brent timothy saner on 1 Oct 2017 02:25:24 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Apple open sources kernel

On 09/30/2017 09:37 PM, Walt Mankowski wrote:
> I thought their Darwin kernel had always been open source, and I don't
> see anything about this on the Apple blogs.
> Walt

yep. for those wanting more info on this:

just about the only actual proprietary parts of macOS/OS X to my
knowledge are the desktop environment/graphical toolkit/windowing/UI
system, various drivers (sound, graphics, USB, pointer device, I/O,
etc.), and that's about it. the core userspace (discounting UI) is
pretty much all open source- CUPS (which apple DID originally develop
themselves and opensourced), some of the FreeBSD core utilities (cp, mv,
etc.), and so forth. over the years i'd say they've been replacing more
and more of the core functionality with proprietary pieces, though. (the
keyring, for instance, is closely tied in with the UI and that's
proprietary as well.)

does this mean you can go install Darwin on a VM and install anything
you want from a .dmg? nope. a lot of the software out there has some
pretty deep hooks into the proprietary stuff of apple (like the Cocoa
API). installing kext's might work, though, since they're basically just
kernel "modules"[0] but i wouldn't hold your breath.

[0] "modules" is a bit erroneous since the Mach/XNU kernel as employed
by apple is sort of mixed between monolithic and microkernel. they
*behave* like the modules we know and love, though, so for all intents
and purposes the name suits.

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