Thanks to Fedora, it's now much easier to run Linux on your M1 or M2 Macs — just make sure you've got plenty of storage space ready

Asahi Linux Fedora logo on MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Future)

Installing Linux on your M1 or M2 Mac is now a Terminal command away, thanks to Fedora Asahi Remix being made available.

For those unfamiliar with Linux, this is another desktop operating system that was first released in September 1991. As an open-source platform, it has allowed a bunch of developers to bring out different operating systems based on the core Linux OS.

Fedora is just one example of a third-party Linux OS, allowing you to fully customize its desktop, file explorer, widgets, and plenty more.

Be aware that support for games will be low for now, however, due to Apple silicon graphics drivers being in a very early state for use with Linux.

Installing Fedora on your Mac couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is launch the Terminal app, then type in the following command: ‘curl https://fedora-asahi-remix.org/install | sh

One major word of warning before you go installing Linux on your main Mac — once Fedora is installed, it will overwrite macOS entirely on your Mac.

Currently, Fedora Asahi Remix is only available on M1 and M2 Macs, except the Mac Pro — but it’s expected that it will be updated to work with all Macs soon, including those with the M3 chip.


Install Fedora if you want to, but be cautious — iMore’s take

Terminal Linux Asahi command

(Image credit: Future)

It is well worth saying again: Doing this will overwrite macOS completely, so if you want to install Linux on an older Apple silicon Mac that you don’t use anymore, go for it. When it comes to your primary machine though – perhaps leave it off for now.

Even if you’re happy with all the caveats, we wouldn’t personally recommend a complete switch over to Linux — after all, you’ll miss out on what makes owning a Mac so good.

Yet macOS has hundreds of reasons to keep going, with widgets, Continuity Camera, Safari, and more, to the third-party apps that many developers offer and maintain on the operating system — perhaps you should ask yourself if it’s the right choice for you to go down the Linux route. 

There is a way to give yourself a better idea of using Linux. If you want to try out the open-source OS without it taking over your Mac, you can use a virtualization app like Parallels Desktop to give Fedora Asahi Remix a try from within a window instead.

It’s also worth noting that there is a steep learning curve with Linux — you’ll be finding yourself in the command line app almost daily in installing apps and changing up the look of Fedora. You might feel like Neo in The Matrix using this app, but you’ll also find yourself saying bad words out loud when you see ‘term not recognized’ for the hundredth time.

Take it from me, as I’ve used many Linux distributions in the past, alongside one called Arch Linux that’s installed on my Steam Deck — I’ve lost count of the amount that I’ve been frustrated with using the operating system.

However, if you’re still tempted to see what Linux on a Mac is like, Fedora has made it incredibly simple to make that happen.

More from iMore

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.


Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.

  • EdLin
    This article is inaccurate, although it needs space, Asahi Linux installation is dual boot, it does not erase MacOS and in fact needs a MacOS partition firmware updates. It may have seemed that way because it makes the default boot Asahi.

    Also, Asahi is meant for Apple silicon so it doesn't work well in generic ARM virtualization. For parallels use something like the ARM version of Debian bookworm.
    Reply
  • naddy69
    Since MacOS is already real Unix with a professional UI, why in the world would I want to install the cheap copy with an amateur UI?

    I have been playing with various Linux distros for 25 years, on various Windows PCs. They all look extremely pathetic. Windows XP looks and works better. If you are a long time Mac user, you will be stunned at how ugly and user hostile Linux is.

    Because programmers should not be designing UIs. For the same reason that UI designers should not be coding. Very different skill sets.

    There is no way I am going to contaminate this wonderful M2 MacBook Pro with Linux. It would be like hanging a picture of the "Hang In There, Baby" cat in the Louvre museum.
    Reply
  • EdLin
    Performance for containers such as docker, testing software headed for Linux servers. (MacOS despite its certification does not resemble that environment in some respects), higher degree of privacy. Those are all legitimate reasons for some developers.

    Oh, forgot to mention, Hector Martin, the guy doing Asahi, is using it on a Mac mini as a router - headless. So the ugly GUI doesn't come into play. He says that the high performance of Apple Silicon and low wattage and the 10Gb option on the Mac mini make it perfect for a high speed router. Cheap low-end CPUs can't handle QoS at that speed, and competivie CPUs to Apple Silicon typically have higher wattage. So the actual use-case of the Asahi developer in question makes a lot more sense than you think it does.
    Reply
  • naddy69
    None of which applies to a typical Mac user.

    Linux has lots of uses. The entire Internet runs on Linux, as does our hosting center at the company where I work, to power our software for thousands of clients. Clients who have no idea that their software is running on Linux. They do not need to know, or even care how it all happens. They are accessing it via Macs and iPads and Windows PCs.

    The point is, Linux is not designed for typical end users to do their typical day-to-day stuff. It is designed and shines as a server OS. The few people using it as a desktop are OS geeks. OS geeks love to tinker with stuff. It's an actual hobby. Nothing wrong with that, as I used to be an OS geek.

    But I am way past that stage. I get paid to debug/fix/compile/deploy software all day long. I do not want to come home and spend my time tinkering with Linux.

    The whole reason people use Macs (and iPads and iPhones) is because they don't require any tinkering at the OS level. If they DID require such tinkering, they would not sell in the numbers they currently sell.

    Let's face it. Using a Mac mini as a high speed router is a true niche case. It is also using Linux for what it was designed. A server use case.
    Reply
  • EdLin
    There's no such thing as a typical user, computers are general purpose tools that are very flexible. If someone wants to make a Mac Mini into a 10Gb full featured router, why stop them or tell them it's a bad idea? (Due to Apple Silicon and the 10Gb ethernet option, it's actually a _good_ idea.)
    Reply
  • naddy69
    I am not stopping anyone from doing anything.

    There IS a typical Mac user. If you think installing Linux on a Mac to use it as a router is a "typical Mac user" then you are just wrong. That is a very limited, small niche use.

    A Linux developer is not a "typical Mac user". A developer is not even a typical computer user.

    I am talking about users. A developer is not a typical user.
    Reply
  • Trees
    As the article mentions, I think something like https://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/pro/ would be a capable and flexible "multitool" option for the developer or IT professional use case, rather than wiping an M series Mac for exclusive Linux use.

    That said, I think the examples provided above about using Linux for older hardware (think out of support/warranty) are perfect. I have an original SurfaceBook that is now running Ubuntu 23.x perfectly.
    Reply
  • EdLin
    Trees said:
    As the article mentions, I think something like https://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/pro/ would be a capable and flexible "multitool" option for the developer or IT professional use case, rather than wiping an M series Mac for exclusive Linux use.

    That said, I think the examples provided above about using Linux for older hardware (think out of support/warranty) are perfect. I have an original SurfaceBook that is now running Ubuntu 23.x perfectly.
    The whole point to my post was that the Asahi Linux installer does not wipe the entire Mac, it makes a dual boot systtem, and the article was inaccurate. How this got to the point of arguing if someone "should" do that is another issue. In fact, according to Asahi's FAQ, you're not supposed to wipe the entire Mac, as it accesses firmware updates fetched by MacOS.
    Reply
  • EdLin
    Anyhow, if there are no developers who are "supposed" to use Macs, good luck on getting iOS and MacOS apps. That's a silly thing to say. Every iOS developer has a Mac.
    Reply