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What must be done to bring Linux to the Apple M1 chip

What must be done to bring Linux to the Apple M1 chip

Linus Torvalds would love to run Linux on an M1-powered Mac, and a crowd-sourced project is trying to port Linux to Apple's newest, but top Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman warns that it won't be easy. That being said, "With some luck and a lot of hard work, Linux users may eventually run Linux users' favorite OS on the next-generation of their favorite Apple hardware."

Everyone loves Apple's new M1 chip Macs. Even Linux's creator Linus Torvalds has said "I'd absolutely love to have one if it just ran Linux." And, recently, Hector Martin, a Tokyo-based IT security consultant and hacker, is leading the crowd-funded Asahi Linux project to bring the Arch Linux distro to Apple's ARM-based M1 architecture.  But, in an e-mail interview, Greg Kroah-Hartman (gregkh), the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch and leader of the Linux Driver Project, said Asahi's programmers will face "lots of work in figuring out the hardware connected to the CPU (i.e.driver stuff)."

Why would that be so hard you ask? Doesn't Linux run on almost every processor in the world from 80386s to IBM s390x to SPARC? Hasn't Linux been running on the ARM family since 1995? Yes and yes. But, in earlier cases, Linux developers had access to the chip's firmware, microcode, and documentation. That's not the case with the M1.

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