Apple's M1 now supported by Linux kernel in version 5.13

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
The newest update of the Linux kernel, version 5.13, has been released with support for the Apple Silicon system-on-chip, the M1.

Ubuntu, a Linux distribution.
Ubuntu, a Linux distribution.


Previously available in May as a release candidate for public testing, the final version of Linux 5.13 has been released. Announced by Linus Torvolds on Monday, the newest version is said to be one of the bigger releases in the version 5 range, with over 16 thousand commits made by over 2 thousand developers.

For Mac users, the key addition to the kernel is support for a number of ARM-based chips, which crucially includes the M1. The new kernel is therefore able to be run natively on Apple Silicon hardware, including the M1 Mac mini and the 24-inch iMac.

While the ability to use M1 is included, Phoronix reports there's still more work to be done, including adding support for accelerated graphics. Other changes include a variety of updated drivers, architecture and file system improvements, and changes to process handling and tooling.

Linux 5.13 is not the first version of the operating system that works with the M1. In January, security researchers at Corellium ported a version of Ubuntu to the chip, a process that required many workarounds to get going, in part due to Apple's lack of documentation on how the chip functioned.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,741member
    One down, one more to go and that is Windows.  I hope Microsoft gets its head out of its backside and allow Windows ARM to be purchased for general consumers.  I can't understand why Microsoft would not want to.  It's another unit sale for that company regardless of who buys it right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,523member
    The new kernel is therefore able to be run natively on Apple Silicon hardware, including the M1 Mac mini and the 24-inch iMac.
    The iPad Pro now has an M1. Is it expected to work on the iPad Pro eventually?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,648member
    sflocal said:
    One down, one more to go and that is Windows.  I hope Microsoft gets its head out of its backside and allow Windows ARM to be purchased for general consumers.  I can't understand why Microsoft would not want to.  It's another unit sale for that company regardless of who buys it right?
    I have Windows ARM running on my M1 MBA under Parallels. I was able to install Firefox but am I running Firefox under a built-in emulator or does W-ARM allow all Windows 10-Intel apps to just run?

    Oracle at one point ran on Macs but I haven't seen any updates to that since maybe ver 11. I have to wonder whether running Oracle under Linux under parallels would be useful for testing if not running some smaller databases on an M1 Mac.

    Just found this in another article--

    Please bear in mind that this does not mean that you can just fire Linux up on a M1. Instead, this change is extremely limited, with only a UART serial console currently supported.

    --At least it's a start.
    edited June 28 killroygregoriusmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    sflocal said:
    One down, one more to go and that is Windows.  I hope Microsoft gets its head out of its backside and allow Windows ARM to be purchased for general consumers.  I can't understand why Microsoft would not want to.  It's another unit sale for that company regardless of who buys it right?
    Depends on how many people want it. 

    If the number is not very big, then they could end up paying more to support it than they do selling it. 
    williamlondoncornchipgregoriusmbyronlwatto_cobraFidonet127bleab
  • Reply 5 of 20
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,523member
    Companies like Intel and Dell might be lobbying with (or paying) Microsoft to not release it, because it will only damage their sales when they can't build equally fast systems.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    WgkruegerWgkrueger Posts: 329member
    Good, 5 more people can now use the m1 Mac. 
    lkrupprundhvidh4y3swatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,833member
    Sweet, and I bet it's SUPER FAST!

    I run the server version of the Ubuntu version of Linux on all of my VPSs, and I've been running Desktop Ubuntu on my ARM-based Raspberry Pi 4, but it's too slow to enjoy on a daily basis. So Linux has run on ARM chips for a while now, but now it sounds like they support even more.

    Note, that this doesn't mean that everything that runs on Linux will run on ARM, yet. Individual "apps" (as we call them on macOS) still need to be compiled to support different ARM architectures. I've run into a few cases where stuff I use on Ubuntu on my x64-based servers do not run on my ARM-based Rasberry Pi.
    watto_cobrableab
  • Reply 8 of 20
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,833member
    Good, 5 more people can now use the m1 Mac. 

    Just had to respond to this. Linux powers most of the internet. This very website is likely running on a Linux server, so YOU are using Linux right now, indirectly. :smiley: 

    You shoudl give the Desktop version of Ubuntu (or other Linux variants) a try one day. I'm sure you'd be pleasantly surprised by how mature they'v become. macOS is still leaps and bounds ahead, but the gap is closing.
    vukasikarundhvidmuthuk_vanalingamh4y3swatto_cobrableab
  • Reply 9 of 20
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,335member
    rob53 said:

    Just found this in another article--

    Please bear in mind that this does not mean that you can just fire Linux up on a M1. Instead, this change is extremely limited, with only a UART serial console currently supported.

    --At least it's a start.
    Yeah, the key part of the headline is 'supported by Linux kernel'.  The kernel is only the core of the operating system.  It's the part which controls the hardware and manages system resources (memory, storage, etc) for applications.  The applications themselves still need to be rebuilt for the M1 and packaged up into the various Linux distributions/installers before this is ready for the average desktop user.  That said, this is still a major accomplishment.
    vukasikarob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    swat671swat671 Posts: 89member
    Companies like Intel and Dell might be lobbying with (or paying) Microsoft to not release it, because it will only damage their sales when they can't build equally fast systems.
    Uh, you do realize that would be illegal anticompetitive nonsense, right? That's what got MS in trouble with the government 20 years ago with Internet Explorer. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    robabarobaba Posts: 163member
    MS won’t release Windows-ARM to the general public because it’s not fit for consumption.  Most of MS’s own software won’t run.  Entire libraries have yet to be ported.  Even Microsoft’s “Crown Jewels” ie development tools are only partially supported.  It’s nowhere near a complete OS and they would be completely humiliated if they had to run that on the same environment as MacOS 11.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    bleabbleab Posts: 23member
    Sweet, and I bet it's SUPER FAST!

    I run the server version of the Ubuntu version of Linux on all of my VPSs, and I've been running Desktop Ubuntu on my ARM-based Raspberry Pi 4, but it's too slow to enjoy on a daily basis. So Linux has run on ARM chips for a while now, but now it sounds like they support even more.

    Note, that this doesn't mean that everything that runs on Linux will run on ARM, yet. Individual "apps" (as we call them on macOS) still need to be compiled to support different ARM architectures. I've run into a few cases where stuff I use on Ubuntu on my x64-based servers do not run on my ARM-based Rasberry Pi.
    Most stuff does though because ARM versions of the major distros have been out for more than a decade, and tons of ARM Linux servers are in the cloud. I installed a Linux app store on an ARM Chromebook a few months back just out of curiosity and all of the major apps were there and installed fine. Some stuff may need to be built from source but that is par for the course for Linux anyway.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    bleabbleab Posts: 23member
    robaba said:
    MS won’t release Windows-ARM to the general public because it’s not fit for consumption.  Most of MS’s own software won’t run.  Entire libraries have yet to be ported.  Even Microsoft’s “Crown Jewels” ie development tools are only partially supported.  It’s nowhere near a complete OS and they would be completely humiliated if they had to run that on the same environment as MacOS 11.
    Microsoft may be changing their licensing model to match that of Apple and Google. Remember: Apple and Google don't release ISOs or installer CDs for macOS or ChromeOS either. Plus this little scene of installer DVDs and ISOs flooding around was never Microsoft's intention to begin with. To put it another way, selling people licenses to create virtual machines was never a business strategy. It was merely an unintended byproduct of their making those DVDs and ISOs available to consumers and enterprises who wanted to upgrade their PCs. Well macOS, iOS and later Android and ChromeOS killed that with OTA updates. Good thing too because these days most computers - even most desktops - no longer have DVD drives in them anyway. 

    Microsoft will probably provide enterprises who really need the licenses and images with them, same as Apple does. But for everyone else, you will be encouraged to rent a virtual machine in Azure. Microsoft will probably even bundle Windows 11 Azure VMs with every enterprise Office 365 subscription. All that legacy stuff - this old way of doing things - is going away and people are going to need to adapt. Because think about it ... while some people purchased keys for their Windows VMs, you do acknowledge that tons of people pirated them. Shutting that off and making people get Azure VMs instead will recover that lost revenue. 
  • Reply 14 of 20
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,692member
    Good, 5 more people can now use the m1 Mac. 

    Just had to respond to this. Linux powers most of the internet. This very website is likely running on a Linux server, so YOU are using Linux right now, indirectly. :smiley: 

    You shoudl give the Desktop version of Ubuntu (or other Linux variants) a try one day. I'm sure you'd be pleasantly surprised by how mature they'v become. macOS is still leaps and bounds ahead, but the gap is closing.
    Surely 2021 will be The Year of the Linux Desktop™!
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    basjhjbasjhj Posts: 92member
    Wgkrueger said:
    Good, 5 more people can now use the m1 Mac. 
    Well, circumstantial and all, but those in my company who do the bulk of their work on a Mac also have a linux box at their avail. Granted, these are all high-brow (structural) bioinformatics and computational chemistry folk.

    But you might still be surpirsed how many Web and software developers on a Mac also use linux.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,549moderator
    Good, 5 more people can now use the m1 Mac. 
    Just had to respond to this. Linux powers most of the internet. This very website is likely running on a Linux server, so YOU are using Linux right now, indirectly. :smiley: 
    I wonder if this is the kind of thing Intel is worried about. Intel and AMD both charge significant premiums for Xeon and Epyc server chips because neither are full box manufacturers, the chips go into Dell/HP/Lenovo hardware. Apple is a full box manufacturer and they can now make the highest-end chips in the cheapest way on more advanced nodes than all of them. Apple could completely own server hardware performance-per-dollar and per watt if they wanted to and if the hardware was fully compatible with server systems like Linux.

    The top-end AMD and Xeon server chips alone cost over $7000 and they perform around 10x faster than M1. With Apple M1 on 3nm, those Intel/AMD chips would drop to 5x faster. If Apple built a 2x faster CPU for mainstream Pro users and then a 4x faster option for high-end, this would be the fastest chip of any manufacturer and Apple can build them and ship them for profit at a fraction of the price of Intel and AMD.

    If they came out with a revolutionary way of managing servers and made them like managing iPhones, they could make a big impact on cloud hosting and reseller hosting. That business is worth billions to Microsoft and Amazon.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/amazon-microsoft-lead-40-growth-of-iaas-public-cloud-services-market-in-2020-gartner/ar-AALxMsN
    h4y3swatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,648member
    swat671 said:
    Companies like Intel and Dell might be lobbying with (or paying) Microsoft to not release it, because it will only damage their sales when they can't build equally fast systems.
    Uh, you do realize that would be illegal anticompetitive nonsense, right? That's what got MS in trouble with the government 20 years ago with Internet Explorer. 
    Sarcasm? If not, a little naive. This goes on all the time in all kinds of businesses. Microsoft doesn't have to release any software for macOS if it doesn't want to. It doesn't need Intel or Dell to bribe them. The topic of this forum is Linux and Microsoft doesn't own Linux. The conversation regarding running Windows on the M-series Mac is part of a wish list. There's nothing anti-competitive about Microsoft not wanting to run their operating system on an ARM-based CPU. Microsoft decides which hardware is runs on. Nobody can tell Microsoft which hardware it is required to run on, not the US government or any other government. Apple is choosing to run on certain hardware and that's their choice, nobody else's. 

    Microsoft got in trouble, and was barely punished, for forcing PC builders to run Windows with IE. That's anti-competitive. The BS going on right now with the Apple App Store not the same no matter what some people say. This is now off-topic so I'll stop but you're comment is off-base.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,765member
    Marvin said:

    The top-end AMD and Xeon server chips alone cost over $7000 and they perform around 10x faster than M1. With Apple M1 on 3nm, those Intel/AMD chips would drop to 5x faster.
    Huh?  I understood that die shrinks were more about power consumption than performance (also more chips per wafer).  You might get a bit of extra performance because of increased thermal headroom, but since thermals aren't much of an issue with the M1 anyway I doubt that'd translate to a 2x performance jump.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,648member
    Marvin said:
    Good, 5 more people can now use the m1 Mac. 
    Just had to respond to this. Linux powers most of the internet. This very website is likely running on a Linux server, so YOU are using Linux right now, indirectly. :smiley: 
    I wonder if this is the kind of thing Intel is worried about. Intel and AMD both charge significant premiums for Xeon and Epyc server chips because neither are full box manufacturers, the chips go into Dell/HP/Lenovo hardware. Apple is a full box manufacturer and they can now make the highest-end chips in the cheapest way on more advanced nodes than all of them. Apple could completely own server hardware performance-per-dollar and per watt if they wanted to and if the hardware was fully compatible with server systems like Linux.

    The top-end AMD and Xeon server chips alone cost over $7000 and they perform around 10x faster than M1. With Apple M1 on 3nm, those Intel/AMD chips would drop to 5x faster. If Apple built a 2x faster CPU for mainstream Pro users and then a 4x faster option for high-end, this would be the fastest chip of any manufacturer and Apple can build them and ship them for profit at a fraction of the price of Intel and AMD.

    If they came out with a revolutionary way of managing servers and made them like managing iPhones, they could make a big impact on cloud hosting and reseller hosting. That business is worth billions to Microsoft and Amazon.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/amazon-microsoft-lead-40-growth-of-iaas-public-cloud-services-market-in-2020-gartner/ar-AALxMsN
    Which cloud server is Apple using for iCloud? I know they quit using Xservers a long time ago. What makes the AMD and Intel server chips so powerful? More cores, more busses, ??? I've always believed Apple was using OTS server hardware because it was less expensive yet you're saying it's much more expensive. Their speed has to come from multi-cores or cluster computing. I remember Dauger Computing coming up with Pooch for cluster computing two decades ago. I know it's more involved than just assembling a bunch of servers but Apple could do this if they saw a way to make money from it. --or save money while doing it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 20
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,549moderator
    crowley said:
    Marvin said:

    The top-end AMD and Xeon server chips alone cost over $7000 and they perform around 10x faster than M1. With Apple M1 on 3nm, those Intel/AMD chips would drop to 5x faster.
    Huh?  I understood that die shrinks were more about power consumption than performance (also more chips per wafer).  You might get a bit of extra performance because of increased thermal headroom, but since thermals aren't much of an issue with the M1 anyway I doubt that'd translate to a 2x performance jump.
    They do both lower power and increase performance. Apple A14 (5nm) for example was up to 40% faster than A13 (7nm 2nd-gen N7P), transistor count went from 8.5b to 11.8b (around 40% more transistors):

    https://venturebeat.com/2020/09/15/apple-unveils-a14-bionic-processor-with-40-faster-cpu-and-11-8-billion-transistors/

    If they lower the clock speeds to reduce power while increasing the number of transistors, it won't be double but at the same clock speed, doubling the transistor count would offer up to double the performance. Not all apps take full advantage of it but highly parallel apps do. For things like video processing, it can process more pixels at the same time or multiple frames at the same time.

    M1 is on TSMC 5nm. 5nm+ this year will be used for M1X/M2 and should be around 15% higher density. 3nm in 2022 will allow for more than double the transistors in M1.
    rob53 said:
    Marvin said:
    Good, 5 more people can now use the m1 Mac. 
    Just had to respond to this. Linux powers most of the internet. This very website is likely running on a Linux server, so YOU are using Linux right now, indirectly. :smiley: 
    I wonder if this is the kind of thing Intel is worried about. Intel and AMD both charge significant premiums for Xeon and Epyc server chips because neither are full box manufacturers, the chips go into Dell/HP/Lenovo hardware. Apple is a full box manufacturer and they can now make the highest-end chips in the cheapest way on more advanced nodes than all of them. Apple could completely own server hardware performance-per-dollar and per watt if they wanted to and if the hardware was fully compatible with server systems like Linux.

    The top-end AMD and Xeon server chips alone cost over $7000 and they perform around 10x faster than M1. With Apple M1 on 3nm, those Intel/AMD chips would drop to 5x faster. If Apple built a 2x faster CPU for mainstream Pro users and then a 4x faster option for high-end, this would be the fastest chip of any manufacturer and Apple can build them and ship them for profit at a fraction of the price of Intel and AMD.

    If they came out with a revolutionary way of managing servers and made them like managing iPhones, they could make a big impact on cloud hosting and reseller hosting. That business is worth billions to Microsoft and Amazon.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/amazon-microsoft-lead-40-growth-of-iaas-public-cloud-services-market-in-2020-gartner/ar-AALxMsN
    Which cloud server is Apple using for iCloud? I know they quit using Xservers a long time ago. What makes the AMD and Intel server chips so powerful? More cores, more busses, ??? I've always believed Apple was using OTS server hardware because it was less expensive yet you're saying it's much more expensive. Their speed has to come from multi-cores or cluster computing. I remember Dauger Computing coming up with Pooch for cluster computing two decades ago. I know it's more involved than just assembling a bunch of servers but Apple could do this if they saw a way to make money from it. --or save money while doing it.
    Some of the technology Apple uses server-side is listed here:

    https://www.macgasm.net/news/interesting-technologies-included-apples-data-center/

    More transistors and higher clock speeds makes the AMD/Xeons more powerful. The Threadripper chip has around 32 billion transistors for the CPU parts running at 2.9-4.3Ghz (280W):

    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-threadripper-3990x-review

    Apple has 16 billion in the M1 for the whole chip and this is split between CPU/GPU/IO and runs at around 20W.

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/16226/apple-silicon-m1-a14-deep-dive







    OTS hardware was less expensive than Apple's Intel server hardware - they rarely used the latest chips - but Apple Silicon is much cheaper and more power efficient than anything available just now.

    The Threadripper chips use multiple CPU chiplets 8x8 for 64-cores connected with Infinity Fabric (42GB/s).

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/11551/amds-future-in-servers-new-7000-series-cpus-launched-and-epyc-analysis/2



    Apple could do the same with their own chips. 8x M1 (32-core) on 5nm+ would perform close to the fastest chips available and they can build it for a fraction of the price.

    They might not make much inroads into server companies because they don't have frequent hardware refreshes (it will be around 2 years they've taken for the 16" MBP when it arrives) but the price can be significantly lower. They will also allocate a lot of space to the GPU cores, which aren't used much in servers but that's becoming more popular with AI and cloud rendering.
    williamlondonwatto_cobrarob53
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