Apple Silicon Linux project gets initial support for Mac Studio and M2

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The Asahi Linux for Mac project has made some improvements, and the latest version added initial support for M2 chips, as well as Mac Studio, along with Bluetooth.

A project to port Linux to Apple Silicon Macs, Asahi Linux released an update in July that includes a number of important advances. Building on its existing work, its first change is that support for Mac Studio is now included.

The team admits in a blog post that it wasn’t “difficult” to add support for Mac Studio, but it did require some changes to the project’s boot loader and device trees. This was done to “handle the idea of ​​a multi-die SoC”, as in the M1 Ultra.

Most features will work on par with the Mac mini, the project’s blog states, except that the front USB ports on the M1 Max version and the USB Type-A ports on all models don’t work at this time. It is stated that the ports are blocked at the moment.

Along with Mac Studio, the update also introduces Bluetooth support, which was missing due to Apple using a “new bespoke PCIe interface that apparently no other vendor uses.” The team reverse-engineered it, and a kernel driver was created and distributed to the alpha users of the project.

Please note that while it works as expected, Bluetooth performance will be poor if the Mac is connected to a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network. While the feature is fixed, with a patch expected within a few weeks , it is recommended that Wi-Fi is turned off or users use a 5GHz network if they want to use Bluetooth at the same time.

For M2 support, the team believed that Apple’s release of new chips would not be as big of a hurdle as creating the initial project, and that most drivers should work without modification. With the release of M2 and a “12-hour prep marathon,” Linux could be booted with USB, NVMe, battery monitoring and stats, CPUfreq, Wi-Fi, and more.

Within days, keyboard and trackpad support was introduced, and now it has reached a stage where experimental M2 support has been announced.

Describing other changes, the status update blog post includes a hint about his work on the GPU. After reverse engineering the hardware interface of the M1 GPU, a prototype driver was created that is “good enough to run real graphics applications and benchmarks”.

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