Three years ago I wrote blog post about naming company laptops. Last week I got new one. So new name was needed.
Quest for Arm laptop
Many things changed during last years. Qualcomm released Snapdragon SoC line for laptops. All were running Microsoft Windows (for Arm) with bastard version of ACPI tables. Took some time for Linux community to get Linux running on those systems. In Device Tree mode as ACPI tables were so bad that it was easier to ignore them.
Apple released laptops and mini desktops with M1 SoC (in many variants) and then M2 (also with variants). With MacOS on them. Again, Linux community started working on getting Linux running there. Device Tree again.
Kapturek -> Gossamer -> Blossom -> ?
When I got Applied Micro Mustang I called it “pinkiepie” as my daughter was at “My Little Pony” phase then.
This time I have chosen Apple Macbook 14” (2021) with M1 Pro as my work laptop. So it got ‘applejack’ as hostname after other character from MLP franchise.
When I told my friends that my next work laptop will be Macbook their reactions were funny:
“why this way” in 3, 2, 1…
You and Macbook???
And then they followed with set of Linux->MacOS hints. Like “install brew at start”, information where to switch off “natural” scrolling, remapping Fn/Control/Option/Command keys to be more PC105 like etc.
I spent less than hour under MacOS - logged in, enabled encryption, installed brew, changed keyboard layout and started installer of Asahi Fedora Remix :D
Asahi Fedora Remix
Laptop boots to U-Boot. Then Grub is loaded and then it was Fedora Linux 37 system with custom kernel and some modifications. So far there is no installer support — mostly due to Apple partitioning and how boot selection is done.
I will not go with what works and what does not as it is work in progress all the time. Asahi Linux project has “Feature Support” wiki page for it.
Spent some time on customizing system to have encrypted /home partition, boot progress instead of kernel output etc. Then copied some settings and data.
But why Apple Macbook???
That was quite popular question during last weeks. I heard it from several friends who know that I run only FOSS operating systems on my machines.
There are several reasons:
- it is one of most advanced AArch64 SoC when it comes to cpu features
- it is fast so I can use it for Arm development
How fast it is?
I did not run any complex benchmarks — there are better skilled people for it. And there are several web pages with it already.
Tested kcbench. It built Linux kernel 5.15 several times:
- Honeycomb (LX2160, 16 Cortex-A72 cores):
Run 1 (-j 16): 290.32 seconds / 12.40 kernels/hour [P:1393%, 879 maj. pagefaults] Run 3 (-j 19): 290.83 seconds / 12.38 kernels/hour [P:1399%, 846 maj. pagefaults]
- Macbook (M1 Pro, 10 cores):
Run 1 (-j 10): 115.77 seconds / 31.10 kernels/hour [P:882%, 536 maj. pagefaults] Run 3 (-j 13): 115.18 seconds / 31.26 kernels/hour [P:896%, 245 maj. pagefaults]
- my desktop (Ryzen 5 3600, 6/12 cores/threads):
Run 1 (-j 12): 219.29 seconds / 16.42 kernels/hour [P:1082%, 323 maj. pagefaults] Run 3 (-j 15): 217.94 seconds / 16.52 kernels/hour [P:1094%, 231 maj. pagefaults]
Even if I say that my desktop had several other tasks running at same time it does not matter. M1 Pro is fast.
Next three years are covered
For my next three years I have Arm development system which is mobile. Last time it was 10 years ago with Samsung Chromebook. Just some numbers changed — 5 times more cores, 16 times more memory and storage is counted in GBs instead of MBs.
Why “Another Apple”?
During last two decades I owned some Apple products:
- iPhone 5S (bought and gave to my mom as upgrade to 4S)
- iPhone 7 (bought in USA, sold to friend in Poland)
- PowerMac G4 (bought on some Friday, gave as gift on Sunday)
And last time I used MacOS on own hardware was in previous millenium with MacOS 7.5.3/7.5.5/8.1 on my Amiga (using Shapeshifter and/or Fusion emulators).