Linux 6.2: The first mainstream Linux kernel for Apple M1 chips is coming

Thanks to the work of Asahi Linux developers, Linux 6.2 can now run on M1-powered Macs.

Asahi Linux

Linux 6.2 was released yesterday, and Linus Torvalds described the latest Linux kernel release as follows: “Maybe it’s not a sexy LTS release like 6.1, but all these normal pedestrian kernels want some testing love too.”

For once, I disagree with Torvalds.

Also: Microsoft finally authorizes Windows 11 on Apple M1 and M2 Macs

With the addition of upstream support for the Apple M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips, newer Mac owners can look forward to running Linux on their M1-powered machines. And for techies, that’s sexy.

Getting Linux to work on the M1 family wasn’t easy.

When these powerful ARM chips were first released, Torvalds told me in an exclusive interview that he would love to run Linux on these next-gen Macs. But while he’s been “waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for a long time,” he became concerned, saying, “The main issue with the M1 for me is the GPU and other devices around it, because that would probably happen.” keep me from using it because it wouldn’t have Linux support unless Apple opens up.”

Luckily, Asahi Linux, with the brilliant software engineer Alyssa Rosenzweig, was up to the challenge. On 31 July 2022, Torvalds was pleased to announce that after a ‘long wait’ [Linux on ARM and the M1 in specific was] Finally a reality, thanks to the Asahi team. We’ve had Arm64 hardware running Linux for a long time, but until now none of them have really been usable as a development platform.”

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Today, that support is finally ready for mainline Linux users. Of course it’s all experimental at this point, but it won’t be for much longer. Linux 6.2 is expected to become the default kernel of Ubuntu 23.04 and will be included in Fedora 38 before the release of Linux 6.3 in late April.

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Meanwhile, the 2022 Long Term Support (LTS) kernel, Linux 6.1, will continue to be maintained until at least late 2026. Fixes from the 6.2 release are expected to be backported to 6.1.

In addition, the Linux 6.2 kernel includes numerous features with contributions from companies such as Intel, AMD, Google and Red Hat. Notable additions include stable out-of-the-box support for Intel Arc Graphics (DG2/Alchemist) and initial support for Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series “Ampere” accelerated graphics with Nouveau open-source code. The Linux 6.2 kernel also includes updated drivers. This includes support for Sony DualShock 4 gamepads, sensors and fans in the OneXPlayer gaming handheld, Habana Labs Gaudi2 AI accelerator and Asus motherboards.

This new kernel also includes call depth tracking to improve performance on older Intel Skylake-era PCs, along with various file system driver enhancements and security improvements. In addition to new hardware support, the NTFS3 file kernel driver has also been improved and updated with new mount options.

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Overall, the Linux 6.2 kernel offers significant new hardware capabilities and features. But the real news, I think, is the M1 support. This is a game changer for Linux Mac users.

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