Apple TV operating system

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by princealfie, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68030


    Based on examining the Apple TV OS, it seems like it is a version of 10.4.7 stripped down slightly to work with a dedicated unit. Apparently it reminds me of Windows CE for thin clients except that this ATV OS has a lot more power to it. What is interesting is that if you could get a full OS working on ATV, that would be interesting for all types of possibilities.

    Any other opinions on the OS of ATV?
  2. Moderator emeritus


    Out of curiosity... I have not been following this so closely ... why 10.4.7 and not 10.4.9?
  3. macrumors 68030


    I don't know but I think that it doesn't run 10.4.7 since that it makes it cheaper perhaps?
  4. macrumors 68020


  5. macrumors 68020


    The hacking community is running fast and furious with this one.
  6. Moderator emeritus


    I think what Apple basically means by a "micro" version of OS X is that they recompile the kernel with different options and strip out a lot of the libraries and ancillary applications, and then they package in extra APIs and so on that are necessary for the task in question. This is really common with Unix because the system has been designed fairly thoroughly to allow this (so you can see lots of examples of miniature versions of Linux in routers, etc -- this is essentially analogous, albeit on a larger scale).

    So typically they would use one of the latest available stable kernels and then just strip things down. Usually it would be designed in such a way that it modularizes very quickly -- e.g. putting the latest mainstream OS X kernel into the :apple:tv OS should be very easy.
  7. macrumors 68030


    That's incredible but the question is that can we install our own OS'es on ATV and make it like a Mac thin client?
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Hmmmm... why, when they boot the ATV on the Macbook, doesn't it show the ATV startup video? I'm not saying I doubt it's possible to run ATV OS on other Macs, but this video looks suspicious to me.
  9. macrumors 68020


    They are using the AppleTV "finder" (with framework and files) patched into a retail copy of MacOSX I believe.

    It was found the base kernel of the AppleTV was 10.4.8 and not 4.7 like previously believed (they think apple forgot to remove a string stating it was 10.4.7)

    More details that will make your head spin can be found at

    It was also found that Perl v5.8.6 was located with atv. In the next few weeks we will be seeing some very interesting mods for the apple tv.
  10. macrumors G5


    Because two dozen people spent the last four weeks testing every single aspect of this box to check that it works. Changing the operating system (which is part of the shipping product) would invalidate all the testing. Four weeks of testing would have to be redone, which costs money and most importantly time.

    At the time when 10.4.9 was released, the Apple TV was so close to shipping, even the tiniest change to the code would have been a major affair. Instead of one engineer fixing a bug, it is four senior engineers discussing the possible risk that this bug fix could affect some other part of the system. There is no way you would change the operating system at that point in time.

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