The distro has added USB 3.0 support, but speaker support will have to wait. The livestream of his coding is a surprise hit on YouTube.
The Asahi Linux Project, a distribution aiming to make a Linux desktop available for Apple Silicon Macs, released a November 2022 “progress report”.
Asahi Linux improves hardware support
Asahi project manager Hector Martin, known as “marcan”, announced the progress of the cast in an official blog post.
“This month’s update contains new hardware support, new features, and fixes for long-standing issues, as well as a new state-of-the-art kernel branch with support for long-awaited suspension and display controller!” said Martin.
One of the major changes in Asahi Linux is that it now supports USB 3.0 devices. The main challenge was to write the PHY driver needed to communicate with the Apple Silicon processor. This requires very careful timing from the developers at Asahi. Asahi is only available for To download as an Alpha version at the moment.
Still no speaker support in Asahi Linux yet
While there’s better USB support, one thing that’s still on the table is speaker support. The main reason is that it is possible to blow laptop speakers.
Martin himself seemed willing to risk the speakers of his own machine:
For months we’ve had working speaker drivers, but we haven’t enabled them for a good reason: because we had the very strong suspicion that you might destroy your speakers without volume limits and security systems. more complex. It turns out that… these suspicions were well-founded! I decided to grab one for the team and run some tests on my MacBook Air M2, and even with reasonable volume limits I was able to blast my tweeters quickly. Oops! Luckily we haven’t activated the speakers yet!
That must have been an interesting call to AppleCare.
Asahi Linux users may have to wait for speaker support for at least a little longer. Martin says the team will implement safety features to ensure the speakers are powered with appropriate voltages, similar to how macOS and Android handle their speaker outputs.
Asahi Linux proves that Linux finds a way on every machine
The progress of Asahi Linux shows how Linux seems to be rapidly expanding to new hardware. Linus Torvalds couldn’t imagine his tiny core would ever grow beyond 386 machines, but almost every processor architecture now has an available port.
The effort will likely be aided by Apple Silicon’s base in the ARM architecture, of which there is already a Linux port available. There are also several ARM-based machines with pre-installed Linux on the market. When Asashi Linux is more complete, it will be a viable alternative to macOS. Linux developers will likely appreciate the ability to port Linux to even more hardware.
With Asahi Linux, users could see this development in real time, as VTuber and Asahi developer Asahi Lina has amassed a cult following on YouTube with an unlikely topic for live streaming: the development of the Linux graphics stack.
Asaha Lina currently has 11,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel.
Linux on the Mac rolls
Linux is available on many modern computing platforms, including the Mac. Apple Silicon-based Mac users who want something more stable in the meantime can set up a virtual machine with a Linux distribution using Parallels or UTM while running macOS.