M1 Macs Can now run Linux


It is early days yet, but let us hope they are able to have a fully functional (main drivers) version for the M1 Mac…


Comments (3)

3 responses to “M1 Macs Can now run Linux”

  1. waethorn

    If the drivers have to be reverse-engineered, forget about it being usable. We've been waiting years for ARM graphics drivers. Even with as much support put behind Raspberry Pi, the ARM graphics drivers that are available are trash.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to Waethorn:

      Depends on how proprietary the chips end up being. I’m doubting Apple is going to be doing anything completely different from the rest of the industry.

      Apple’s brass have kinda basically said “we aren’t doing anything too crazy, the ball is in [Microsoft’s] court”.

      Also, I don’t seem to have many issues with newer distros on my Pis. You can even activate some hardware-accelerated drivers even in non-official images.

  2. joeaxberg

    I have no interest in running Linux Desktop directly on the M1, nor do I need to run Windows as a VM or natively.

    Running Ubuntu servers as VM's is my use case.

    And the M1 runs that use case amazingly well. I was very surprised at how well it just kinda worked. Parallels Preview installed without issue and seems to perform great. Installing ARM versions of Ubuntu server 20.04 as VM's had no drama whatsoever. I created several server VM's: one lamp stack, one is Flask, one is running Node Red for an IoT app I'm working on, another for running tools like Ansible and Terraform. I was expecting all sorts of hiccups and I really had none.

    It is a basic M1 MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

    For context, I'm an instructor at a small technical college. I use Macs, PC's, Linux for all sorts of stuff. We have a lab full of servers and workstations running Windows and Linux. We run Linux VM's all the time.

    I say that because I don't want to come across as a Apple "fan boy" or whatever (I do like their stuff though)

    But what struck me, was, after installing Parallels, running multiple VM's concurrently, and I had the MacBook Pro connected to a Dell 4K display, along with browser windows running, and other stuff, was that the laptop was completely quiet, cool, and still snappy. Cool to the touch. I've yet to hear the fans come on in the two weeks I've had it.

    While installing a new VM on my 15" HP Zbook Studio with i7 CPU...whether VirtualBox or VMware workstation, its fans would be howling. Same with a 2018 15" MacBook Pro I have access to.

    Jury still out obviously on whether Apple truly knows what they're doing here of course. Time will tell. The online Technocrati keep talking about how the current M1 Macs are just replacements for the "low-end."

    It doesn't feel low-end when using it. So much M1 native for it. Visual Studio Code M1 native worked great for me.

    Having been an ARM doubter before, the over-arching feeling the whole experience has given me is one of "ARM is Real." I say this, again as someone who teaches Computer and Software Engineering courses (not as Apple fanboy...which maybe I am one...I dunno).

    Prior to this...ARM? Sure - cell phones, iPads, Raspberry Pi's. The ARM sweet spot. Would or could ARM really be a "thing" for the datacenter or laptops/desktops? That seemed sketchy. Now I'm kinda thinking...well...

    Maybe even more impactful than the Mac was my experience with Ubuntu ARM64. This was my first time using an ARM-based distribution. All the stuff I do on Ubuntu just worked. Again I'm doing server only here. Unsure about the desktop side. I also see AWS is making ARM based VM's more apparent as selections when using the EC2 launch instance dialog.

    Anybody dinked with this stuff?