The first public release of Asahi Linux the first distribution

The first public release of Asahi Linux, the first distribution to support Apple processors, has been released.

The release of the alpha version of the distribution Asahi Linux is the first third-party operating system to support the Apple M1 processor family. As is usual with pre-release software, there may be bugs, glitches, or missing important features. But now the platform development team has promised to speed up the work.

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The creators of the project emphasized that the installation of Asahi Linux does not require a jailbreak of the computer, and the distribution will not affect the security features of macOS either: FileVault encryption will continue to work, applications for iOS would be executable, it is said possible, Netflix in 4K to watch. It is emphasized that the alpha version is primarily addressed “Developers and advanced users”and the project website provides quite extensive lists of supported and unsupported features and components.

To install the distribution, you need a computer with an M1, M1 Pro or M1 Max processor (the new Mac Studio is not yet supported) with MacOS 12.3 or higher and at least 53 GB of free disk space. When starting the installer, you need to resize the macOS partition, after which the installation of the distribution itself will begin. According to the description is the distribution kit “a modified version of Arch Linux Arm with a full Plasma desktop and all essential packages, [необходимыми,] to get started with the desktop environment”. By default, dual boot is available after installation, so you can always get back to macOS.

Unfortunately, a significant part of the software and hardware components does not work. The “black list” includes in particular:

  • DisplayPort;
  • Lightning;
  • HDMI on MacBook
  • GPU acceleration;
  • acceleration of video codecs;
  • AI engine;
  • CPU power saving mode in deep idle;
  • sleep mode;
  • Camera;
  • touch bar.

These shortcomings are partially offset by the fact that we’ve still managed to add support for Wi-Fi, USB, NVMe, power management, keyboard, Ethernet ports (on desktops), battery information, and a few other features. But you have to put up with the inability to run Chromium, problems in Emacs, as well as the incorrect work of programs using jemalloc and libunwind.


About the author

Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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