Apple launched the first Macs with Apple Silicon a few months ago, delivering a big boost in performance while also reducing power consumption. One downside of Apple’s switch from Intel processors to its own ARM-based custom chips though, is that you can no longer easily install Windows alongside macOS using Boot Camp, and for a while there was no easy way to install GNU/Linux distributions either.

But this week developers at ARM virtualization company Corellium announced that they’d ported Linux to run on a Mac Mini with an Apple M1 chip. Corellium CTO Chris Wade says the team’s proof of concept build of Ubuntu (based on a version made to run on Raspberry Pi computers) is “completely usable,” and boots a “full Ubuntu desktop” from a USB flash drive.

@CorelliumHQ

It’s still pretty much a proof of concept at this point – Apple’s GPU isn’t supported, for example, which could make graphics-heavy tasks a non-starter. But it’s still pretty impressive given just how different Apple’s chips are than most processors that are typically used to run Linux.

Initial patches have already been submitted for possible inclusion in the upstream Linux kernel.

Then again, Corellium has been at this for a while. Last year the company developed Project Sandcastle, a tool that lets you load Android on some jailbroken iPhones.

Here’s a roundup of more recent tech news from around the web.

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  1. Hardware-accelerated graphics and machine learning aren’t supported yet though.

    This part may take a very long time if the history of proprietary graphics on Linux is something to go by. Although, I’ve read people were able to draw a triangle which is a big initial milestone.

  2. Haha Linux friendly, Windows get the boot. Apple is going for truly hip, not the snooty cult Apple of yesterday.

    1. They’re apparently open to letting their machines run anything, including Windows but it’s up to Microsoft to port it to the M1.
      Porting Linux is more feasible when anyone can make the necessary changes to the kernel.

  3. It would be cool to see some benchmarks run on the M1 under linux. The whole geekbench 5 would be great, but anything would be nice.