Hector Martin a developer who likes to put Linux on hardware most recently the PS4 now wants to bring Linux to the Apple M1 chip. Hector is crowdfunding his latest project on Patreon with 5 levels of support costing from $3 dollars to $48 dollars a month. His initial startup goal of $4000 a month was met overnight kicking off the project.

On the About Section of his page, he states

“Apple just released a new range of ARM-based Apple Silicon Macs that blow every other ARM machine in the same class out of the water. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could run Linux too?

As it turns out, they can, but someone needs to do the work. Since these devices are brand new and bespoke silicon, porting Linux to run on them is a huge undertaking. Well beyond a hobby project, it is a full-time job.

This is where I need your help. By becoming a patron, you will be allowing me to focus on this project as my primary job, and spend much more time on it that I ever could as a side project.

The goal is to bring Linux support on Apple Silicon macs to the point where it is not merely a tech demo, but is actually an OS you would want to use on a daily driver device. To do this, there is a huge amount of work to be done. Running Linux on things is easy, but making it work well is hard. Drivers need to be written for all devices. The driver for the completely custom Apple GPU is the most complicated component, which is necessary to have a good desktop experience. Power management needs to work well too, for your battery life to be reasonable.”

Linus Torvalds the creator of said earlier in the week he doubts Linux will get ported to Apple M1 hardware but that could all change now going forward.

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