You might be able to run Linux natively on Apple M1 Macs as early as June
Apple’s macOS is a fantastic operating system and the latest version ‘Big Sur’ has been optimised to run natively on Apple’s new Apple Silicon hardware, allowing it to take advantage of all the hardware and power efficiency improvements. A new report suggests that official Linux support for M1 Macs could also arrive by June.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of organisations working to run Linux on Apple’s new hardware — earlier this year, we reported that researchers at security firm Corellium announced that they had managed to boot and run Ubuntu Linux on an M1 Mac. However, according to Phoronix, it looks like Linux 5.13 could bring official support for Apple’s M1 processor.
Version 5.13 of the Linux kernel, which is expected in June, appears to have brought things to a state where it can run on the hardware – or a state at which official support can be added. What does this mean for the average user who wants to install Linux? If you have an Apple Silicon-powered Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air from last year, you will probably be able to run a Linux distribution like Ubuntu and Fedora by the end of the year.
The new hardware from Apple runs on the ARM processor architecture and as a result, requires extra work to bring the same feature support as an Intel or AMD processor. Instead of running the operating system in an emulated fashion, the Linux kernel could also allow distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora to take advantage of better performance and the terrific battery efficiency offered by the M1 processor, on Apple’s latest Macs and MacBooks.