descriptionScripts to bootstrap Debian on Apple m1 machines.
ownerThomas Glanzmann
last changeWed, 25 Jan 2023 17:02:49 +0000 (18:02 +0100)

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 gratest 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 -


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 parition 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.

7 days ago Thomas Glanzmannbump versions master
10 days ago Thomas Glanzmannbump m1n1 as suggested by mps on IRC
10 days ago Thomas Glanzmannbump version
12 days ago Thomas Glanzmannno longer necessary. Package made it upstream and is...
2023-01-15 Thomas Glanzmannbump versions, no sound on m1 air and dmesg full of...
2023-01-14 Thomas Glanzmannbump m1n1
2023-01-14 Thomas Glanzmannbump version
2023-01-13 Thomas GlanzmannRegressions: alsamixer hangs (i2c-apple 23501c000.i2c...
2023-01-04 Thomas Glanzmannbump versions
2022-12-23 Thomas Glanzmannincorporate jannaus patch
2022-12-21 Thomas Glanzmanndo not rename interface name during first boot
2022-12-21 Thomas Glanzmannreadd build_efi spotted by Ry_Darcy
2022-12-19 Thomas Glanzmann+= wireless-regdb as requested by dgb on irc
2022-12-19 Thomas Glanzmannrename network interfaces
2022-12-18 Thomas Glanzmann+= git reset --hard origin/main
2022-12-16 Thomas Glanzmanncall it dynamic not variable
7 days ago master
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