Asahi Linux project hooks up with Fedora: Remix that's not a remix coming soon

FAR out, man: first build for Apple Silicon Macs might make it out this month

The Asahi Linux project, which is working on getting Linux working on Apple Silicon-based Macs, is partnering with the Fedora Project for its new flagship distro.

The team behind Asahi Linux has announced its first official flagship distro: the Fedora Asahi Remix. Although the name sounds like one, Asahi Linux isn't a distro: it's the project which is porting the Linux kernel to Apple Silicon Macs, meaning Apple laptops and desktops based around the M1 and M2 family of Arm64-instruction-set SOCs.

Until now, Asahi has offered an unofficial build of Arch Linux, but earlier this year, lead developer Hector Martin expressed frustration with Arch's Arm support on Mastodon:

Okay, I'm going to be honest with everyone… I'm getting really tired of Arch Linux ARM.

Missing packages from upstream Arch that do build properly out of the box, random broken package builds, broken dependencies for years on end, missing rebuilds after ABI bumps of dependencies, and now "Firefox fails to build with WebRTC so let's just… disable WebRTC". And the maintainers are generally unresponsive.

I apologize to all Asahi Linux users. You deserve better. When I chose Arch Linux ARM as a base I didn't realize it would have so many basic QA issues.

We're working on better options. Please give us just a bit more time.

Edit: Please don't suggest distros, the next one is already decided ;)

The Reg has been tracking the progress of the Asahi Linux project for some time now. The two projects should be a good fit: as stable-release distros go, Fedora is quite fast-moving and generally aims to incorporate the newest components that are stable enough to work together. As such, it's a better fit for a bleeding-edge project than, for instance, Debian or Ubuntu.

Back in May, the Asahi project stated that it was focusing on Wayland, not, so this will probably mean that the new FAR edition of Fedora will only support Wayland-compatible environments. Looking at the current list of Fedora spins, you should expect KDE and GNOME, then probably Sway. Most of the rest, for now at least, are X11-only, although Budgie is moving in the direction of going Wayland-only.

Asahi is not a full, brand-new port, of course. ARM Linux, the version of the Linux kernel for what were then Acorn RISC chips, has been around since 1994, thanks to original developer Russell King. The first 64-bit version of the Arm architecture, known as ARMv8, was announced in 2011, and was supported in Linux soon afterwards.

By our reckoning, Fedora has supported 64-bit Arm since Fedora 28, which came out back in 2018. So, the combination should result in a special Asahi edition of Fedora 38, with a Fedora kernel built with Asahi drivers. (Fedora 39 isn't expected until the end of the year.) As long as the kernel and a display server work, then all the other existing Arm64 packages in Fedora should, in principle, just install and work – so long as they are compatible with the 16kB page size that LWN reports Asahi uses. ®

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