This Hack Lets You Run Full Version of Linux on M1 Macs

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 20 Jan 2021

Apple unveiled much-awaited Apple Silicon last year, and later we saw MacBooks and Mac mini based on Apple Silicon. This year, Corellium, a company that specializes in virtualization software, announced they are working on Linux port for M1 Mac mini.

Corellium CEO Chris Wade announced,

Linux is now completely usable on the Mac mini M1. Booting from USB a full Ubuntu desktop (RPI). The network works via a USB c dongle. Update includes support for USB, I2C, DART. We will push changes to our GitHub and a tutorial later today. Thanks to the @CorelliumHQ team.

The first announcement was made in January. Users are warned that it is an “very early” beta and is meant only for “advanced users.” In other words, don’t use it on your daily driver and be ready for some nasty bugs. The latest release offers USB stick, and M1 Mac mini users can boot full Ubuntu via a USB c dongle. Furthermore, the company will “push changes to Github and a tutorial later today.”

Apple announced M1 chip in November last year. They called it the most powerful chip Apple ever created. M1 chip is specifically designed for Mac lineup and optimized for smaller size and greater efficiency. The chip uses unified memory architecture to achieve greater performance and efficiency. Numbers, the M1 is manufactured using 5nm process and packs in a staggering 16 billion transistors and “world’s fastest CPU core.” The Apple Neural Engine offers unparalleled machine learning system. M1 offers 3.5x faster CPU performance, 6X faster GPU performance, and twice the battery life.

Our Take

The M1 Powered MacBook has excelled in benchmarks. Now only that, M1 MacBooks effortlessly surges ahead of ARM-based Windows laptop on benchmarks. Apple owns both hardware and software stacks. The arrangement allows Apple to work closely with the chip manufacturer and surge ahead of the competition. Lastly, Apple is yet to iron out some issues on M1 powered Mac.