The alpha release of Asahi Linux, a project to run Linux on Apple Silicon computers, came out a couple days ago. And out of a combination of boredom and curiosity, I thought I’d give it a shot.
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Here’s the review, if you’re not going to read any farther than the first sentence: this is a damn good computer. I’ve had my M1 Max MBP (32 GPU cores, 64 GB RAM) for two months now and, aside from the time spent migrating things off my previous computer, it’s been the only “real” computer I’ve used in that time.
I’ve had an M1 Mac mini for about a month now, so I thought I’d write up my experiences with it. The configuration I got has 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (the base amount). The reasoning for the bare minimum storage is that Apple charges an arm and a leg for extra space, and I intend this to primarily be a stopgap machine until there are higher-power Apple Silicon equipped laptops. If I really desperately need extra space down the line, I can buy a cheap external SSD (that will continue to be useful after this computer is gone). The 16GB of RAM, however, is necessary to do any iOS development (Xcode and all the various associated services can by themselves easily consume almost 8 gigs). So far, I’ve moved just about all of my non-work desktop computing over to it, and it’s been absolutely fantastic.
My primary computer is a 2019 16“ MacBook Pro. It has four ports. All of which are USB-C/Thunderbolt 3. Enough words by enough people have been expended complaining about how the lack of common ports makes their lives more difficult, so instead, I’m going to complain about how the solutions for connecting non-USB-C peripherals are awful. This is something I’ve ranted about multiple times on the fediverse, since it’s something you’d think would be a solved problem by now. But clearly it isn’t, so here we go again.