Asahi Linux announces ‘Fedora Asahi Remix’ for Apple Silicon machines

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Asahi Linux, a project dedicated to bringing full Linux support to Apple Silicon machines, has unveiled its highly anticipated flagship distribution: Fedora Asahi Remix.

The announcement was made at the Flock To Fedora event and has been a monumental undertaking, involving extensive reverse engineering, development, and integration work to support the unique hardware architecture of Apple Silicon on various Linux distributions. 

With a focus on offering a polished Linux experience, the project has been working diligently to overcome challenges from bootloaders to desktop audio servers.

The journey towards Fedora Asahi Remix began with the creation of the Asahi Linux Arch Linux ARM remix. The team utilised Arch Linux ARM as a base, introducing their own overlay package repository and integrating essential components for Apple Silicon support. 

While this remix provided a stepping stone, Asahi Linux aimed to go beyond bespoke downstream distros and collaborate directly with major upstream distributions.

Neal Gompa from the Fedora team initiated discussions with the project, leading to the inception of the Fedora Asahi effort in late 2021. Over the past year, the Asahi team has worked closely with Fedora to fully integrate Apple Silicon support, including custom packages, kernel and Mesa forks, and specialised image packaging requirements.

Crucially, the Fedora Asahi project follows an “upstream-first” approach, ensuring that their work is integrated into the core distribution. Bespoke tools, such as the m1n1 low-level bootloader and asahi-scripts, have already found their way into upstream Fedora repositories, making them accessible to all Fedora users.

The collaboration with Fedora’s distro integration experts allows Asahi Linux to concentrate on its strengths of hardware reverse engineering and developing bespoke drivers and software.

While the upcoming release of Fedora Asahi Remix is eagerly awaited by the Linux community, the team emphasises that it is still refining the distribution and adding new features. Adventurous users can try out the current version but it’s essential to expect rough spots and potential issues.

Asahi Linux’s collaboration with Fedora not only benefits Apple Silicon users but also contributes to improving the state of desktop Linux on ARM64 for everyone. Fedora’s existing solid ARM64 support – primarily in the server/headless segment – provides an excellent foundation for further enhancements and testing.

The official release of Fedora Asahi Remix is expected by the end of August 2023. As the Asahi team races to the finish line, they express their gratitude to the Fedora contributors who have played a crucial role in this collaborative endeavour.

When the time comes for the official release, the Linux community can look forward to a polished, feature-rich experience, specifically tailored for Apple Silicon machines.

(Image Credit: Asahi Linux)

See also: Apple will require developers to explain their API use

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