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Canonical Transforms Linux on Mac


on 9 November 2021

Developers can now launch Linux instances on Apple M1 with Multipass 1.8

November 9th London, UK: On the heels of Apple’s announcement of a new line of game-changing M1 MacBooks, Canonical is bringing fast and easy Linux to the M1 platform. Multipass, the quickest way to run Linux cross-platform, received an update last week allowing M1 users to run Ubuntu VMs with minimal set-up. Multipass can download and launch a virtual machine image with one command, and developers on M1 can now get running on Linux in as little as 20 seconds.

Linux on M1: a boost for developers

Until now, M1 users haven’t had many options for running Linux. Popular VM tools such as VirtualBox and VMWare either do not support the new architecture or are still in the preview stage. Where support exists, it typically requires hands-on configuration, management, and maintenance. Multipass is Canonical’s answer: free VM software that removes all set-up and configuration overhead so developers can get straight to the projects that matter to them.

According to Canonical product manager Nathan Hart, “Canonical wants to get developers running on Linux faster than any other option on the market, and the Multipass team has helped accomplish that.”

Linux Where You Need It

Multipass 1.8.0 comes with other new features and under-the-hood improvements that will interest those looking for a low-overhead Linux environment. One of these key features is aliases

Aliases bring Ubuntu to your terminal of choice

Aliases allow Multipass users to tie commands within a VM to commands on the host OS. For those who only need a Linux environment for a few use cases, this is a paradigm shift. Instead of switching contexts to access the software they need, these users can now run software within their VMs directly from the host terminal. Aliases can give users a near-native experience for any linux program. For example, aliases could be an alternative to Docker Desktop for developers looking to run Docker on Windows or Mac.

A unified Linux experience cross-platform

With this latest update, Multipass now supports every major computing platform, giving developers a consistent experience on any system. Whether you’re a die-hard Mac supporter, part of a team fully integrated with the Windows ecosystem, or a Linux purist, Multipass can provide the development environment you need.

VMs done right

Multipass takes the complexity out of creating, managing, and maintaining VMs. It replaces the process of configuring a VM, finding and verifying a disk image, installing the OS, and launching the virtual machine with a single command. Multiple VMs can quickly be spun up or destroyed with ease, and developers can choose from a growing library of images and special purpose machines such as the Anbox Cloud appliance, which allows developers to run Android apps in Multipass.

To learn more about Multipass or to download the latest version, head to

For more info on the latest release, check out the full release notes.

About Canonical 

Canonical is the publisher of Ubuntu, the OS for most public cloud workloads as well as the emerging categories of smart gateways, self-driving cars and advanced robots. Canonical provides enterprise security, support and services to commercial users of Ubuntu. Established in 2004, Canonical is a privately held company.

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