No, you still can't run Linux on an Apple M1 Mac - yet

Apple M1
(Image credit: Apple)

Despite upstream support for Apple’s M1 family of chips in Linux 6.2, leading developers have said that users still won’t be able to install a Linux distro onto an Apple Silicon Mac anytime soon.

While Linux founder Linus Torvalds has been publicly passionate about getting Linux-based operating systems to work on Apple hardware, the open source project presents many hurdles and stages to development, and everybody needs to be singing from the same hymn sheet before it becomes a reality.

This was emphasized in a recent tweet by Asahi Linux , which reads: “You will not be able to run Ubuntu nor any other standard distro with 6.2 on any M1 Mac. Please don't get your hopes up.”

Linux on M1 Macs

The thread continues: “We are continuously upstreaming kernel features, and 6.2 notably adds device trees and basic boot support for M1 Pro/Max/Ultra machines.”

While the SoC processors gave recently gained support, other Apple components have not. This includes keyboard and trackpad usage. 

A support document details some of the many problems that Linux developers have encountered as they’ve been forced to reverse-engineer everything to support Apple’s M-series chips. 

Some current across-the-board blocks include USB, Thunderbolt, Video Encoder, and GPU. There are also a number of device-specific blocks, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Ethernet, microphones, the webcam, Touch ID, and the Touch Bar.

Put simply, Asahi Linux says: “Our goal is to upstream everything, but that doesn't mean distros instantly get Apple Silicon support.”

Despite the challenges, the project hopes to deliver official Apple Silicon support for a mainstream Linux distro “in the near future”, but the recent 6.2 announcement is not it.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!