Developers want to take Linux to Apple Silicon

Apple will not lift a finger to help anyone run operating systems other than Mac OS on the new Macs with M1 processor and future Apple Silicon chip. But unlike iOS, there is nothing to stop you from trying.

To run other operating systems, you must restart an M1-Mac in recovery mode, open Terminal, and use the bputil command to lower the security level to “permissive” – ​​an even lower level than “reduced” that you can switch to in the graphical interface.

An obvious use for this is to port Linux to the new Macs, which can be useful more than as a hobby. When Apple stops supporting the M1 processor in new Mac OS versions in 5-10 years, Linux could keep the computer alive with updates and security fixes.

One who wants to see Linux on Apple Silicon become a reality is the developer Hector Martin, and he is not a newcomer in the field. Marcan, as he calls himself on the internet, has previously ported Linux to Playstation 4 including graphics drivers so you can play Steam games with opengl and Vulkan.

To achieve that goal, he has started one Patreon account whose goal is to turn the project into a full-time job so he can spend all his time on it. In one day, he had reached the minimum goal of $ 4,000 a month and is now well on his way to being able to lay off other freelance jobs and focus entirely on Linux on the M1.

The project will be on Github and open to anyone to contribute, and sub-goals such as getting the Linux kernel to start on M1-Macar will be shared as soon as possible. In this way, the results can be used in other projects by other developers without having to wait for the ultimate goal of a fully functional Linux to be achieved. The code will be shared with both GPL and MIT licenses to be able to place in different projects.

Hector Martin reckons that the driver for Apple’s custom graphics chips will be the most difficult piece of the puzzle.