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Adventure Migrating to Apple Silicon

Yufan Lou
Learning Rust and Haskell, tired of JavaScript. Thinks Ruby is awesome except that it is not cross-platform enough. 日本語 / 中文 OK. He/him.
・3 min read

Setting up my Apple Silicon Macbook Pro. It is really snappy! and quiet!

I chose to jump on the new ship because I am very anxious about battery life and could barely disconnect the charger from my old Macbook Pro. With the new Macbook Pro I was compiling stuff and watching video and after three hours the battery shows 82%. That feels so reassuring.

Other than that, the biggest reason I am migrating away from my old Macbook Pro is its keyboard problems. I actually prefer the clicky feel and light actuation force I get on the Butterfly keyboard, but I have got several keys shadowing (type twice when pressed once) and my tab key is stuck. The Magic keyboard is heavier, very similar to my old Macbook Air.

I chose not to migrate my application folder, and decided to reconfigure my zsh environment so I moved my zshrc to a backup file.

I reinstalled IntelliJ IDEA and it runs nicely enough after translation by Rosetta 2. It feels on par with my Intel Macbook for what small projects I have. The menu highlight lags behind the cursor a bit. I will test it further in the coming days.

My homebrew installation is migrated and the Intel git from it worked. That confused me a bit at first. How seamless it feels. I still chooses to unlink it.

On the other hand, my Intel brew is prohibited by the devs from installing new programs while they figure out Apple Silicon support. So I set out to follow the community guide and installing a new homebrew at /opt/homebrew for Apple Silicon.

Parallel to that, to recover my Starship command line prompt I set out to install Rust. My Intel Rust toolchain is also migrated so when I ran the installation script from rustup it updated my Intel toolchain instead. I set up the PATH according to its instruction, and installed the Apple Silicon toolchain with rustup toolchain install beta-aarch64. I set it as default with rustup default beta-aarch64.

Trivia: the architecture of Apple Silicon is called ARM64, but the architecture in the Rust triplet is called AArch64. This difference is a historical artifact from Apple and ARM developing their 64-bit ARM architecture in parallel. Linux initially called this backend ARM64, and Apple did so in-house too, but ARM chose to call it AArch64 (and the 32-bit mode AArch32) when ARM released ARMv8-A. In LLVM, the two backends merged on 24 May 2014 into a new ARM64 backend.

cargo install starship gave me an error about wrong architecture regarding libgit2. I realized it was linking with the Intel libgit2 migrated over, originally installed by my Intel homebrew. I unlinked it and tried again. This time the error is about sysinfo. A pull request has fixed this issue but it is not released yet, so I use cargo install --git https://github.com/starship/starship.git instead, and it built successfully.

Now that starship is in command, I go back to the homebrew installation. I now have Intel brew at /usr/local/bin/brew and ARM brew at /opt/homebrew/bin/brew. I don't want to mess with my executables but I want to install ARM libraries so I can build against them. So I add /opt/homebrew/bin to PATH before /usr/local/bin. I use /usr/local/bin/brew bundle dump to dump the list of all installed packages to a Brewfile. I went into it and added # to every line to comment them out, and only removed it for lines with lib in it. Then I /opt/homebrew/bin/brew bundle to install from the file, and plugged the Macbook in and went to sleep.

With the relatively small number of libraries I have, I met three libraries failing to install: libbluray, libsoxr, and libgcrypt. libbluray is blocked on openjdk failing. libsoxr and libgcrypt are listed as working on the community guide, but I see the following error for libsoxr:

Undefined symbols for architecture arm64:
  "_av_get_cpu_flags", referenced from:
      _soxr_create in soxr.c.o
ld: symbol(s) not found for architecture arm64
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and the following error for libgcrypt:

PASS: bench-slope
SKIP: hashtest-256g
======================================
1 of 27 tests failed
(1 test was not run)
Please report to http://bugs.gnupg.org
======================================
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I later found Sam's great post to realized that I need arch -x86_64 prefix to install things with Intel homebrew. I will try this when chance presents.

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