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Performance Computing: Mac OS X: Apple's UNIX Operating System

Jul 16, 2000, 12:48 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Fred Terry)

"At its World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC), Apple announced that Mac OS X - its upgrade for OS 9 - won't ship until after the first of next year, slightly later than originally planned. The company distributed a Developer Preview 4 CD during the conference with the latest version of the OS, and also plans to make a public beta available this summer, which will definitely take the sting out of the delay for Mac users. More important than the release date, however, is the method of distribution: OS X will be the first UNIX-based operating system available to be pre-loaded on Macs since the Network Servers."

"OS X is the first major departure for Apple since the Apple II. It is as radical a break from OS 9 as the Mac Finder was from the C prompt. It still has a Desktop and a Finder, but the names are about the only similarity with their namesakes. Though the eye-candy of the Aqua interface may be more appealing than fvwm or gnome to some, the most interesting features of OS X are found beyond the interface."

"At the core of OS X is Darwin, a modern operating system based on Mach 3.0 and 4.4 BSD. The Mach kernel manages processor resources for the system and brings protected memory and preemptive multitasking to the Macintosh. The customized version of the BSD operating system that ships with Darwin includes many of the POSIX APIs. It is the basis for the multiple integrated file system and networking facilities. It supports HFS, HFS+, UFS, UDF, and ISO 9660. It also supports NFS and the Apple File Protocol used for file sharing on the Mac. Apple's addition of Network Kernel Extensions provides a way to create networking modules and protocol stacks and to dynamically load and unload them from the kernel. The BSD operating system also provides all of the standard services and utilities that users expect from UNIX."

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