Question to Torvalds

By: Maynard Handley (, January 12, 2021 12:07 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Jukka Larja ( on January 12, 2021 10:15 am wrote:
> Maynard Handley ( on January 12, 2021 8:42 am wrote:
> > The question was "what is being given up by the inability to run Linux on bare metal".
> > The answer appears to be some amount of (unquantified) performance and the ability to debug
> > the Linux OS code. Neither of which strike me as important enough to Apple that they will
> > reconsider their position. And neither of which change the case that for the AVERAGE user,
> > they have the same degree of ability to run Linux on their M1 mac as on their earlier mac.
> Average user doesn't run anything in VM. They don't install Linux to Mac or Windows
> PC. They don't even know what a VM is, so I'm not sure why you bring them to this.

There are degrees of average. I'm thinking for example of STEM users who are uninterested in tech politics, they just know that to use some specialty computational app, they run it in a Linux VM, likely one provided by Parallels or VMWare so it feels and is maintained just like any other mac app.

> It was mentioned in another message that using a VM does mean some extra administration.
> I think that's pretty big thing. That's why I think it's relevant to ask, why wouldn't
> you run the OS you want to use on bare metal, if it's possible.

Again, that's the value provided by VMWare or Parallels.

> If the only thing you're really interested is whether Apple will "reconsider their position",
> why on Earth would they? Do you think number of people running Linux on Mac (in VM or not)
> is large enough that they care? They didn't seem to make serious effort with Bootcamp,
> and that probably was many times more important from business perspective.

Once again, the goal is to enable other companies (like VMWare and Parallels. And QEMU and VirtualBox and KVM, if they want to) to do their thing.
Apple provides the basic underlying primitives, third part devs do the rest. The result is a win for Apple and its customers.
How many network engineers or Google engineers or Facebook engineers or ... fall into the categories I described? It's not a massive number, but enough sales to justify Apple providing the hypervisor and virtualization frameworks, especially if Apple will at some point use those for its own ends.

At every stage of this thread the issue was constantly derailed by an insistence that I was being confrontational. But what is so hard to understand about this: Apple has essentially made TWO statements of direction with the M1.
(a) our x86 Emulation is GOOD ENOUGH for MOST of our customer use cases.
(b) our virtualization scheme is GOOD ENOUGH for MOST of our customer use cases.

Statement (a) led to a large amount of insistence (before the M1 shipped) that Apple was making a mistake, that things would fail for , with a sheepish followup post ship that, OK, actually Apple was pretty much correct.

I am trying to get an answer as to statement (b), and so far everything I've seen only convinces me that the story will play out exactly the same way, only with the sheepish followups delayed by a year or so because Rosetta2 shipped with he M1, whereas all the relevant work for case (b) is being done by third parties and is still only in early stages.

Statement (a) is of little long term interest; Rosetta2 will probably be dropped in a few years. Statement (b) is with us for the long haul. But the two statements, and their receptions, are parallel in the way I have described.
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TopicPosted ByDate
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        He asked disingenuously (NT)JS2021/01/09 08:33 PM
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                                      Question to TorvaldsJukka Larja2021/01/17 10:52 AM
            Question to TorvaldsDoug S2021/01/14 10:37 AM
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