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Apple Will Never Replace Darwin With Linux

Jun 30, 2009, 21:32 (12 Talkback[s])

"Perhaps one reason Linux users bleat so unceasingly for Apple to switch kernels stems from a pre-NeXT project the company ran called MkLinux. MkLinux was a version of Mach running Linux as a process. The project was sponsored by both Apple and OSF/1 and ran on Apple's first generation Power Macs and some early second-generation Power Macs. Performance was about 20% less than a native Linux would have been, but that wasn't the point; Apple was looking at different ways to create a modern operating system in the dark times of Copland before NeXT was even a gleam in their eyes.

"After Apple's operating system woes came to a head in 1997, MkLinux was all but forgotten by everyone except the long-time Apple engineers tasked with updating OPENSTEP alongside their NeXT counterparts. It was a non-starter, but it was the first taste of Linux anywhere near a Mac; it would be years later that Linux/PPC or the swatch of PowerPC versions of more popular distributions like Debian, Fedora, SUSE, and YellowDog came to Apple motherboards."

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