Apple Silicon M1 compatibility - FreeSurfer YES; everything else no


Hi all, I just got an M1 Mac Mini (8gb model, on Big Sur) and have been trying various neuroimaging tools. So far, FreeSurfer works very well (recon-all completed in just under 5 hours on 7.1.1!), but essentially every other tool I’ve tried does not work. FSL, SPM, Docker, none are compatible yet. Hopefully soon, but thought this could be helpful if you are looking into the new M1 hardware- beware. (I also regularly use dcm2niix, ITK-snap, bidskit, mricron; all of these work fine.)

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For those interested, here is my evaluation for this nascent architecture including tips on how to get neuroimaging tools to run on this platform.

For people who use my tools, you can get Universal binaries that natively support this architecture. Due to a glitch with NITRC, you will want to get the latest versions from GitHub:

In addition, if there are any AFNI users who want try out my experimental native M1 build, they can contact me directly. Once we can get confidence in this, I will make a pull request to Github.


Wish I’d come across this sooner! Thanks very much for your comprehensive review, Chris; I’d encourage everyone to read these terrific posts.