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Linux Distro For Apple Silicon Macs Is Already Up and Running On the Brand-New M2

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Unlike Intel Macs, Apple silicon Macs were designed to run only Apple's software. But the developers on the Asahi Linux team have been working to change that, painstakingly reverse-engineering support for Apple's processors and other Mac hardware and releasing it as a work-in-progress distro that can actually boot up and run on bare metal, no virtualization required. The Asahi Linux team put out a new release today with plenty of additions and improvements. Most notably, the distro now supports the M1 Ultra and the Mac Studio and has added preliminary support for the M2 MacBook Pro (which has been tested firsthand by the team) and the M2 MacBook Air (which hasn't been tested but ought to work). Preliminary Bluetooth support for all Apple silicon Macs has also been added, though the team notes that it works poorly when connected to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network because "Wi-Fi/Bluetooth coexistence isn't properly configured yet." There are still many other things that aren't working properly, including the USB-A ports on the Studio, faster-than-USB-2.0 speeds from any Type-C/Thunderbolt ports, and GPU acceleration, but progress is being made on all of those fronts. GPU work in particular is coming along, with a "prototype driver" that is "good enough to run real graphics applications and benchmarks" already up and running, though it's not included in this release. The Asahi team has said in the past that it expects support for new chips to be relatively easy to add to Asahi since Apple's chip designers frequently reuse things and don't make extensive hardware changes unless there's a good reason for it. Adding basic support for the M2 to Asahi happened over the course of a single 12-hour development session, and just "a few days" of additional effort were needed to get the rest of the hardware working as well as it does with M1-based Macs.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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