Preliminary Apple M1 Support Added To Latest Linux Kernel

(Image credit: Apple)

Linux Torvalds has announced availability of Linux kernel 5.13 release candidate that adds preliminary support for Apple's M1 system-on-chip along with a number of improvements to the operating system itself, reports

The most interesting addition to Linux kernel 5.13 is preliminary support for Apple's M1 SoC, something that developers have been working on for months now. While Linux does support Arm and can run on various SoCs such as the Raspberry Pi, Apple's M1 is considerably different from other processors, so making Linux run on this chip was a tough challenge.  

At this point Linux 5.13-RC1 can boot on an M1-based system, but does not support all features of the SoC. For example, GPU support is still not even half-baked.  

"This is just basic bring-up, but it lays a solid foundation and is probably the most challenging up-streaming step we'll have to do, at lease until the GPU stuff is done," said Hector Martin, a software developer, reports The Register.  

Availability of Linux kernel 5.13-RC1 means that the Linux development community finds that the new build is almost ready for release, with an anticipated final release due in June / July.

"This was – as expected – a fairly big merge window, but things seem to have proceeded fairly smoothly," wrote Torvalds in a description of the new Linux kernel version. "There's a lot in there. […] It's all over the place, although GPU and networking stands out. […] Outside of drivers, it's a bit of everything: arch updates (Arm, x86 and PowerPC dominate), documentation, tooling,  and obviously all the expected core kernel stuff: file systems, process handling, VM, and core networking."

In addition to Apple's M1, the new Linux kernel 5.13-RC1 features improved support for Arm's Zen 3 microarchitecture, the latest Arm-based SoCs for servers, and the RISC-V architecture.

Anton Shilov
Contributing Writer

Anton Shilov is a contributing writer at Tom’s Hardware. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.