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Asahi Linux outperforms Apple OpenGL support

Asahi Linux outperforms Apple OpenGL support

Udo M. Reading time: 2 minutes

The independent development team behind Asahi Linux has been running Linux on Apple Silicon Macs for three years. >

In the beginning it was Asahi Linux “An unstable experience”, but it's now a surprisingly functional and usable desktop operating system. Even Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, used it to run Linux on Apple devices. Apple itself is not involved in this project.

Since December 2022, the team has been steadily improving the open source GPU driver for the M1 and M2 chipsets. You've now reached an important milestone: OpenGL and OpenGL ES support for the Asahi driver is once again better than Apple's support in macOS. The latest Asahi driver supports OpenGL 4.6 and OpenGL ES 3.2, the latest versions of these APIs. On the other hand, Apple's macOS only supports OpenGL 4.1, which has been around since 2010.

Developer Alyssa Rosenzweig explains in one Blog postWhy implementing newer APIs on Apple GPUs has been so difficult. Despite the challenges, the Asahi team was able to develop a high-performance, committed driver. Next, the team wants to support Vulkan, a modern, low-overhead graphics API. Vulkan is only present in macOS with translation layers like Molten VK available which may affect performance.

Asahi Linux is not perfect yet. There are some features that don't work yet, eg. B. Thunderbolt and Touch ID. However, it's an impressive feat for a small team of developers to achieve so much.

Asahi Linux makes Apple Silicon Macs an attractive choice for Linux users. Superior OpenGL support and upcoming Vulkan support are important developments that make Linux even more attractive on this platform.


Asahi Linux Project:

Blog post by Alyssa Rosenzweig: