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Security researchers have ported Ubuntu Linux for Apple Silicon M1 hardware

Ubuntu port doesn’t support graphics acceleration as of now, so graphics can only operate in the much slower software rendering mode.
Ubuntu port doesn’t support graphics acceleration as of now, so graphics can only operate in the much slower software rendering mode. (Chris Wade (@cmwdotme)/Corellium)

Corellium’s CTO Chris Wade on Wednesday tweeted two photos of Ubuntu’s Groovy Gorilla running on the Mac Mini M1, adding that it was “completely usable” after booting from a ‘live’ USB drive.

While app developers like Microsoft and VideoLAN are slowing bringing native support for their apps like Edge Browser and VLC media player for Apple Silicon processors, researchers at Corellium have already completed ‘porting’ a full Linux distribution to the M1 chipsets that power Apple’s latest MacBooks.

Corellium’s Chief Technology Officer Chris Wade on Wednesday tweeted two photos of Ubuntu’s Groovy Gorilla running on the Mac Mini M1, adding that it was “completely usable” after booting from a ‘live’ USB drive. He added that network connectivity was achieved via a USB-C dongle and that the company would push the changes to their GitHub repository along with a tutorial.

Also read: Apple loses copyright claims against ‘virtual iPhone’ maker

According to a report by AppleInsider, the Ubuntu port doesn’t support graphics acceleration as of now, so graphics can only operate in the much slower software rendering mode - unlike the CPU which can be fully utilised with native support, just like you can on macOS. The report also states that jailbreak developers also worked with Corellium to get the port working, including the team that worked on the checkra1n exploit that leveraged checkm8 - an un-fixable system vulnerability that was found on devices older than the iPhone X.

Read more: VLC media player adds native support for Apple's M1 Macs

Corellium, a company in Florida is well known for making “virtual iPhones” which security researchers can then use to test for system vulnerabilities - the company was reportedly in talks with Apple over a potential acquisition, but could not agree on a price. Ironically, Corellium is most famous outside the security sphere for its tussle with Apple over a lawsuit that the latter filed against Corellium two years ago over a copyright issue. HT Tech had reported that Apple lost that same lawsuit in December last year.

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