Linux Is ‘Desktop Usable’ On M1 Macs, Claim Devs

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Linux: Last week, the group responsible for the Asahi Linux project, which is looking to bring the operating system to Macs with an M1 processor, said the platform is already “usable as a basic desktop”. On his blog, the post with the milestones of progress shows that there are still many features to be adapted, such as GPU acceleration, but that a long way has already been traveled. And the good news doesn’t stop there.

Seeing the future of the project, the group explains that Apple tends to prioritize the compatibility of its hardware interfaces between device generations, ensuring that its drivers work on components that are yet to be released — something that differs significantly from other manufacturers. That way, if successful, the developers will also be solving platform compatibility issues with the company’s upcoming devices.

So far, according to the post, the project has already compatible drivers related to PCIe and USB-C PD, while, on the other hand, it reviews the code of the drivers “Princtrl”, “I2C”, “ASC” and “Device Power Management” . In this context, developers still claim that it is necessary to wait for the release of M1X or M2 processors to verify the efficiency of the “future compatibility” offered by current solutions.

The group comments on the news, explaining that the supported drivers have made this release perfectly “usable” in everyday life: “Although there is still no GPU acceleration, the M1’s CPUs are so powerful that a software-rendered desktop is actually faster on them than that on, for example, hardware-accelerated Rockchip ARM64 machines,” they claim.

Currently, Asahi Linux’s top priority is to match GPU acceleration to the project: “We’ll start dealing with the GPU kernel interface very soon, as soon as some loose kernel ends are tied up and under review,” promise the developers.

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