descriptionScripts to bootstrap Debian on Apple m1 machines.
ownerThomas Glanzmann
last changeWed, 22 Mar 2023 07:48:58 +0000 (08:48 +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 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 -


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.

5 days ago Thomas Glanzmannbump m1n1 package version spotted by Andreas master
7 days ago Thomas Glanzmannbump version
7 days ago Thomas Glanzmannbump to latest stable release
13 days ago Thomas Glanzmannbump kernel version
2023-03-11 Thomas Glanzmanndisable freedreno to be able to compile mesa and add...
2023-03-11 Thomas Glanzmannbump versions
2023-03-11 Thomas Glanzmannadd deb-src for security packages
2023-03-10 Thomas Glanzmanntypo
2023-03-10 Thomas Glanzmann+= zstd
2023-03-10 Thomas Glanzmann+=Provides: wireguard-modules (= 1.0.0)
2023-03-10 Thomas GlanzmannUse bookworm instead of testing, added security and...
2023-03-05 Thomas Glanzmanncut the crap
2023-03-05 Thomas Glanzmannbump versions
2023-01-25 Thomas Glanzmannbump versions
2023-01-22 Thomas Glanzmannbump m1n1 as suggested by mps on IRC
2023-01-22 Thomas Glanzmannbump version
5 days ago master
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