Yes, Torvalds said he’d love to have one of the new M1-powered Apple laptops, but it won’t run Linux and, in an exclusive interview he explains why getting Linux to run well on it isn’t worth the trouble. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes via ZDNet: Recently, on the Real World Technologies forum, Linux’s creator Linus Torvalds was asked what he thought of the new M1-powered Apple laptops. Torvalds replied, “I’d absolutely love to have one if it just ran Linux.” You may think, “what’s the problem? Doesn’t Linux run on practically every processor on the planet from 80386s to IBM s390x to the ARM family of which Apple’s M1 chip is a child?” Well, yes, yes it does. But it takes more than a processor to run a computer.
Torvalds would like to run Linux on these next-generation Macs. As he said, “I’ve been waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for a long time. The new Air would be almost perfect, except for the OS. And I don’t have the time to tinker with it, or the inclination to fight companies that don’t want to help.” Aye, there’s the rub. In an exclusive interview, Torvalds expanded on why he can’t see porting Linux to the M1-based Macs. “The main problem with the M1 for me is the GPU and other devices around it, because that’s likely what would hold me off using it because it wouldn’t have any Linux support unless Apple opens up.”
Still, while Torvalds knows Apple opening up their chipsets “seems unlikely, but hey, you can always hope.” Even if that “wasn’t an issue,” Torvalds continued, “My personal hope would be more cores. Even in a laptop, I don’t care about 20-hour battery life (and I wouldn’t get it building kernels anyway). I’d rather plug it in a bit more often, and have 8 big cores.” As for the Mac’s limited RAM — no more than 16GBs on current models — he can live with that. “16GBs is actually ok by me because I don’t tend to do things that require a lot more RAM. All I do is read email, do git and kernel compiles. And yes, I have 64GB in my desktop, but that’s because I have 32 cores and 64 threads, and I do hugely parallel builds. Honestly, even then 32GB would be sufficient for my loads.” That said, other developers and power users may want more from the new Macs, Torvalds thinks. “The people who really want tons of memory are the ones doing multiple VMs or huge RAW file photography and video.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Linus Torvalds Would Like To Use An M1 Mac For Linux, But…