Famous developer Hector Martin, aka marcan, has been working on a new open-source project after bringing Linux to PlayStation 4.
He wants Linux running on Apple silicon. Martin explains that he will need some financial assistance since this won't happen overnight.
Because these devices are brand new and bespoke silicon, porting Linux to run on them is a huge undertaking. It's more than just a hobby project, it's a full-time job," explains the developer.
So the whole purpose of this fundraising campaign is to provide the developer with the necessary funds so that he can fully focus on this project as a full-time occupation.
Linux on Mac mini first, then all Apple Silicon devices
The first target is getting Linux to run on the M1-powered Mac mini, but this should eventually extend to all Apple Silicon devices.
“The goal is to bring Linux support on Apple Silicon macs to the point where it is not merely a tech demo, but is actually an OS you would want to use on a daily driver device. To do this, there is a huge amount of work to be done. Running Linux on things is easy, but making it work well is hard. Drivers need to be written for all devices. The driver for the completely custom Apple GPU is the most complicated component, which is necessary to have a good desktop experience. Power management needs to work well too, for your battery life to be reasonable,” the dev explains.
It will not require a jailbreak since the developer will reverse engineer the entire thing in order to make it work.
According to the developer, he plans to purchase the new Apple Silicon devices as well as hire others to help with the job, depending on how much money is donated.