Tech News: Apple M1 Macs can now run full version of Linux.
A new Linux port allows the AppleMac M1 to run Ubuntu for the first time. Corellium, a security company that provides a virtualized version of iOS for security testing, has successfully ported Ubuntu to the Mac M1 and released a tutorial that others can follow. The modified version of Ubuntu boots into the normal user interface and includes USB support.
The Corellium team detailed how they managed to get Ubuntu to work, and it’s a good, in-depth article if you’re interested in the details. Although some M1 components are shared with Apple’s mobile chips, the non-standard chips have made it difficult to create Linux drivers to make Ubuntu work properly.
Apple it didn’t design its M1 Macs with dual-booting or Boot Camp in mind. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, previously ruled out official startup support alternative operating systems such as Windows or Linux. Virtualization seems to be Apple’s preferred method, but that hasn’t stopped people from make their own ports.
Linux is now fully usable on Mac mini M1. Start from USB a full Ubuntu desktop (rpi). The network works via a USB dongle c. The update includes support for USB, I2C, DART. We will be making the changes to our GitHub and a tutorial later today. Thanks to @CorelliumHQ team ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/uBDbDmvJUG
– Chris Wade (@cmwdotme) January 20, 2021
Hector Martin, a developer who regularly runs Linux on a variety of hardware, is also working on porting Linux to the Mac M1. Developers seem to be drawn to Applechip M1’s performance benefits and the ability to run Linux on a silent ARM-based machine. “I’ve been waiting a long time for an ARM laptop that can run Linux,” said Linux creator Linus Torvalds in November. “The new Air would be almost perfect, except for the operating system.”
Corellium CTO Chris Wade describes this new port as “fully usable” on a Mac Mini M1 and it works by booting the full Ubuntu desktop from USB. A USB-C dongle is required to get the network working, and the process for getting the port to work requires some familiarity with Linux and custom kernels. Corellium has posted a tutorial on the process if you are interested in trying this beta project.