full Gentoo Linux system available to you just by turning on a pair of options in the settings. 

    Of course, Apple to come out with a 2-in-1 MacBook Air that would change things entirely. Those would be very popular with Linux pros. But Linux pros are too small a market for Apple to change their current product strategy to accommodate. Google and either Qualcomm or Samsung should come together to create better gadgets for that crowd. For example, why an ARM-based Linux development workstation (you can take a very scaled down version of the ARM server chips made by Marvell, HP and/or Ampere) hasn't been released by any of these guys is a mystery. But they, they are the ones who make the decisions. (Usually bad ones at that.)
  • Reply 15 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,698member
    I wish Apple would allow alternate OSs on their iPadOS and iOS devices also.

    ... but only to the extent of being able to repurpose "obsolete" iOS devices as Linux based dedicated appliances. I have some old iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs laying around collecting dust that could probably serve some purpose, for example using an old Apple TV in the same role as a Pi-Hole, an iPhone as an indoor security camera/baby monitor, or an iPad as a console for your AV or home theater system. Yeah, some of these features are available as apps in iOS, but limiting the functionality and OS footprint even more by using an embedded Linux may allow even older obsolete devices to be repurposed. I have no desire to run a desktop Linux on any iOS device.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    M68000M68000 Posts: 342member
    cloudguy said:
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    No, you have the right to do whatever you want on your own hardware after you buy it. 
    But what if the legal department comes up with multiple page agreements that you agree to when buying the computer?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 27
    M68000M68000 Posts: 342member
    ppietra said:
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    Apple doesn't stop anyone from installing another OS, so that question doesn’t even make sense!
    Sorry it does not make sense to you.  But given that Apple has to protect it’s property and patents, trademarks,  I thought of this. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,242member
    cloudguy said:
    crowley said:
    cloudguy said:
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    No, you have the right to do whatever you want on your own hardware after you buy it. 
    Apple have the right to make it difficult though, they're under no obligation to help you out.  If they were able to make it impossible without compromising the product I'm sure they would.
    Agreed, but it wasn't the question. 
    I think we read the question a little differently.  To clarify my point:

    Apple have the legal right to put technical obstacles in the way of their customers replacing the Apple-provided software.  
    Apple don't have the legal right to challenge a customer in court for successfully navigating those obstacles and replacing the software.
    edited April 9 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,658member
    M68000 said:
    cloudguy said:
    M68000 said:
    Does Apple have legal rights to stop anybody from using non Apple operating system on their new M chips?
    No, you have the right to do whatever you want on your own hardware after you buy it. 
    But what if the legal department comes up with multiple page agreements that you agree to when buying the computer?
    Good luck.  I think Apple would think twice before sending legal goons to my house and decide if that's worth the bad PR.  It's not in Apple's interest to go to such draconian measures.  While Apple is growing as a services company, it's still primarily a hardware company.  I don't think Apple would really care as it means people are buying Apple products.  Why would/should Apple care if the first thing that I do when I bring my Mac home is install Linux on it?  Apple still got my money.

    I bought a 2020 iMac because my life still depends on Windows.  I'm primarily a MacOS user, but my job(s) still has me using every flavor of Windows.  I also use Ubuntu Linux as well on my Macs.  They are all running under virtual machines.

    I do hope Microsoft sells ARM-Windows to end-users.  Windows will still always be needed for me.

    When it comes time to retire the machine in 5-7 years, Apple will have had their ASi Macs fully baked.  I will be buying one of the new MacBooks this year after they're introduced, but my desktop needs are much more robust.

    Pretty exciting times right now.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,301member
    So you all want to run alternate operating systems on your Apple hardware? What if Apple had never moved to Intel? Do you think there would be a PPC version of Windows today? The M1 will almost certainly kill off the Hackintosh project. Why do you all want Apple hardware to be just like everyone else?
    watto_cobra
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