Linus Torvalds uses M2 MacBook Air to release Linux 5.19

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
The latest release of Linux 5.19 has more of an Apple angle than usual, with Linus Torvalds releasing it using an M2 MacBook Air running a version of Linux ported to Apple Silicon.




Linux, like other operating systems, receives updates periodically, with the open source software being no exception. Linus Torvalds, the driving force behind Linux, recently released version 5.19 of the operating system, enabling maintainers of the different Linux variants to incorporate the changes.

Spotted by Asahi Linux, Torvalds has passed comment about the use of Apple products in an email to the Linux Kernel Mailing List. Posted on Sunday, Torvalds writes "the most interesting part here is that I did the release (and am writing this) on an arm64 laptop," referring to the use of Apple Silicon.

Torvalds doesn't specifically name the model of Mac he is using. But, Asahi Linux claims it is an M2 MacBook Air running its port.

"It's something I've been waiting for for a loong [sic] time, and it's finally reality, thanks to the Asahi team," Torvalds continues. In July, the Asahi Linux for Mac project released an update that added Mac Studio support as well as experimental M2 support and fixing Bluetooth.

Torvalds mentions that there has been arm64 hardware running Linux for a while, but that "none of it has really been usable as a development platform until now."

This marks the third time Torvalds has used Apple hardware for Linux development. He previously did so "for powerpc development on a ppc970 machine," then over a decade ago with the MacBook Air as it was "the only real thin-and-lite around."

He admits its usage has been limited, as it hasn't been used "for any real work" so far. It has been used for "doing test builds and boots and now the actual release tagging."

Torvalds anticipates using it while traveling "and finally dogfooding the arm64 side too."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    tobiantobian Posts: 152member
    Why not? Experiencing absolute kickass performance, running on a single solar panel on your roof ;)
  • Reply 2 of 17
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    tobian said:
    Why not? Experiencing absolute kickass performance, running on a single solar panel on your roof ;)
    From what I’ve gathered, Apple Silicon has a lot of non-public documented features, if you will, which makes porting OS to it difficult. 
    hackintoisierwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 17
    larryjw said:
    tobian said:
    Why not? Experiencing absolute kickass performance, running on a single solar panel on your roof ;)
    From what I’ve gathered, Apple Silicon has a lot of non-public documented features, if you will, which makes porting OS to it difficult. 
    Yes that is  true and not all features of the MacBook are working in Linux. They still have to implement proper GPU support, as well as bring up the thunderbolt bus. Undocumented features. Apple doesn’t make it easy on Linux developers but the asahi team is doing amazing things.
    h4y3ssphericdewme
  • Reply 4 of 17
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    larryjw said:
    tobian said:
    Why not? Experiencing absolute kickass performance, running on a single solar panel on your roof ;)
    From what I’ve gathered, Apple Silicon has a lot of non-public documented features, if you will, which makes porting OS to it difficult. 
    Yes that is  true and not all features of the MacBook are working in Linux. They still have to implement proper GPU support, as well as bring up the thunderbolt bus. Undocumented features. Apple doesn’t make it easy on Linux developers but the asahi team is doing amazing things.
    These difficulties applies everywhere. Every manufacturer may use different supporting chipsets: mmu, bluetooth, wifi, cellular, power, GPU, internet, .... The boot process may be different. This is true also for the supposedly open CPU platforms, such as RISC-V. 

    Marketing over substance. 
  • Reply 5 of 17
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,203member
    “Dogfooding” has join the lexicon of latter day tech weenies I see. 
  • Reply 6 of 17
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,061member
    A waste of time, it’s been thirty years and no one has done anything to actually advance Linux to public in a useable way, hardware (designed for Linux) combined with Linux OS is the only way, parasitic grafts on to other peoples hardware is a non event.

    The person or persons that will advance the next level in computer OS and hardware is in Kindergarten. Why? Because they will not know and break thru the artificial barriers. Where there once was SGI, Sun, or Digital there will be some new company again. Linux is a me too dead end.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,101member
    Linux as a useful consumer desktop OS is an abject failure. This is not new. I dabbled with desktop Linux and eventually gave up. Back in 2002.

    Linux has its place as a OS for servers, embedded devices, things like routers, gas pump POS terminals, printers, my retro Super NES Classic game console, etc. As such, there must be a corresponding development environment for those situations. For people to develop for arm64 devices, Linux needs to run on arm64 devices. It might not be the best OS for all, but for sure a tiny fraction of this planet's inhabitants need Linux for some of their devices.

    But yeah, based on the twice yearly booting of Raspbian on my RPi4, desktop Linux sucks today just as it did twenty years ago.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    danox said:
    A waste of time, it’s been thirty years and no one has done anything to actually advance Linux to public in a useable way, hardware (designed for Linux) combined with Linux OS is the only way, parasitic grafts on to other peoples hardware is a non event.

    The person or persons that will advance the next level in computer OS and hardware is in Kindergarten. Why? Because they will not know and break thru the artificial barriers. Where there once was SGI, Sun, or Digital there will be some new company again. Linux is a me too dead end.
    It is quite literally the basis for most of the deployed operating system in the world.  Some waste of time.
    edited August 2022 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 17
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member

    mpantone said:
    Linux as a useful consumer desktop OS is an abject failure. This is not new. I dabbled with desktop Linux and eventually gave up. Back in 2002.

    Linux has its place as a OS for servers, embedded devices, things like routers, gas pump POS terminals, printers, my retro Super NES Classic game console, etc. As such, there must be a corresponding development environment for those situations. For people to develop for arm64 devices, Linux needs to run on arm64 devices. It might not be the best OS for all, but for sure a tiny fraction of this planet's inhabitants need Linux for some of their devices.

    But yeah, based on the twice yearly booting of Raspbian on my RPi4, desktop Linux sucks today just as it did twenty years ago.
    Has it ever received any significant push as a consumer desktop OS?  On the desktop it's for the tech literate, developers and hobbyists.  
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 17
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,379moderator
    danox said:
    A waste of time, it’s been thirty years and no one has done anything to actually advance Linux to public in a useable way, hardware (designed for Linux) combined with Linux OS is the only way, parasitic grafts on to other peoples hardware is a non event.
    Android is a Linux-based OS and the most widely-used OS.

    https://source.android.com/devices/architecture/kernel/
    https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/51651/which-android-runs-which-linux-kernel

    Linux on desktop hasn't progressed much, that's due to vendors not sticking with a single Linux distro, which results in lack of software support.

    For an OS to take off, it needs the hardware volume. Companies have to ship the OS with the hardware. It's too high-risk with too little benefit to do this with desktops/laptops. Servers on the other hand are a different story, Linux has a high marketshare in servers.

    I think the only hope for desktop Linux would be that Android tablets are sold as PC replacements and connected to external displays. But they need good support for Office, Photoshop, media playback, games, general everyday software that people are used to on Windows and Mac systems. Regardless, Linux will be relevant forever.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 17
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,744member
    danox said:
    A waste of time, it’s been thirty years and no one has done anything to actually advance Linux to public in a useable way, hardware (designed for Linux) combined with Linux OS is the only way, parasitic grafts on to other peoples hardware is a non event.

    The person or persons that will advance the next level in computer OS and hardware is in Kindergarten. Why? Because they will not know and break thru the artificial barriers. Where there once was SGI, Sun, or Digital there will be some new company again. Linux is a me too dead end.
    These kinds of arguments are basically people who only see the world one way trying to make sense of something which was created not for success or for profit, but simply from having a passion for exploring what's possible.  I often feel like people who only believe in success or money try so hard to force their life philosophy down the throat of others as if they know the one true path for everyone and everything (which, to me, is a telltale sign of ignorance).

    Most of the top level talent I've worked with at tech companies honed their skills on Linux (just as the early Mac OS X/NeXTSTEP developers did with BSD Unix).  That sense of curiosity and desire to tinker and understand how things work can't be taught.  If you work with a commercial OS like macOS or Windows, at a certain level you run into a roadblock where you can no longer see how it works (the trade secrets they need to protect).  With Linux, you get to see and tinker with it all.  Perfect way to learn how an operating system works without any limitations.

    That said, my gripe with Linux is where Google took it.  While they absolutely were within their rights to build a commercial product based on it (Android), just as many others were doing at the time, they also carried into the commercial realm the legally grey culture of cloning existing technology.  For example, the Linux developers who make the UI look and feel like MS Windows and Mac OS X, or who emulate Windows (Wine) so that they can run games.  While recreating existing technology can be a fun way to learn, once you create a commercial product, that's where I'm of the opinion that you need to either license existing technology or create your own (completely different) technology.  But they didn't, and instead chose to do things like knowingly create a clone of Java, got away with it, and now you see it happening throughout the industry.  A lot of hardware/software engineers don't even see it as wrong these days because they just grew up in the culture where it was acceptable.  Back in the early days of Linux, developers knew it was a legally grey area, and most companies wouldn't have dared to release a product with cloned technology in it.

    Long story short, Linux (proper) will never be a big commercial success because that's never been the goal for it.  But it will always have a place for those who enjoy learning and tinkering.  I'd be willing to bet that those kids in Kindergarten who create the "next level" in OS technology will tinker with Linux at some point too.

    edited August 2022 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 17
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,061member
    Marvin said:
    danox said:
    A waste of time, it’s been thirty years and no one has done anything to actually advance Linux to public in a useable way, hardware (designed for Linux) combined with Linux OS is the only way, parasitic grafts on to other peoples hardware is a non event.
    Android is a Linux-based OS and the most widely-used OS.

    https://source.android.com/
    devices/architecture/kernel/
    https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/51651/which-android-runs-which-linux-kernel

    Linux on desktop hasn't progressed much, that's due to vendors not sticking with a single Linux distro, which results in lack of software support.

    For an OS to take off, it needs the hardware volume. Companies have to ship the OS with the hardware. It's too high-risk with too little benefit to do this with desktops/laptops. Servers on the other hand are a different story, Linux has a high marketshare in servers.

    I think the only hope for desktop Linux would be that Android tablets are sold as PC replacements and connected to external displays. But they need good support for Office, Photoshop, media playback, games, general everyday software that people are used to on Windows and Mac systems. Regardless, Linux will be relevant forever.
    Then Linux on the desktop will never happen Web services alone isn’t good enough.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,744member
    danox said:
    Marvin said:
    danox said:
    A waste of time, it’s been thirty years and no one has done anything to actually advance Linux to public in a useable way, hardware (designed for Linux) combined with Linux OS is the only way, parasitic grafts on to other peoples hardware is a non event.
    Android is a Linux-based OS and the most widely-used OS.

    https://source.android.com/
    devices/architecture/kernel/
    https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/51651/which-android-runs-which-linux-kernel

    Linux on desktop hasn't progressed much, that's due to vendors not sticking with a single Linux distro, which results in lack of software support.

    For an OS to take off, it needs the hardware volume. Companies have to ship the OS with the hardware. It's too high-risk with too little benefit to do this with desktops/laptops. Servers on the other hand are a different story, Linux has a high marketshare in servers.

    I think the only hope for desktop Linux would be that Android tablets are sold as PC replacements and connected to external displays. But they need good support for Office, Photoshop, media playback, games, general everyday software that people are used to on Windows and Mac systems. Regardless, Linux will be relevant forever.
    Then Linux on the desktop will never happen Web services alone isn’t good enough.
    And desktop is pretty much dead these days.  The marketshare is minuscule compared to mobile devices.  That next generation of OS you speak of isn't going to be for desktop systems.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    danox said:
    Marvin said:
    danox said:
    A waste of time, it’s been thirty years and no one has done anything to actually advance Linux to public in a useable way, hardware (designed for Linux) combined with Linux OS is the only way, parasitic grafts on to other peoples hardware is a non event.
    Android is a Linux-based OS and the most widely-used OS.

    https://source.android.com/
    devices/architecture/kernel/
    https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/51651/which-android-runs-which-linux-kernel

    Linux on desktop hasn't progressed much, that's due to vendors not sticking with a single Linux distro, which results in lack of software support.

    For an OS to take off, it needs the hardware volume. Companies have to ship the OS with the hardware. It's too high-risk with too little benefit to do this with desktops/laptops. Servers on the other hand are a different story, Linux has a high marketshare in servers.

    I think the only hope for desktop Linux would be that Android tablets are sold as PC replacements and connected to external displays. But they need good support for Office, Photoshop, media playback, games, general everyday software that people are used to on Windows and Mac systems. Regardless, Linux will be relevant forever.
    Then Linux on the desktop will never happen Web services alone isn’t good enough.
    Good enough for what?  Lots of businesses run off of web apps, and probably a lot of home users do too.  Chrome OS is Linux based, Steam OS is Linux based.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,101member
    Marvin and some of the other commenters have posted most of the salient points about Linux's lack of presence on the desktop.

    The only major desktop Linux deployment I am aware of was the Munich City Government's plan to move completely to Linux. In the end, about 10% of the machines remained on Windows because certain critical applications weren't available on Linux. Eventually Munich decided the effort wasn't working, decided to backtrack and return to Windows. I don't know what the final outcome was and how they stand today but Munich is no longer the Linux success story poster child.

    Let's remember that for a brief period, some major system builder (HP, Dell) offered desktop Linux on their PCs (business notebooks and desktop computers), maybe it was Red Hat Linux. Today I don't believe there's an option to have Linux pre-installed by a system builder. There might be an option to buy the hardware with no pre-installed OS but the system builders aren't going to offer Linux support for end user desktop PCs or notebooks.

    Like I wrote in my previous comment, Linux is still a fine OS for servers and still has its place elsewhere. As a general purpose desktop OS the typical Linux distro doesn't have any growth potential. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 17
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    auxio said:
    danox said:
    Marvin said:
    danox said:
    A waste of time, it’s been thirty years and no one has done anything to actually advance Linux to public in a useable way, hardware (designed for Linux) combined with Linux OS is the only way, parasitic grafts on to other peoples hardware is a non event.
    Android is a Linux-based OS and the most widely-used OS.

    https://source.android.com/
    devices/architecture/kernel/
    https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/51651/which-android-runs-which-linux-kernel

    Linux on desktop hasn't progressed much, that's due to vendors not sticking with a single Linux distro, which results in lack of software support.

    For an OS to take off, it needs the hardware volume. Companies have to ship the OS with the hardware. It's too high-risk with too little benefit to do this with desktops/laptops. Servers on the other hand are a different story, Linux has a high marketshare in servers.

    I think the only hope for desktop Linux would be that Android tablets are sold as PC replacements and connected to external displays. But they need good support for Office, Photoshop, media playback, games, general everyday software that people are used to on Windows and Mac systems. Regardless, Linux will be relevant forever.
    Then Linux on the desktop will never happen Web services alone isn’t good enough.
    And desktop is pretty much dead these days.  The marketshare is minuscule compared to mobile devices.  That next generation of OS you speak of isn't going to be for desktop systems.
    The UI on mobile devices IS a desktop. 

    Don’t get hung up on the labels. 
  • Reply 17 of 17
    pbpb Posts: 4,255member
    Marvin said:

    Linux on desktop hasn't progressed much, that's due to vendors not sticking with a single Linux distro, which results in lack of software support.

    I tried several flavors of Linux during the past 20 years or so, and today I find Linux Mint by far the friendlier distribution I have ever seen. Very easy to set up, use and maintain. I run it in VMware Fusion on my Macs. Using it in VM setting, I have not tried peripherals and accessories but concerning isolated use and exchanges with the host OS my experience has been very nice so far. For my case, it is also a great way to connect to our computing center servers without having to put in VPN the whole host machine. Connecting and opening remote files and folders feels like home.

    As you point out, for general desktop use I see several issues stemming from the lack of support for software that many people use. E.g., LibreOffice can open MS Office files but it routinely destroys formatting. It is frustrating and not worth dealing with; unless you work with that kind of documents. Seeing though how mature and easy to use Linux Mint became, one readily understands that it would be easy to have a good desktop Linux OS for general use if some big developers wanted to be involved.



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