Asahi Linux—founded by Hector “marcan” Martin—has merged initial support for Apple M1 hardware into the Linux system-on-chip (SOC) tree, where it will hopefully make it into the Linux 5.13 kernel (which we can expect roughly in July).
What’s an Asahi?
Asahi is the Japanese name for what we know as the McIntosh Apple—the specific fruit cultivar that gave the Mac its name. Asahi Linux is a fledgling distribution founded with the specific goal of creating a workable daily-driver Linux experience on Apple M1 silicon.
This is a daunting task. Apple does not offer any community documentation for Apple Silicon, so Martin and cohorts must reverse-engineer the hardware as well as write drivers for it. And this is especially difficult considering the M1 GPU—without first-class graphics support, Asahi cannot possibly offer a first-class Linux experience on M1 hardware such as the 2020 M1 Mac Mini, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro.