Do you have an old iPad around? You may be able to run it on Linux soon

Zoom / Linux boots on my old iPad Air 2.

If you have an unused 2013 or 2014 iPad because it no longer gets updates from Apple and stops running the apps you need, some developers are working on an alternative software solution for you. Developer Konrad Depsio and a fan of Linux”Nada Abdel Mohsen 723“Cooperate to get Linux kernel version 5.18 running on my old iPad Air 2which is a major achievement for a device that is designed to never run any operating system other than Apple’s.

The project appears to be using a file Alpine LinuxA distribution based on called “postmarketOS”, a relatively small but actively developing distribution Primarily for Android devices. Dybcio used the hashtag “checkm8” in his initial tweet about the project, strongly suggesting that they used Bootrom exploit “Checkm8” was published in 2019 to access devices. Currently, developers only use Linux on some older iPads that use A7 and A8-based chips – this includes the iPad Air, iPad Air 2, and a few generations of iPad mini. But subsequent tweets indicate that it will be possible to run Linux on any device with an A7 or A8, including the iPhone 5S and Original HomePod.

This is not the only project dedicated to running Linux on Apple devices. one project, Asahi Linux, is intended to support reverse engineering of the M1 chips in Apple’s Mac computers and send patches upstream so they can be integrated into the Linux kernel. else, Sandcastle ProjectIt has an Android version and works on iPhone 7. Apps like iSH It will give you a Linux shell that runs on top of iOS or iPadOS – not the same as running Linux directly on the device, but useful in some circumstances.

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Development work on the latest Linux-on-iDevices effort is It’s still in its early days. Images shared by developers both show a basic boot process that failed because a file system could not be mounted, and Dybcio Notes Basic things like USB support and bluetooth wouldn’t work. Getting networking, audio, and graphics acceleration working properly will also be challenging. But being able to run Linux at all may catch the attention of other developers who want to help the project.

Compared to recent devices with an Apple M1 chip, A7 and A8-powered devices won’t be as impressive as general-purpose Linux devices. While impressive at the time, their CPUs and GPUs are much slower than recent Apple devices, and they all ship with either 1GB or 2GB of RAM. But their performance still stacked up nicely alongside the slow processors in devices like the Raspberry Pi 4, and most (but not all) A7s and A8s have stopped getting new iOS and iPadOS updates from Apple at this point; Linux support might give some of these devices a second life as old game consoles, simple home servers, or other useful things for low-power Arm hardware.

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