Developer Hector Martin, who once launched Linux on the PlayStation 4, introduced a modification of Asahi Linux for Mac computers with ARM processors. The Arch-based build with the KDE Plasma desktop environment has already appeared in the public domain – albeit with a number of reservations and warnings.
The distribution is suitable for devices based on M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max processors (but not M1 Ultra). The main installation requirement is at least 53 GB of free disk space. This volume is due to the “heavy” bootloader (it downloads up to 4 GB of data) and the need to create a backup copy of macOS. The operating system itself will eventually occupy only 15 GB on the drive.
The developer also notes that the public version of Asahi Linux is still far from ideal. In particular, it does not yet have support for the GPU, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and HDMI ports, as well as the functions of the neural block as part of the M1 chip. Full functionality of USB 3, speakers and display controller is expected with the next patches.
“Keep in mind that this is still a very early alpha. It is intended for developers and advanced users; if you choose to install it, we hope you can help us by submitting detailed bug reports and helping us troubleshoot problems,” the distribution’s description reads.
In addition, the use of pages (contiguous blocks of virtual memory of a fixed length) of 16 KB in size in the operating system does not run many popular applications. A complete list of current OS features is published on the project website. The enthusiast also promised to eventually release a special Asahi Linux distribution for Android gadgets.