Old iPads could soon run Linux

Owners of old iPads and iPhones could soon be able to run Linux on these devices, Ars Technica reports.

The publication spotted a recent Twitter post by software developer Konrad Dybcio and Linux enthusiast quaack723.

The pair managed to get Linux kernel version 5.18 to boot natively on an iPad Air 2, first released in October 2014.

Ars Technica said the iPad appeared to be running PostmarketOS, an Alpine Linux-based distro.

The tablet was never designed to run any other operating system than Apple’s iOS and iPadOS.

The pair supposedly used the Checkm8 jailbreak method to get the software on the iPad.

The well-known exploit uses an unfixable BootROM vulnerability that can provide root access to Apple devices released between 2012 and 2017.

Dybcio said it took them more than a year to get the distro to boot, but they finally had success after realising they were missing one line of code.

The pair claimed their approach could work on devices with Apple’s A7 and A8 Bionic processors, including the original iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPhone 5s and the HomePod.

The operating system does not go beyond the boot process, however. It failed because it was unable to mount a file system.

Dybcio has also admitted that Bluetooth and USB support aren’t working either.

The team are sharing their work to allow other developers to help in taking the project forward.

There are currently several projects dedicated to getting Linux running on Apple hardware.


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Old iPads could soon run Linux