Those looking to dual-boot their M1 Macs may soon have the opportunity. The first public alpha for Asahi Linux is now available. Asahi is a project by a team of developers with the goal of porting Linux to Apple Silicon Macs. The project itself has been in development for several months. It is worth noting that this is an alpha release. As such, the release is not for the faint-of-heart, only the truly dedicated.
This current release also brings the ability to upgrade through packages. This means those that do install this alpha release will not need to reinstall every time Asahi updates the distribution.
Running Asahi on Mac
It is also worth noting that this build of Asahi is only available on the M1, M1 Pro or M1 Max. The Mac Studio is currently excluded. Your Mac must have at least macOS 12.3 installed, and you must be logged into an administrator account to install Asahi. 53GB of storage will be necessary for the installation.
As this is an alpha release, many usual features may be unavailable. Many of the basics, such as keyboard function, SD reader, Wi-Fi and speakers work (though they warn that the headphones may be “flaky”), but some essentials do not. DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, HDMI (on MacBooks) , Bluetooth, Camera, Touch Bar as well as a few othesr are not currently functional within this build.
It is important to note that this is a completely legal build. Asahi does not use any macOS code. Jailbreaking your device is also unnecessary, as Apple does allow users to boot custom/unsigned kernels on Apple Silicon Macs.
Many Milestones to Follow
The team’s goal for Asahi is that it be a daily driver. The teams requests that no one ask questions about a release date for a “final” copy.
Asahi is available on GitHub. Those that wish to contribute are invited to do so. The project is led by Hector Martin, with contributing developers including Alyssa Rosenszweig, Dougall Johnson, Sven Peter and Mark Kettenis. You can learn more about the project, including how to install it, at their website.