Macbook Air M1Source: Daniel Bader / iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple's M1 chip is now supported by the Linux 5.1.3 kernel.
  • This is only early support, however, with many kinks to be worked out.

A year after Apple announced its transition to Apple silicon, Linux now officially supports the only chip to have been released since that date — the Apple M1. As of the newly released Linux 5.1.3, early support for the chip has been added. But there is still some work to be done.

First reported by Phoronix, the new Linux update adds initial support for Apple's M1 chip, but that doesn't mean that everything will work to its full potential. Accelerated graphics aren't yet enabled, for example.

Linux 5.13 brings initial but still early support for the Apple M1 with basic support but not yet accelerated graphics and a lot more to iron out moving ahead.

Linus Torvalds also made an announcement this weekend, saying that people should work to ensure the current build is stable before they start "moving on to the exciting new pending stuff."

So we had quite the calm week since rc7, and I see no reason to delay 5.13… Of course, if the last week was small and calm, 5.13 overall is actually fairly large. In fact, it's one of the bigger 5.x releases, with over 16k commits (over 17k if you count merges), from over 2k developers… And with 5.13 out the door, that obviously means that the merge window for 5.14 will be starting tomorrow. I already have a few pull requests for it pending, but as usual, I'd ask people to give the final 5.13 at least a quick test before moving on to the exciting new pending stuff.

The current M1 chip is in the best MacBook you can buy today in the form of the MacBook Air. Whether you plan on running Linux on your Mac or not, this is another sign that software continues to catch up with Apple's move away from Intel and towards a world where it designs all of its CPUs and GPUs, not just those on mobile devices.