Regarding BSD and Darwin

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by ZiggyPastorius, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. macrumors 68040


    I don't know if this is the right section of the forums for this, but, my friend Nick and I (Nick runs all the major operating systems on Dell laptops and desktops, a Mac Pro, and some linux boxes) got into an argument one day about whether Apple's use of the BSD Unix system for the foundation of the Darwin kernel was [illegal, wrong, makes it less of an operating system, demeans OS X, whatever] bad. I don't understand the topic all that much, but BSD Unix is an open-source thing, am I correct? One that was meant to be built upon, and I could be wrong, but I don't think the Darwin kernel is an exact copy of the original BSD Unix? Please feel free to correct me in any of my facts/statements, but I'm curious as to where everyone stands on this. Thoughts, et cetera.
  2. macrumors 603


    Mac OS X is based on FreeBSD which is open source software. There is absolutely nothing wrong or illegal in what Apple have done.

    The whole point of open source software is that you can incorporate it into both commercial and free software however you want.
  3. macrumors 68040


    All rightie, thanks. This is essentially what I was saying, but he was basically making the argument that they used it for their Kernel, so the operating system is essentially not their's besides adding a fancy GUI. I knew this was kind of ********ty, and no matter how many times I mentioned the fact that it was free and open-source, he disregarded that as irrelevant to the situation.

    Anyways, thanks :) Was just making sure I wasn't completely wrong :p
  4. macrumors 603


    Well, technically that is true. They have taken a fair few open source projects (X11, BSD Kernel, GCC, All the server software except the GUI in Mac OS X Server etc) and just added a nice GUI on top.

    The difference is that they made it possible to easily port Mac OS 9 and earlier software to Mac OS X, as well as allowing Mac OS 9 to run in classic mode on PowerPC Macs. Neither of those things is trivial.

    The kernel though is a pretty small part of what makes Mac OS X so appealing so I wouldn't worry too much about it.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Yeah, it's not a big deal, I was just curious. Good thing there are people who understand this stuff, because, I didn't understand much of that :p
  6. Moderator emeritus


    I believe one area that the open source folks are upset, is that Apple has kept it's changes private when the idea is to share with the open source community.

    What the open source community doesn't realize, is that this happens a lot but with smaller companies or those who don't sell to the consumer so it goes unnoticed. Where as Apple is very visible.
  7. macrumors 68030


    OSX is somewhat more complicated than a BSD clone. It uses parts of mach (a primarily research-oriented microkernel), FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD, along with quite a bit of apple-specific code (CoreFoundation/CFLite for example, and launchd). It certainly inherits a great deal from its BSD ancestry though, which is exactly why the BSD license exists. If the developers of *BSD didn't want their code being used in proprietary software, they would GPL license it instead.

    The way I see it is that GPL advocates attempt to better the world by promoting free software, while BSD advocates attempt to better the world by spreading good code as many places as possible. Both are valid, I prefer BSD though.
  8. macrumors 68040


    That makes sense. It was an issue kind of like the way I feel about Crossover that was his problem, I think. The fact that they took an open-source project (in Crossover's case, Wine) and make a profit off it. It doesn't bother me, as they've obviously had to do some work, the outcomes are nice, and there's nothing that says it's necessarily wrong or illegal, so...yeah.
  9. Moderator emeritus


    Makes sense.

    Profit oriented companies would prefer the BSD concept for sure.
  10. macrumors regular

    Hi guys, so this has got me a bit confused.

    So Apple's built / revised open source code collectively into Darwin, and they release the modified as open source:

    So what's wrong with that?

    And even if everything else on top of Darwin is proprietary, I don't see what's wrong with that? If Darwin, or whatever, forks the original code(s), but is still released openly, that's all that matters right?

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