Max OS X and BSD

Johnson David DavidJohnson at
Fri Apr 9 10:52:54 PDT 2004

On Thursday 08 April 2004 08:47 pm, John Von Essen wrote:

> I was under the impression that OS X was a derivative of OPENSTEP -
> which means from a kernel standpoint it is NOT BSD and NOT System V,
> rather it is a MACH kernel (which sort of is a BSD kernel
> derivative).

The microkernel is MACH, but the microkernel isn't the whole kernel. GNU 
Hurd uses MACH, as did the Linux kernel in the mkLinux distro for Mac. 
(Actually, "MACH" is a whole family of related microkernels).

Mac's operating environment is Darwin. This is an open source BSD style 
Unix. It was derived from BSD codebases, of which FreeBSD was one.

It gets confusing because GNU and Microsoft have managed to label 
everything from the kernel to the desktop as "operating system". Darwin 
is more than an operating system, which is why I used the term 
"operating environment" earlier. Most of the userand is derived from 
FreeBSD, with additions from GNU.

Apple does use FreeBSD. But not all of Darwin is FreeBSD nor is all of 
FreeBSD in Darwin.


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