The Asahi Linux team announced that the first public alpha build of Asahi Linux is now ready for devices with Apple M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max. The distro is based on the ARM build of Arch Linux and comes with a KDE Plasma desktop. The team stated that the alpha release is intended for developers and power users, who are interested in helping the team by filing bu reports and debugging issues but things will move more quickly going forward.
The team also stated that the release bring several future compatibility features, allowing users to upgrade their packages without reinstalling. Users who are interested in trying the alpha release can update their macOS to version 12.3 or later then use the following command in Terminal:
curl https://alx.sh | sh
- M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max machine (Mac Studio excluded)
- macOS 12.3 or later, logged in as an admin user
- At least 53GB of free disk space (Desktop install)
- You need 15GB for Asahi Linux Desktop, but macOS itself needs a lot of free space for system updates to work, so the installer will expect you to leave 38GB of extra slack in macOS by default to avoid shooting yourself in the foot. For example, if you have 60GB of free space, you will be able to shrink macOS by up to 22GB by default, freeing up 22GB for the new Linux install and leaving 38GB of remaining free space in the macOS partition. If you want to disable this check, enable expert mode when prompted.
- A working internet connection
- The installer will download 700MB ~ 4GB of data, depending on the OS you select.
The installer provides the following OS options:
- Asahi Linux Desktop: A customized remix of Arch Linux ARM that comes with a full Plasma desktop and all the basic packages to get you started with a desktop environment. It includes a graphical first-boot set-up wizard, so you won’t have to dig around to change your settings or create your first user. No root password by default; use sudo to become root.
- Asahi Linux Minimal (Arch Linux ARM): A vanilla Arch Linux ARM environment, with only the minimal support packages to integrate with the boot process and hardware on Apple Silicon machines. Arch users will feel right at home. Log in as root/root or alarm/alarm. Don’t forget to change both passwords! SSH is disabled by default for security reasons, so you’ll have to enable it manually.
- UEFI environment only (m1n1 + U-Boot + ESP): No distribution, just a minimal UEFI boot environment. With this, you can boot an OS installer from a USB drive and install whatever you want, as long as it supports these machines.
What is working:
All M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max devices are supported except for the Mac Studio.
- USB2 (Thunderbolt ports)
- USB3 (Mac Mini Type A ports)
- Screen (no GPU)
- Lid switch
- Power button
- Built-in display (framebuffer only)
- Built-in keyboard/touchpad
- Display backlight on/off
- Battery information / charge control
- Ethernet (desktops)
- SD card reader (M1 Pro/Max)
- CPU frequency switching
M1 machines only (no Pro/Max):
- Headphones jack (might be flaky)
Mac Mini only:
- HDMI output
Not yet, but coming soon:
- Display controller (backlight brightness control, V-Sync, proper DPMS)
What doesn’t work:
Everything else, but notably:
- HDMI on the MacBooks
- GPU acceleration
- Video codec acceleration
- Neural Engine
- CPU deep idle
- Sleep mode
- Touch Bar