I have a MacBook Air M1 512 Gb and I want to be able to use Linux (Asahi), since it's necessary for my university.

However, I don't want to use internal space and I thought that I could maybe use an external SSD dedicated to just Asahi. So when the SSD is plugged in, I get the option to select which OS to use and when it's unplugged it automatically boots into macOS.

1 Answer 1


Mac M1 requires a full thunderbolt 3 connection on your external drive such as OWC's Envoy Express series. However, I have only confirmed this while booting to macOS externally and have not tried any Linux distros. Hope this helps.


  • If Asahi Linux does not support Thunderbolt, then would this mean installation on external Thunderbolt 3 drives is not possible. I assume "What works: USB2 (Thunderbolt ports)" means USB 2 using a type C port and "What doesn’t: Thunderbolt" means Thunderbolt 3 using a type C port. Oct 3, 2022 at 18:24
  • That does appear to be the case, unfortunately.
    – Brevaan
    Oct 3, 2022 at 20:56
  • any chance i can do it using a different distro supporting thunderbolt? Oct 4, 2022 at 12:33
  • Generally, Linux can be installed to use more than one volume. I suppose you might be able to install Asahi to boot from the internal drive while having most of the files stored on external USB volumes. Oct 4, 2022 at 16:41
  • I could, but I would not make any effective use out of my SSD, it would be used as if it was a USB stick. Is there a distro (compatible with M1) that supports thunderbolt? Thanks. Oct 5, 2022 at 13:56

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