descriptionScripts to bootstrap Debian on Apple m1 machines.
ownerThomas Glanzmann
last changeWed, 20 Sep 2023 08:46:24 +0000 (10:46 +0200)

This pages explains how to install Debian on Apple Silicon machines.


The USB-A Port on the Mac Mini will not work in u-boot and grub. The two additional USB-3 ports on the iMac 4 port model don't work in u-boot, grub and Linux. In order to install Linux on a FileVault-enabled Mac run the installer from Recovery open Disk Utility > Expanding "Macintosh HD" > Selecting locked volume > click "Mount". Debian does not include the choosen EFI patch. As a result it will always pick the first ESP partition. This can be problematic if you're using multiple ESP partitions for example when having multiple Linux and BSD installations.


If you don't want to use the prebuild artefacts, you can build them yourself using the following scripts:

    - - Prepares a rust installation suitable for kernel compilation
    - - Builds m1n1, u-boot and the kernel including gpu support.
    - - Creates mesa packages
    - - Creates Debian root and live filesystem
    - - Meta package which makes sure that we always get latest and greatest kernel.

Asahi installer

Video Recording


Video Recording

In order to format the usb stick under Macos, open the disk utility, right-click on the usb stick (usually the lowest device in the list) and select erase. Choose the following options:

    Name: LIVE
    Format: MS-DOS (FAT)
    Scheme: Master Boot Record

Than open a terminal, and run the following commands:

    sudo su -
    cd /Volumes/LIVE
    curl -sL | tar -xf -


Are you still maintaining this?

Yes, I do and will continue doing this until there is an official Debian installer.

If I install Debian, will it be easy to update the Asahi work as it develops?

Yes, long answer below.

To update the kernel to the lastest "stable" asahi branch you need to run as root:

    apt update
    apt upgrade

For installations before 2022-12-12, see

Later it might be necessary to upgrade the stub partion in order to support the GPU code. As soon as that happens, I'll add the instructions and a video in order to do so, but short version is:

    - Backup /boot/efi/EFI
    - Delete the old stub and efi/esp partition
    - Rerun the asahi installer with m1n1+u-boot option
    - Put the /boot/efi/EFI back

So, you never need to reinstall Debian. Kernel updates are easy, stub updates are a little bit more cumbersome but also seldom.

How do I compile zfs on apple silicon debian?

12 days ago Thomas Glanzmanntypo master
12 days ago Thomas Glanzmannanother faq
2023-08-30 Thomas Glanzmannmanual merge
2023-08-30 Thomas Glanzmannbump versions
2023-08-07 Thomas Glanzmannno longer necessary because I no longer ship crosscompi...
2023-08-07 Thomas Glanzmannbump kernel to not crosscompiled version
2023-08-07 Thomas Glanzmannno longer crosscompile kernels because some binaries...
2023-08-07 Thomas Glanzmannlayout
2023-08-06 Thomas Glanzmannadd notes for zfs
2023-08-04 Thomas GlanzmannReverting back due to broken bluetooth audio with new...
2023-08-03 Thomas Glanzmannversion bump
2023-08-03 Thomas Glanzmannbump versions
2023-08-03 Thomas Glanzmannmore dependencies; bump versions
2023-07-25 Thomas GlanzmannMerge branch 'master' of
2023-07-25 Thomas Glanzmannbump mesa version
2023-07-25 Thomas Glanzmanndocument installer file
12 days ago master
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