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Asahi is the first Linux distro to support Apple M1 processors

The Apple M1 series of processors are still relatively new, limiting new Macs to Apple's own operating system. That is starting to change this year, with Asahi revealing itself as the first Linux distro to work on M1-powered devices. 

Currently, Asahi Linux for M1 Macs is still in alpha, so the current version is aimed at developers and power users. With that in mind, there will likely be bugs present. Fortunately, installing Asahi will not affect the macOS data, so you can revert if you need to and you don't need to jailbreak the Mac beforehand either.

Although long, the installation process is “as self-explanatory as possible”. You'll be presented with prompts to guide you through all processes, including resizing your macOS partition and installing the new OS. By default, Asahi won't delete your previous macOS installation.

During the installation, users are asked to choose between Asahi Linux Desktop (traditional graphical interface), Asahi Linux Minimal (Arch Linux ARM), or UEFI environment only (m1n1 + U-Boot + ESP).

The system requirements to install Asahi Linux are as follows:

  • M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max machine (Mac Studio excluded)
  • macOS 12.3 or later, logged in as an admin user
  • At least 53GB of free disk space (Desktop install)
    • You need 15GB for Asahi Linux Desktop, but the installer reserves an additional 38GB of disk space in macOS to avoid breaking macOS updates. If you want to disable this check, enable expert mode when prompted.
  • A working internet connection
    • The installer will download 700MB ~ 4GB of data, depending on the OS you select.

As usual for an alpha, not everything works perfectly. As noted by the devs, important interfaces and features won't work, including:

  • DisplayPort
  • Thunderbolt
  • HDMI on the MacBooks
  • Bluetooth
  • GPU acceleration
  • Video codec acceleration
  • Neural Engine
  • CPU deep idle
  • Sleep mode
  • Camera
  • Touch Bar

Applications like Chromium, Emacs and programs using jemalloc and libunwind also have some issues. You may learn more about the Asahi Linux alpha and how to install it HERE.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru news: Do you own a Mac with an M1 processor? Will you be trying a dual-boot setup with another OS on it? 

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