Linus Torvalds wants an M1 Mac… but running Linux, obviously

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Linux creator Linus Torvalds wants one of Apple’s first machines using in-house silicon—but running his open-source OS.

In a response to a Q&A in which a user asked Torvalds what he thought of Apple’s new laptop, Torvalds wrote:

“I’d absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux.. I have fairly fond memories of the 11″ Macbook Air (I think 4,1) that I used about a decade ago (but moved away from because it took Apple too long to fix the screen – and by the time they did, I’d moved on to better laptops, and Apple had moved on to make Linux less convenient).”

Torvalds goes on to point out how “Apple may run Linux in their cloud, but their laptops don’t”.

Many people have been waiting for an ARM-based laptop to run Linux for a while now. Torvalds is a member of that group but says he doesn’t have the time to get Linux working on an M1 MacBook.

“I’ve been waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for alongtime. 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.”

Apple’s new M1 Macs have been receiving glowing reviews for performance and battery life. The praise has been hard to ignore, even for those who’ve historically avoided Macs.

While it’d be a surprise to see Apple change course on its attitude towards Linux anytime soon—Microsoft, on the other hand, has been increasingly supportive.

Microsoft added a full Linux kernel to Windows 10 with version two of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) earlier this year. During BUILD, Microsoft pledged to improve WSL with full GUI app support and GPU hardware acceleration.

Linux 5.10 is due around Christmas and will come with a stocking full of gifts including support for new hardware like AMD Zen 3 and Intel Rocket Lake, Amazon Web Services’ Nitro Enclaves isolation technology, compatibility with the Nintendo Switch’s controller, file system improvements, a whole load of bug fixes, and the removal of a relic from Linux’s early days.

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