Saturday, 10 April 2021 09:16

Work to make Linux run on M1 still in early days, says Torvalds Featured

By
Work to make Linux run on M1 still in early days, says Torvalds Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Work towards making Linux run on Apple's M1 platform is still in its early days and to make the hardware useful it needs more of a GPU driver than the basic frame buffer, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has said.

He was reacting to a query from iTWire about posts by kernel developer Arnd Bergmann, who works on arm-based solutions at Linaro, and Hector Martin, who has a project known as Asahi Linux that aims to run Linux on the M1. Their joint efforts have been merged and are ready to be submitted to Torvalds who manages the kernel project.

The Register ran a story about the posts and claimed, in its usual overblown way, that "Linux overlord Linus Torvalds could banish the effort".

But Torvalds was more circumspect in his approach. "Actually, when it comes to something like this, the true authority ends up being the arm SoC guys who maintain the arm64 side of things," he told iTWire.

Web Analytics
"I end up trusting them to do the judgment call on whether the code is ready or not."

The Register speculated that M1 support could conceivably be present in the 5.13 kernel, given that release candidate six of the 5.12 branch came out this week. Each point release normally has eight weekly releases, with a further fortnight taken before the final release.

But as mentioned earlier, Torvalds was cautious about such predictions. "It's worth noting that it's fairly early days still, and to make the M1 hardware _useful_ it really needs more of a GPU driver than just the basic frame buffer," he said.

"So take that early code merge for what it is – initial support, not some kind of 'this means the hardware is usable'."

Torvalds said the fact that Bergmann had merged his code into the "for-next" branch was a good sign and meant that he would send it to him [Torvalds] during the next merge window.

"But it's by no means a guarantee – it could end up being delayed if it shows problems," he added. "Not that I see anything that looks particularly questionable in there."

The Asahi Linux project says of itself: "Our goal is not just to make Linux run on these machines, but to polish it to the point where it can be used as a daily OS.

"Doing this requires a tremendous amount of work, as Apple Silicon is an entirely undocumented platform. In particular, we will be reverse engineering the Apple GPU architecture and developing an open-source driver for it."

The first target for Martin and his fellow developers will be the M1 Mac Mini.


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

GRAND OPENING OF THE ITWIRE SHOP

The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.

ENTER THE SHOP NOW!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments