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


Linux developer and YouTuber Asahi Lina (@LinaAsahi) has now, for the first time ever, succeeded in using KDE Plasma and the current Gnome Shell, two of the currently dominant free desktop environments, on the current M2 -Make processor from Apple executable. 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 the 10-core GPU. It is based on Asahi Linux and the open-source graphics stack Mesa 3D, which is essential for gaming under Linux, as the developer demonstrates in a more than eleven-hour video blog. Applications, benchmarks and games run in parallel.

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

What is also particularly noteworthy is that the “graphics driver” for the Linux kernel offers full OOTB support for the Mesa driver by Alyssa Rosenzweig, one of the chief developers at Asahi Linux, and therefore no adjustments to the user space (“userspace”). requires.

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

Asahi Lina, Linux developer

The developer demonstrated games such as the free and platform-independent first-person shooter Xonotic, the well-known OpenGL 2.0 benchmark Glmark2 and a tech demo, which run in parallel and with full GPU acceleration on the 3.6 TFLOPS graphics unit of the Apple M2.

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 had systems from Type MacBook Air and MacBook Pro as well as the iMac and Mac mini with Apple's system-on-a-chip M1 and its expansion stages M1 Pro and M1 Max, the project promptly provided support for the double M1 Max aka M1 Ultra in the Mac Studio and the current M2 processor.

Full support for GPU acceleration brings Linux desktops on Apple Silicon another step closer to the Linux mainstream. The developer's 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.”