Ever since Apple officially announced Apple Silicon the last fall, developers have been in a rush to add support for the new custom-built ARM chip, all in an attempt to make sure their software takes full advantage of the performance boost offered by the new hardware.
Starting this week, Linux users can also run their favorite operating system on Apple Silicon, as the latest Linux kernel 5.13 RC introduces support for the M1 chip.
In other words, Linux on Apple Silicon now benefits from the same performance boost like any other native solution, though for the time being, certain drivers still need to be further polished, including for graphics. Hardware accelerated video isn’t yet supported, but keep in mind this is just an RC version of the Linux kernel, so further improvements should land rather sooner than later.
The Apple Silicon performance boost
Apple has been bragging about the performance boost generated by Apple Silicon on several occasions, explaining that as compared to older hardware, this chip is capable of offering faster CPU and GPU performance.
“M1 is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology and is packed with an astounding 16 billion transistors, the most Apple has ever put into a chip. It features the world’s fastest CPU core in low-power silicon, the world’s best CPU performance per watt, the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, and breakthrough machine learning performance with the Apple Neural Engine,” Apple said.
“As a result, M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, and up to 15x faster machine learning, all while enabling battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs. With its profound increase in performance and efficiency, M1 delivers the biggest leap ever for the Mac.”
The stable version of Linux kernel 5.13 is projected to land in either June or July with further improvements.