Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Porting Linux to Apple Silicon Macs

Hector Martin (tweet):

By becoming a patron, you will be allowing me to focus on this project as my primary job, and spend much more time on it that I ever could as a side project.

The goal is to bring Linux support on Apple Silicon macs to the point where it is not merely a tech demo, but is actually an OS you would want to use on a daily driver device. To do this, there is a huge amount of work to be done. Running Linux on things is easy, but making it work well is hard. Drivers need to be written for all devices. The driver for the completely custom Apple GPU is the most complicated component, which is necessary to have a good desktop experience. Power management needs to work well too, for your battery life to be reasonable.


All development will be in the open, pushed to GitHub regularly. Contributions will be written with the intent to upstream them into the respective upstream projects (starting with the Linux kernel), and upstreamed as early as is practical. Code will be dual-licensed as the upstream license (e.g. GPL) and a permissive license (e.g. MIT), to ensure that the work can be reused in other OSes where possible.

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Apple should support this port of Linux to Mac. As well as bootcamp for Windows in ARM-based Apple Silicon Macs.

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