With the debut of M1 processors, based on the ARM architecture, Apple also announced the end of the possibility of installing alternative operating system to macOS on Mac computers via Boot Camp. Those using the latest MacBook, Mac Mini, or iMac models can’t install Windows or Linux by the old method, but it looks like this won’t stay that way for long. Even though Apple does not offer an official method for installing another operating system, there is now the possibility to do so, and Asahi Linux is the first distribution that can be installed on computers with M1 processors.
Asahi Linux can be installed on the latest Mac computers
Asahi Linux is the first alternative operating system on the latest generation computers from Apple, but its installation is not very simple and does not ensure 100% compatibility with all computer components. As this is the first version of “Alpha” running on these computers, those who choose to use it will need to be aware that what they receive is neither a stable nor a complete operating system.
Installing Asahi Linux requires a Mac computer with an M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max processor (the new Mac Studio is not yet compatible), the latest version of macOS (12.3 or newer), and at least 53 GB of storage for system installation operating. Installation is done on a separate partition. Everything is done via the internet, so you need a connection on which you can download about 4 GB of data.
Of course, Asahi Linux integrates with the native multi-boot support on Apple Silicon Macs. Linux? macOS? Both!
In fact, installing Linux does not affect the security level of your macOS install at all. You can keep using FileVault, running iOS apps, and watching Netflix in 4K! pic.twitter.com/tTLeqhveNI
– Asahi Linux (@AsahiLinux) March 18, 2022
There are three variants of Asahi Linux for Mac with ARM: Linux Desktop, for normal use, Linux Minimal, which does not include many elements, users can choose to install on their own what they need, and UEFI Environment, for basic functionality , which also allows the installation of other compatible operating systems. Currently Asahi Linux is the only one compatible with M1 processors.
Not all components work
There is also a list of components that work and components that do not work on the official website. Fortunately, most USB ports can be used, but not at USB3 speed. Also, there is no graphics processor support in the M1 processors yet, so you only get basic performance without hardware acceleration. The headphone jack doesn’t work on M1 Pro or Max models yet, while HDMI only works on Mac Mini.
Over time, the team will work to adapt all computer components to Asahi Linux, including the TouchBar, Thunderbolt functionality, Bluetooth, GPU, webcam, and more.