After bringing Linux to the PlayStation 4, famous developer Hector Martin, also known as marcan, is getting ready for another important project for the open-source world.
He wants Linux on Apple Silicon. And to make it happen, Martin explains he’ll need some financial job, as this isn’t a project that can just happen overnight.
“Since these devices are brand new and bespoke silicon, porting Linux to run on them is a huge undertaking. Well beyond a hobby project, it is a full-time job,” the developer explains.
So the whole idea of this fundraising campaign is to provide the developer with the necessary funds to bring Linux to Apple Silicon, essentially turning the project into his full-time job.
Mac mini first, all Apple Silicon devices after
The first target is getting Linux to run on the M1-powered Mac mini, but eventually, all devices running on Apple Silicon are supposed to be supported.
“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.
Before you ask, yes, the whole thing is legal and a jailbreak won’t be required, as the developer would only turn to reverse engineering to get the whole thing to work.
Depending on how much money is donated, the developer says he wants to purchase the new Apple Silicon-powered devices and eventually hire other people to help with the job.