Run an Ubuntu VM on an Apple M1 Mac

The simplest way to run an Ubuntu Linux virtual machine on a new Apple M1 chip macOS machine is to use Multipass.

First, install Multipass:

$ brew install --cask multipass

There should be a primary VM instance available already.

To start the primary Ubuntu instance:

$ multipass start

It should show:

Starting primary

Show running instances:

$ multipass list

The output should be similar to:

Name    State   IPv4         Image
primary Running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Now we can SSH into the VM using:

$ multipass shell

You should see a prompt for the shell inside the Ubuntu VM:


Your Ubuntu VM is now ready to use!

Additionally, to mount a directory to access files from the host machine inside the VM, see this post:

Mount a Host Machine Directory Inside a Multipass VM

Mount a Host Machine Directory Inside a Multipass VM

To be able to access files on a host machine from a Multipass Ubuntu VM, we can mount the local directory into the virtual machine.

Assuming we have a host system directory my-stuff, we can mount it into the VM with:

$ multipass mount my-stuff primary:/home/ubuntu/my-stuff

Note the required name primary which refers to the VM instance name.

Check that the mount shows up correctly in Multipass:

$ multipass info primary

This should show your local and VM directory, with a line similar to:

Mounts: /Users/abc/Documents/my-stuff => /home/ubuntu/my-stuff

SSH into the VM to see the directory:

$ multipass shell
ubuntu@primary:~$ ls my-stuff

The directory should now be accessible inside the VM and we can share files between the host machine and VM.

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Run an Ubuntu VM on an Apple M1 Mac

Rename a Branch in Git

Sometimes we need to rename an existing Git branch without creating a new branch or removing the old branch.

First, make sure you have the existing branch to rename checked out:

$ git branch


* old-name

To rename the branch use:

$ git branch -m old-name new-name

The command ‘m’ is short for “move”, similar to moving a file to rename it in Unix systems.

Confirm the new name:

$ git branch


* new-name