The Asahi project has announced a fundamental change of direction: As of now, the Linux distribution Fedora serves as the basis for the Asahi team’s plan to make Linux usable on Apple Silicon Macs. A first rudimentary version of the Fedora Asahi Remix, as the project calls its new Mac distribution, is already available. The official, full release should follow in August 2023. The new Asahi version should be understood as a flagship distribution. However, the goal of the project remains unchanged: “full Linux support for Apple Silicon machines, for all distributions”.
Biggest argument: contact to developers and upstream access
Previously, Asahi Linux was built on top of an ARM64 version of Arch Linux. However, there was hardly any contact with the Arch Linux team. In addition, it has so far been a downstream project without any influence on the Arch-Upstream. The Asahi team writes in its blog entry that things are different with Fedora: Fedora Asahi was geared towards the upstream from the start. The project’s tools such as the m1n1 bootloader and the asahi-scripts tools are already available in Fedora’s upstream repositories. The direct contact to the upstream also helps to solve problems and errors in the packages, which are to be expected with such a young project, quickly.
After initially plunging into kernel and bootloader support in the plan to bring Linux to Apple’s own processors, work first followed on the customized Arch-ARM distribution, which was used as a prototype for other distributions on Apple Silicon Macs should serve. It was released in August 2022. At the same time, the Fedora developers have already contacted the team and expressed an interest in working together. This then began at the end of 2021 and thus before the release of the Arch-ARM-based Asahi.
However, the announcement of the new version of Asahi is stingy with technical details – these must be kept secret until the official release. The developers only promise “many new features, machine support and more”. In the first version of Fedora Remix, which was already installed via curl https://fedora-asahi-remix.org/install | sh and is available from the distribution’s website, there’s no need to look for it anyway. New features are not yet integrated there. In addition, the developers ask you not to judge the preliminary version too quickly: “Rough spots or even complete crashes” are expected – they should only be installed by “adventurous users”.
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