Does Linux run on the iPad in February 2023?


Since the release of the first iPad in 2010, the tablet market has exploded in popularity, with Apple’s iPad operating system dominating the market. However, for those who prefer a more open and customizable experience, the prospect of running Linux on an iPad has been a popular topic of discussion among the tech community. In 2023, the state of Linux for the iPad continues to be a mixed bag. On one hand, the iPad’s hardware is well-suited to running Linux, with its fast, modern hardware and good battery life. This has resulted in several projects, such as Project Sandbox. Despite these efforts, however, Linux on iPad has yet to achieve a stable ‘daily driver’ solution.

What has happened since 2020

The last time I wrote about the available Linux solutions for the iPad, iSH was at the top of that list. iSH is an app that brings a real Linux shell to iPads and iPhones including full Files access. Running Alpine Linux virtually can be a powerful tool to get your CLI apps running on your Apple tablet. Last time it was only available via the TestFlight app but since October 2020 the developers were able to officially publish it on the Apple App Store.

iSH running on an iPhone. Photo: iSH
Photo: Konrad Dybcio



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