The Linux 5.13 Kernel Linus Torvalds released in final form on Sunday adds support for M1-powered Macs in the open-source operating system for the first time.
The update followed a public testing phase in May. It adds support for the M1 chip as well as a handful of others based on the ARM architecture. As a result, people can now run Linux natively on Apple Silicon hardware. That includes the new M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and 24-inch iMac.
Linux 5.13 support for M1 Macs: Now it’s official
Prior to Sunday, M1 Mac users could run Linux using virtual machines or a specialized port developed by researchers at Corellium, but not natively. That meant the M1 chip’s full capability was not fully tapped, but now it can be. That’s thanks to a couple months’ work by developers making the native-level support happen.
According to the website Phoronix, Linux 5.13 adds “initial but early support for the Apple M1 with basic support but not yet accelerated graphics and a lot more to iron out moving ahead.”
Generally, the new Kernel 5.13 brings security features, such as a landlocked Linux security module, Clang control flow integrity support, and an option to randomize the kernel stack offset at each system call. In addition, FreeSync HDMI support is now in play.
Torvalds included the following remarks in his blog post spreading news of the release:
So we had quite the calm week since rc7, and I see no reason to delay 5.13… Of course, if the last week was small and calm, 5.13 overall is actually fairly large. In fact, it’s one of the bigger 5.x releases, with over 16k commits (over 17k if you count merges), from over 2k developers… And with 5.13 out the door, that obviously means that the merge window for 5.14 will be starting tomorrow. I already have a few pull requests for it pending, but as usual, I’d ask people to give the final 5.13 at least a quick test before moving on to the exciting new pending stuff.
What that “exciting new pending stuff” will turn out to be remains to be seen.