Apple M1 Performance On Linux: Benchmarks Better Than Expected For Its Alpha State

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 23 March 2022 at 01:00 PM EDT. Page 7 of 7. 50 Comments.

The lack of working 3D acceleration will be a blocker for some in being able to use an Apple M1 under Linux as a daily production system. Over the months ahead that should be addressed at least for OpenGL acceleration and we'll see how long before there is Vulkan and a really robust open-source graphics stack available.

Even with there being power/performance work still ahead for being able to make the most of the M1, these benchmarks with the Mac Mini did genuinely exceed my expectations for this early alpha state. Running Linux on M1 MacBooks may be a bit less than ideal due to also having to worry about the battery life and cooling concerns among other connectivity limitations with the Asahi Linux, but at least in the case of the Mac Mini this was a great little platform for evaluating the early state of Linux on Apple Silicon.

Installing Asahi Linux on the Apple M1.

With this M1 Mac Mini retailing for $669~699 USD for the 8GB system memory version, it's not too expensive either for those now wanting a rather capable AArch64 Linux system for development purposes, etc. As I figured many would ask, I did also run some benchmarks of the M1 Mac Mini against a Raspberry Pi 400 (both with Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit and 64-bit, given that many still are using 32-bit software on the Raspberry Pi).

Apple M1 - Asahi Linux Alpha vs. macOS
Apple M1 - Asahi Linux Alpha vs. macOS

The Apple M1 with Asahi Linux at this stage is already a magnitude faster than the Raspberry Pi 400. See more of the Raspberry Pi vs. M1 benchmarks on this result page.

Overall that's where Linux currently stands on the Apple M1 / Mac Mini and it will be fun to see how quickly it evolves with better power/performance optimizations and how long before it could be a system suitable for production use with working 3D acceleration and other support items worked out. There still is the concern whether Apple could ultimately lock down the Apple Silicon hardware or introduce new restrictions moving forward, so Linux users are still at the behest of Apple, but for right now the M1 is proving to be a nice Arm Linux desktop option. Keep in mind these Mac Mini benchmarks are the most basic M1 model available (if wishing to see higher-end M1 benchmarks, consider joining Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip to help offset the costs to eventually procure a higher-end M1 for benchmarking).

Those wanting to try out Asahi Linux on Apple Silicon can visit

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via