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Apple M1 can now launch Gnome desktop on Debian Linux


An important update in the battle to tame the Apple M1 chip to run Linux locally, as noted RegisterGraphics developer Alyssa Rosenzweig and her Asahi Linux colleagues managed to get Gnome Shell to run on bare metal, even without GPU acceleration.

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The display driver may be under development, but Rosenzweig was able to send a tweet from the system, which included a screenshot showing that she was using the 5.14 Linux kernel, Debian, and the pre-release version of GNOME 3.38.4. The kernel includes a pin control subsystem and PCIe patches, and displays, USB and Ethernet can also work. A unique feature of Apple Silicon SOC is its DCP, which is a display co-processor located next to the GPU and requires a driver to unlock GPU acceleration. Rosenzweig described the team’s breakthrough as “a great milestone for DCP drivers”.


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