Boot Mainline Linux on Apple A7, A8 and A8X devices

[Konrad Dybcio] Speaking of his journey to boot Linux on the A7 / 8 / 8X processor, he found a drawer to play with an older iPhone 5. Inspired by things like Linux, the M1 Macs announcement is a two-year “see you again” journey. After all, what we have here is a way to boot Mainline Linux on a few less-modern but still very usable iPhones and a fun story to get there.

[Konrad]Its work is based on research on the Sandcastle project, but he could not figure out exactly how their code would work, and he understood it as he went. At one point, he stuck to enabling MMU, which was the main road blockade for some time. By joining another developer interested in Apple hardware, they were hacking it, developing tools and techniques on their way, but to no avail. Since the framebuffer is accessible and no other decent debugging method is visible, he says of a code snippet that they wrote that the printed register value is valid as a barcode.

Then, looking deeper into the familiar-effective code, he realized that there was a single line difference between how they loaded the Linux image. That’s right, they launched MMU! From here, the Linux hacking part started, and still continues, with other people pulling their old iDevices from their respective drawers and Join the fun. Integration work is underway, bringing basic peripherals. Something incidental, we May not see work Anytime soon, but from here, it should be easy to create drivers and conquer these devices one by one.

This development should work for iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus, iPod touch 6th gen, as well as iPad Air 1/2 and iPad Mini 2/3/4. Do you want to boot Linux on one of these devices in your possession? [Konrad] Shares instructions on how to bring your device from scratch to a Linux bootleg screen; Help is available But the Linux experience Desired! If you decide to play with your own old iDevice, you should spend a minute or two helping him along the way – he’s collecting ADT files from different iDevices, and the instructions for providing one are very simple!

We haven’t seen Linux on an iPhone in a while – most of these types of hacks come in 2008 or later, die soon after, where the iPhone 7 has some great stuff like postmarketOS here and there. However, we hope that this will bring our smartphones closer to our personal computers when it comes to usability.

We thank you [Matthew Carlson] To share with us!

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