Apple has always been a company that never stick to a standard of building chips and devices. They were always so conservative when it comes to letting others play with their toys. The trend was less aggressive when it comes to the desktop and laptop realm (It was). Apple seems to be building walls across them as well. While newer M1 Macs did leave a great impression on both the fans and haters alike, these ARM-powered PCs (or Macs as they call it) cannot run anything other than the MacOS (that is, it was). But where there is a will, there is a way (isn’t there?).
In this guide, we’ll tell you how to install Linux on M1 MacBook. As said earlier, the newer M1 Macs were designed not to run anything other than MacOS. While that is good news from a security perspective for ordinary users, most of you reading this guide won’t belong to that list. Lucky for us, developers at Corellium have brought us a solution. But don’t your hopes up, as the so-called solution sure does comes with its catches.
Before we jump into the guide, go through the pre-requisites and warnings listed below.
- Make sure you have a faster internet connection.
- The Linux variant we’re installing won’t support anything wireless (say goodbye
to Wi-Fi, wireless keyboard, mice, and audio). So make sure you’ve arranged the
- The process of installing any operating system on any device has a high risk of
compromising the locally saved data on that device. So make sure you’ve backed
up anything of importance (we recommend that you back up your entire device
before proceeding further) on your device.
- Be very careful when performing an OS installation on a Mac. It is a daunting process to reinstall macOS on a wiped Apple machine.
Steps to Install Linux on M1 MacBook
We’ll be installing a custom Ubuntu build on the newer M1 Macs. Start by downloading it from the following link.
Warning: We are in no way responsible for any damage caused to your device. So proceed at your own risk.
How to Install Linux on M1 Macs
Repartition and Flash Image
- Open Disk Utility on your Mac.
- Click the drive at the top on the left and select partitions.
- Click on the + button and add an exFAT partition of at least 16G.
- Remember the disk ID and the partition offset. Also, unmount that partition.
We can now dd the image to the new partition. To do that, we’ll start by extracting the
image with the following line of code.
tar -xjvf ubuntu-20.10-preinstalled-desktop-arm64+raspi-nvme.img.tar.bz2
- Then dd it to the partition we created earlier using the following code.
sudo dd if=ubuntu-20.10-preinstalled-desktop-arm64+raspi-nvme.img of=/dev/rYOURDISK bs=1m
- Once that’s done, create an exFAT partition of 200MB and name it EFIESP. After which,
run the following code to copy the Wi-Fi firmware.
cp -RLav /usr/share/firmware/wifi /Volumes/EFIESP
- That’s it from this part.
Now you’ve to install the kernel and boot into Linux. Follow the below steps.
Install the Custom Kernel and Boot into Linux
We’ll first boot into the One True Recovery OS (1TR). To do that.
- Turn off your Mac M1 and hold the power button.
- A loading options screen appears. Click on the terminal option from the menubar at the top.
- Type in the following script to install the custom kernel.
bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://downloads.corellium.info/linuxnvmeboot.sh)"
- The system will now ask for your username and password.
- Type in reboot once you see the Kernel Installed message.
- Once the system reboots, you’ll be prompted for a login. The username is “pi”
(yes, we’re using a tweaked version of Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi), and the
password is “raspberry” without the double-quotes. The root password is also
- To revert to the MacOS, open terminal in 1TR and type in
We hope you found this guide helpful. Reach us through the comments if you need any
further information. Once again, be extremely cautious while performing an operating