Apple's M1 processor

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Apple's M1 processor

Austin Hook-2

https://erik-engheim.medium.com/why-is-apples-m1-chip-so-fast-3262b158cba2

I wonder what this means to the future of independent operating systems.

I also wonder what it means to non-Apple store approved software, to
personal privacy, security, and to the very idea of debugging if one
manufacturer crushes the competition with hardware that is almost as
complex as the software running on that same platform.  Or even if
competing processor makers somehow adopt a similar strategy.

Seems to me that increasing complexity in the hardware level also means
that very difficult bugs will increasingly be inaccessible to fixing by
non-privileged developers.

Austin



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Re: Apple's M1 processor

Rafael Possamai-2
> I wonder what this means to the future of independent operating systems.
>
> I also wonder what it means to non-Apple store approved software, to
> personal privacy, security, and to the very idea of debugging if one
> manufacturer crushes the competition with hardware that is almost as
> complex as the software running on that same platform.  Or even if
> competing processor makers somehow adopt a similar strategy.

It's not a good thing, in my opinion, but the number of people who really don't care about any of this is far greater than those who do (i.e. ourselves here).

I think supporting open standard platforms like RISC-V is something we should look into, and by "we" I don't necessarily mean the devs, but the open source community at large. I'd be willing to donate in order to build one of these so it can be donated to devs and be ported to.

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Re: Apple's M1 processor

Ben Goren
In reply to this post by Austin Hook-2
On Dec 1, 2020, at 2:18 PM, austin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> https://erik-engheim.medium.com/why-is-apples-m1-chip-so-fast-3262b158cba2
>
> I wonder what this means to the future of independent operating systems.

I wouldn’t despair too much. Marcan is already working on a Linux port:

https://www.macrumors.com/2020/11/30/linux-apple-silicon-port-patreon/

Anybody who has an extra $700 laying around (certainly not me in the COVID-19 era, and I’m sure many fewer others than before — but hopefully not all of us) can donate an M1 mini to OpenBSD.

Apparently the GPU is expected to be the toughest nut to crack, with a bare-bones bootable port using existing ARM code probably comparable to the introduction of any new platform.

I’ll bet a cup of coffee — but certainly no more than that — that, if hardware donations are made in a timely manner, somebody will have the OpenBSD kernel running on an M1 before the end of 2021.

How long for it to be officially supported by OpenBSD/arm64 I won’t pretend to speculate. Nor do I care to speculate on how long it’ll be after it’s officially supported before all the SoC “extras” (neural engine, etc.) that make the M1 so fast are also supported.

One step at a time. First step: a generous and fortunate soul to get a machine into the hands of a developer....

Cheers,

b&
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Re: Apple's M1 processor

Ben Goren
On Dec 1, 2020, at 3:06 PM, Ben Goren <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Anybody who has an extra $700 laying around (certainly not me in the COVID-19 era, and I’m sure many fewer others than before — but hopefully not all of us) can donate an M1 mini to OpenBSD.

I've gotten a couple off-list replies from people indicating that they're willing and able to chip in towards the purchase of an M1 system for, as one put it "any serious OpenBSD developer [...] willing to make the real push on it," so long as, as another put it, it's "used for porting."

First, to those who wrote to me: I'm just some random schmuck posting to @advocacy. I'm not in any position to collect funds or do anything else of substance.

So...is there anybody out there who _is_ in such a position I can point these people to? Ideally, I think, somebody who already regularly commits to /arm64 who wants to start hacking.

If so, please either contact me and I'll patch through those expressing interest; or feel free to take the whole ball from me.

Cheers,

b&
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Re: Apple's M1 processor

Robbie Herb
On 12/2/2020 1:02 PM, ben wrote:
> So...is there anybody out there who _is_ in such a position I can
> point these people to? Ideally, I think, somebody who already
> regularly commits to /arm64 who wants to start hacking.

Even if there was such a person, I don't think it's right to "donate" a
computer to them with the expectation that they will start working on it
immediately. Remember that OpenBSD exists at the leisure of a group of
volunteers, and they will work on what they will work on in their own time.

If someone wants M1 support so bad, buy a Mac Mini, and start hacking.
Let arm@ know so you avoid doubling up on any work anyone else is doing.
If you don't want to do the work then you can just wait like the rest of us.

Robbie

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Re: Apple's M1 processor

Ben Goren
Actually, as it turns out, Patrick@ is eager to get started, and his PayPal funding pool has already raised enough funds to buy him his M1 mini.

Kettins@ could also use an M1 mini. If you’d like to help raise funds for his purchase, donate here:

https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8uPSkfNJMp

Not all of us have the skills or time to port an operating system. Even many of those who superficially might probably aren’t as good at coding as they think they are. But many of us have other skills that we can translate into money that we can give to those who _do_ have skills and time (and interest)....

Cheers,

b&

> On Dec 2, 2020, at 6:57 PM, Robbie D <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 12/2/2020 1:02 PM, ben wrote:
>> So...is there anybody out there who _is_ in such a position I can point these people to? Ideally, I think, somebody who already regularly commits to /arm64 who wants to start hacking.
>
> Even if there was such a person, I don't think it's right to "donate" a computer to them with the expectation that they will start working on it immediately. Remember that OpenBSD exists at the leisure of a group of volunteers, and they will work on what they will work on in their own time.
>
> If someone wants M1 support so bad, buy a Mac Mini, and start hacking. Let arm@ know so you avoid doubling up on any work anyone else is doing. If you don't want to do the work then you can just wait like the rest of us.
>
> Robbie
cc
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Re: Apple's M1 processor

cc
Greats. Can I join this project? PayPal doesn't support China. I can't seem to be able to pay. I currently live in China.

Caipenghui

于 2020年12月3日 GMT+08:00 上午10:08:42, Ben Goren <[hidden email]> 写到:

>Actually, as it turns out, Patrick@ is eager to get started, and his
>PayPal funding pool has already raised enough funds to buy him his M1
>mini.
>
>Kettins@ could also use an M1 mini. If you’d like to help raise funds
>for his purchase, donate here:
>
>https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8uPSkfNJMp
>
>Not all of us have the skills or time to port an operating system. Even
>many of those who superficially might probably aren’t as good at coding
>as they think they are. But many of us have other skills that we can
>translate into money that we can give to those who _do_ have skills and
>time (and interest)....
>
>Cheers,
>
>b&
>
>> On Dec 2, 2020, at 6:57 PM, Robbie D <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 12/2/2020 1:02 PM, ben wrote:
>>> So...is there anybody out there who _is_ in such a position I can
>point these people to? Ideally, I think, somebody who already regularly
>commits to /arm64 who wants to start hacking.
>>
>> Even if there was such a person, I don't think it's right to "donate"
>a computer to them with the expectation that they will start working on
>it immediately. Remember that OpenBSD exists at the leisure of a group
>of volunteers, and they will work on what they will work on in their
>own time.
>>
>> If someone wants M1 support so bad, buy a Mac Mini, and start
>hacking. Let arm@ know so you avoid doubling up on any work anyone else
>is doing. If you don't want to do the work then you can just wait like
>the rest of us.
>>
>> Robbie
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Re: Apple's M1 processor

Otto Moerbeek
In reply to this post by Robbie Herb
On Wed, Dec 02, 2020 at 02:01:04PM -0600, Robbie D wrote:

> On 12/2/2020 1:02 PM, ben wrote:
> > So...is there anybody out there who _is_ in such a position I can point
> > these people to? Ideally, I think, somebody who already regularly
> > commits to /arm64 who wants to start hacking.
>
> Even if there was such a person, I don't think it's right to "donate" a
> computer to them with the expectation that they will start working on it
> immediately. Remember that OpenBSD exists at the leisure of a group of
> volunteers, and they will work on what they will work on in their own time.
>
> If someone wants M1 support so bad, buy a Mac Mini, and start hacking. Let
> arm@ know so you avoid doubling up on any work anyone else is doing. If you
> don't want to do the work then you can just wait like the rest of us.
>
> Robbie
>

If you have expectations about how much time will be spent, that's
your problem. Donations are mostly only accepted with no strings
attached.

In this case there's a developer able, willing and eager to start
working on it. He himself can decide perfectly how much time to spend
on it.

I have received donations in the past. I always made it clear: no
promises, no guarantees, this is volunteer work. In one or two casses
due to circumstances I was not able to do work on the hardware in
question. I passed it on to another developer with no strings
attached.

        -Otto