Can MacOS be private?

About a year ago I bought an M1 Mac Mini. I tried to sell it, but I never got a good enough offer. Right now I’m using it with the LuLu firewall + Mullvad VPN & a lot of settings taken from the Techlore MacOS privacy guide. Does that provide a reasonable level of privacy? Or should I look elsewhere for my computing needs?

OP has to keep in mind that they’re using an M1 Mac, meaning that if they were going to try Linux I think it would have to be Asahi Linux. I’ve heard good things about it, but I’ve also heard that it’s very much a work in progress and likely not ready for prime time. Seems like it just released in alpha.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

I’ve tried Asahi multiple times. It’s a great experience, though I have a few issues with it:

  • YouTube videos don’t play on alternative frontends.
  • Program incompatibility. Both with the lack of a Rosetta alternative for Linux, and seldom support for 16K pages.
  • Lack of easy disk encryption.

I think it’s an amazing project with a promising future, and I hope their changes eventually get merged into the Linux kernel.

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Just some quick side notes on the topic:

• In Homebrew Analytics are enabled by default so you might wanna switch that off. Here’s the command to do so:

brew analytics off

• Apart from the tipps @anon7610589 mentioned: Little Snitch is a good tool to see with what servers your Mac connects on the internet. It costs money but it can definitely improve your privacy. Here’s a video explaining what it is:

• At the end of the day you are still trusting Apple with a portion of your data. However using FOSS alternatives and avoiding their ecosystem can help to improve that situation.


Side note: Sun Knudsen, the creator who’s video you linked to, is cool. Worth checking out for folks who don’t already know about him.


Would also add that LuLu is an open source alternative to LS that is a bit less polished, but part of a fantastic set of privacy/security tools from Objective-See. Pretty much exclusively use their tools on my MacBook.

I actually found that in your MacOS privacy guide. It’s really useful. You put a lot of great info in that video.

Installing Asahi Linux caused a number of deeply-rooted and frankly bizarre issues with my macOS install when I tried it. The Linux experience is good, but I had to remove it and completely DFU wipe/restore my laptop to solve a myriad of macOS security/keychain/iCloud issues that cropped up for reasons unknown. So YMMV, basically.

If you want to use both Linux and macOS on M1, a setup I’m currently considering is running Linux in a VM rather than dual-booting. It’s a lot more stable and would make switching between macOS and Linux on the fly a lot easier.

When macOS Ventura comes out, Rosetta 2 will extend to Linux VMs as well. I’ve tested this with both Signal and Brave now (both 64-bit only applications on Linux) in a Linux VM with Rosetta 2 on my laptop and they both work well :ok_hand:

Although, based on how Rosetta 2 for Linux works now, I would not be surprised to see it working on Asahi Linux in the future too.