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ARM virtualization company Corellium has managed to get Ubuntu Linux running on the next-generation Apple M1.

The news comes from Corellium CEO, Chris Wade, who mentioned on Twitter that:

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.

Impressive, speedy work and a separate project to the recently revealed Asahi Linux which is also aiming to do the same thing. Two heads are better than one, as they say. The Corellium team mentioned on Twitter they fully back the Asahi project too, so it's wonderful to see true cooperation.

Right now this effort doesn't appear to have full GPU acceleration so it's doing software rendering, making it less suitable for a daily driver but work is ongoing towards that. Eventually everything will be in place, and it's taking far less time than I personally expected to see it running on such brand new hardware from Apple.

The thing is, as we noted in our article about the Asahi project, even Linux creator Linus Torvalds previously said in 2020 "I'd absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux" when talking about the new Apple M1 laptops.

You can see the code from Corellium up on GitHub.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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8 comments

GodofGrunts 20 Jan
Any idea what they're talking about in this tweet?
Linas 20 Jan
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Running Linux on Apple hardware has always been a quirky endeavor. Every time I try it, there's something uniquely non-stadard and almost compatible, but not quite. Then it would randomly forget which drive is a boot drive, mess up NVRAM, or something else to ruin the day.

In my experience it is just not worth the hassle.
Zlopez 20 Jan
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Even if they get most of the things running on the M1, the games will be a problem. Because most of them is not targeted on the ARM architecture (with exception of mobile games). But what I read about the M1, the SoC (System on a Chip ) architecture on desktop computer is a big step forward and it will probably take over the desktop segment in the future.


Last edited by Zlopez on 20 January 2021 at 11:04 pm UTC
mirv 20 Jan
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Quoting: ZlopezEven if they get most of the things running on the M1, the games will be a problem. Because most of them is not targeted on the ARM architecture (with exception of mobile games). But what I read about the M1, the SoC (System on a Chip ) architecture on desktop computer is a big step forward and it will probably take over the desktop segment in the future.

While SoC designs are great for some things, they're problematic for others. Shoving everything of a modern desktop system into a single chip is going to result in quite the massive die, making for some interesting manufacturing issues, not to mention heat dissipation.

Rather there's likely to be a case of bringing some components on-die, leaving others off, and a blurred gradient of products from mobile, laptop, to desktop with the end result not being any hard line of one segment to another.
KohlyKohl 21 Jan
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Quoting: LinasRunning Linux on Apple hardware has always been a quirky endeavor. Every time I try it, there's something uniquely non-stadard and almost compatible, but not quite. Then it would randomly forget which drive is a boot drive, mess up NVRAM, or something else to ruin the day.

In my experience it is just not worth the hassle.

I have Linux running on Apple hardware and it still amazes me how different the experience is depending on the distribution used.

Even something like Ubuntu vs KDE Neon which in theory should be the same somehow isn't.


Last edited by KohlyKohl on 21 January 2021 at 12:49 am UTC
Arehandoro 21 Jan
I wonder how long it'll take for other companies to start releasing powerful SoC ARM based laptops if the M1 takes off. Not particularly interested in it for my gaming rig, but as a work laptop I could do with one. And if it has detachable keyboard like the PineTab even better.
wvstolzing 21 Jan
Quoting: KohlyKohl
Quoting: LinasRunning Linux on Apple hardware has always been a quirky endeavor. Every time I try it, there's something uniquely non-stadard and almost compatible, but not quite. Then it would randomly forget which drive is a boot drive, mess up NVRAM, or something else to ruin the day.

In my experience it is just not worth the hassle.

I have Linux running on Apple hardware and it still amazes me how different the experience is depending on the distribution used.

Even something like Ubuntu vs KDE Neon which in theory should be the same somehow isn't.

The particular model also makes a huge difference. I have the notorious 'mid-2007 Mac Mini' that almost drove me mad before I figured out how to install Linux on it -- nowadays it has Debian 10 64 bit on it (& is very useful); but the only way I know how to install it is to start from a patched bootloader & a 32bit Ubuntu 14-something, then upgrade that Ubuntu to a more recent 64 bit version, then use debootstrap to sneakily (?!) place Debian on the disk.
damarrin 22 Jan
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Macs have a system update lifespan, which seems to be around 8 years now, after which you need to stop using macOS on them. Windows and Linux will continue working happily. I’m a long-time Mac user, though not macOS user since some years ago, and I love their hardware, though with Linux there’s always something that makes it harder to use than it could be.
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