Apple has introduced an interesting change with macOS 13 Ventura in terms of better Linux support, giving new powers to those running a Linux distribution in a virtual machine (VM) on a Mac with Apple silicon, allowing those users to run x86 software. on that VM.
As The register (opens in new tab) reports, this capability comes courtesy of Rosetta 2, which is Apple’s translation technology originally introduced with the M1, allowing this chip to run x86 applications.
With macOS 13, Apple is extending support for Rosetta’s x86-64-to-Arm translation techniques to work on Linux VMs, meaning those running Linux this way will be able to use applications written for Intel processors. x86.
This is certainly an interesting sequel to add to the Linux VMs arc, albeit for a niche set of Mac owners.
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The work done to get this new functionality up and running was likely not trivial, and could be part of a larger strategic move by Apple to persuade Docker developers that their next PC should be a Mac with Apple’s SoC – as that means these developers can work with x86-64 containers on such a machine. This could be a not inconsiderable audience for Apple to tap into with future Macs running Ventura.
Of course, this is just a cool feature anyway, and one of many in the bag of tricks being introduced by macOS 13. Ventura also promises to be an ace (sorry, we haven’t heard this enough since the big reveal) with a few changes. interface features – like bringing in the Stage Manager – and a bunch of smart accessibility improvements, plus let’s not forget the work on the gaming front, opening Resident Evil Village on Mac later this year.
If you can’t wait for macOS to get here, with its debut scheduled for late 2022, there’s already a beta you can grab (it’s an early developer release, mind you – the public beta doesn’t start until July , at which point Ventura will undoubtedly be in better shape).