Developer Hector Martin, who describes himself as someone who “likes putting Linux on things,” has launched a plan create a Linux port for Apple Silicon Macs.
Martin, also known as “Marcan,” has created a Patreon with the goal of earning enough funding to be able to take on the complexities of bringing Linux to Macs equipped with an M1 chip. Creating a Linux port is no easy task, and Linux creator Linus Torvalds has even said that he doesn’t think it’s a possibility.
Martin has experience getting Linux running on unusual platforms and has been able to create a Linux port for the PlayStation 4 but he acknowledges that an Apple Silicon Linux port is a much more serious undertaking. Creating a Linux port for Apple’s Macs is a full time job, and Martin says that it’s not viable without financial support. He’s started a Patreon that’s asking for $4,000 per month with $3, $6, and $12 pledge tiers. He’s 88 percent of the way funded and doesn’t plan to start the project unless he gets the full amount.
So you *can* run your own OS on M1 macs – if such an OS exists.
But getting a Linux you would *want to use* working on Macs is a huge amount of work. Not something any single person could seriously tackle -and succeed at- on their spare time.
It’s a full-time job.
— Hector Martin (@marcan42) November 29, 2020
According to Martin, he’s qualified to take on the project because of his experience working on Linux ports for other devices like the PlayStation 4. From the FAQ on his website:
I’ve been reverse engineering devices for over half of my life, since the early 2000s. I’ve worked to build unofficial open software support for platforms such as the Nintendo Wii (where I am one of the largest contributors to hardware documentation, open libraries, “jailbreaking” software (The Homebrew Channel), recovery tools (BootMii), etc), the Sony PS3 (where I wrote AsbestOS and a Linux patchset to enable Linux to work on the PS3 Slim as well as up-to-date PS3 units after the original Linux support was removed), the PS4 (which I ported Linux to, to the point of being able to run Steam games with full OpenGL/Vulkan graphics support), and other smaller platforms.
I always strive to write…