Tuesday, May 21, 2024

KDE and Gnome on Mac: Apple M2 accelerates Linux desktop with 10-core GPU


Linux developer and YouTuber Asahi Lina (@LinaAsahi) has now been possible for the first time to make two of the currently dominant free desktop environments, KDE Plasma and the current Gnome Shell, run on Apple’s current M2 processor. Full GPU acceleration with 10 cores included.

Linux on the M2 with full GPU acceleration

KDE Plasma and Gnome run on a MacBook Air 13″ (2022) with M2 SoC with full graphics acceleration via 10-core GPU. Asahi Linux and the open source graphics stack serve as the foundation 3D tablewhich is essential for playing under Linux, among other things, as the developer in a videoblog of more than eleven hours knows how to demonstrate Applications, benchmarks and games run in parallel.

Linux KDE Plasma and Gnome desktops on a 13″ MacBook Air with M2 (Image: @LinaAsahi)

It is also particularly noteworthy that the “graphics driver” for the Linux kernel is a complete OTB-Provides support for the Mesa driver by Alyssa Rosenzweig, one of the main developers of Asahi Linux, and therefore does not require any userspace tuning.

My 🦀 Linux kernel driver is now compatible with the M2!! And it works out of the box with Alyssa’s Mesa driver, no userspace changes needed~!

Asahi Lina, Linux developer

The developer demoed games like the platform-independent free-to-play first-person shooter. xonoticthe popular OpenGL 2.0 benchmark Glmark2 and a tech demo, running in parallel and with full GPU acceleration on the powerful 3.6 TFLOPS Apple M2 graphics unit.

With full GPU acceleration! 🚀🚀 Running Xonotic, glmark2 and eglgears at the same time!

Asahi Lina, Linux developer

Full support for Apple Silicon

After the first alpha version of Asahi Linux already supported systems such as the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as well as iMac and Mac mini with Apple’s M1 system-on-a-chip and its M1 Pro and M1 Max expansion stages, the project delivered Soon added support for the dual M1 Max, also known as M1 Ultra in Mac Studio, as well as the current M2 processor.

Full support for GPU acceleration brings Linux desktops on Apple Silicon one step closer to mainstream Linux. The developer driver also supports the entire M1 portfolio in addition to the M2 processor.

The editors would like to thank team and community member “Mordenkainen” for the information that led to this report.

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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