In a follow-up update to the LTS Linux 6.1 kernel, Linux 6.2 has finally been released with support for M1 Macs. While it is experimental at the moment, Linux 6.2 is expected to become Ubuntu 23.04’s default kernel and will be included in Fedora 38 before Linux 6.3 comes out later in April.
Linux support on the M1 ARM hardware has been in the works for a long time now. While Linus Torvalds was excited by the release, finally getting the chance to run Linux on an ARM laptop capable enough of running the OS properly, he told ZD Net that the main problem for him was the GPU and other devices around it as that would hold him off as it won’t be likely that they’ll get Linux support unless Apple opens up to the idea.
Asahi Linux finally took the challenge up thanks to software engineer Alyssa Rosenzweig and by July 31, 2022 Linux on Apple silicon was actually a reality. This support is now ready for mainstream Linux users with this release.
In addition to supporting M1 Macs, including M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra, the new kernel also adds features such as support for Intel Arc Graphics and Nvidia’s 30-series GPUs out of the box. It also includes updated drivers, which add support for Dualshock 4 gamepads, sensors and fans in the OneXPlayer gaming handheld, Habana Labs’ Gaudi2 AI accelerator and Asus motherboards.
Finally, there’s support Call Depth Tracking to help improve performance on older Intel Skylake-era PCs with multiple file-system driver enhancements and security improvements. The NTFS3 file kernel driver has also been updated to include new mount options.
Other M1-powered devices, such as iPads and follow-up devices on Apple’s custom silicon (read: M2 and above), aren’t supported officially yet but depending on how well Linux 6.3 does on M1s, it’s only natural that enthusiasts will try and run it on other Apple silicone powered devices.
Overall, this next kernel update offers significant hardware improvements, features and support. The previous 2022 LTS kernel, 6.1, will continue to be maintained until the end of 2026. Fixes from the 6.2 release are also expected to be back-ported to 6.1.