Linux Kernel 5.13 Adds Native Support for M1 Macs

No more ports or virtual machines

After several months of development, Linux is finally available natively on M1 Macs.

Linus Torvalds announced on Sunday that the latest version of Linux, Kernel 5.13, is launching with native support for Apple M1. 9To5Google notes that Linux has been testing a release candidate version for the past month, but now the official release finally has arrived, bringing early levels of support. 

Code being run on a Macbook

Christopher Gower / Unsplash

At the moment, it doesn’t appear that Linux Kernel 5.13 supports accelerated graphics, so there are still some advancements to be made in future updates. Torvalds says that, overall, 5.13 feels like a small update, however, it also happens to be one of the biggest 5.x releases, with over 16,000 commits (17,000, if you include merges).

The kernel also was developed with work from over 2,000 developers. Torvalds noted the extra size could have come from the additional release candidate week that 5.12 received. 

Either way, 5.13 is now available, and bringing native support for Linux is a big win for developers running M1 machines.

Previously, you could run Linux on M1 Macs using a virtual machine, as well as a Corellium port. Unfortunately, though, these versions didn’t take full advantage of everything the M1 has to offer. Now, with native support, users are closer to unlocking the full potential of the M1 in Linux. 

"With native support, users are closer to unlocking the full potential of the M1 in Linux."

9To5Google says Linux should now work natively on the new M1 MacNook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and the 24-inch iMac. Security features included in 5.13 include Clang CFI support and Landlocked LSM, as well as the option to enable randomizing the kernel stack offset with each system call. FreeSync HDMI support is also included in the update.

With 5.13 out the door, Torvalds says that work on 5.14 has begun, which means M1 Mac users can expect even better support in the future.

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