Linux enthusiasts rejoice—there’s a new Linux port for Apple’s M1 Macs that allows them to run Ubuntu! A security firm named Corellium just successfully ported Ubuntu to the new Macs and released a handy tutorial for anyone interested in installing it on their own computer. This Ubuntu includes USB support and boots into the regular user interface, as well.
If you’re looking to pore over the specifics of the process, Corellium has a detailed technical writeup on its blog you can check out. The main challenge in creating the port was that Apple’s non-standard chips made it difficult to create the Linux drivers necessary to get Ubuntu running correctly, despite the fact that many M1 components are also found on Apple’s mobile chips.
With Apple being, well, Apple, there was never any native support designed for booting non-Apple operating systems. However, the fact that the new M1 Macs were not designed with dual-boot features in mind didn’t do much to deter developers and Linux enthusiasts.
Linux is now completely usable on the Mac mini M1. Booting from USB a full Ubuntu desktop (rpi). Network works via a USB c dongle. Update includes support for USB, I2C, DART. We will push changes to our GitHub and a tutorial later today. Thanks to the @CorelliumHQ team ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/uBDbDmvJUG
— Chris (@cmwdotme) January 20, 2021
Chris Wade, the CTO of Corellium said the new Ubuntu port is “completely usable” on a Mac mini M1 from a USB boot, though you’ll need a USB-C dongle for networking along with some familiarity with custom kernels. Corellium also posted a tutorial on its site.
Hector Martin, a developer with a passion for running Linux on all kinds of hardware, is also working to port Linux to M1 Macs. The new chip offers substantial performance benefits to Linux as well as the option to run Linux on an ARM-based machine. In fact, back in November, Linux creator Linus Torvalds stated “I’ve been waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for a long time. The new Air would be almost perfect, except for the OS.”
via The Verge