Application software questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by titanium, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. titanium macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2006
    Hi There,
    I am new to this forum + mac world. I am a research scientist, I am thinking of buying macbookpro. However, I would like to ask few questions. At present I am using SGI machine running IRIX6.5. Most of my scientific application softwares are written in C, or python, etc. I am a user, not a programmer. Since Mac system has a built in UNIX kernal. What is the similarity/differences bwteween SGI UNIX kernal and MAC UNIX kernal. Suuppose I have a executables created by SGI unix, will it work in MAC UNIX. I would appreciate your comments/thoughts.
    Thank You
  2. ScottB macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2005
    I'm no expert but I use UNIX compiled executables on my iMac for scientific purposes too. I've had no problems, they work fine for me. However, I don't know what *NIX system they were compiled on or whether they were specially made to work with mac systems. I know that mac os x uses the mach kernel and that apple openly advertise UNIX compatability (I saw this on that /pro part of this site if I remember correctly, no link sorry), suggesting to me that problems will be minimal. Hope this helps some way :)
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Hi there, welcome the forums!

    Whilst OSX is Unix as is Irix it does not necessarily mean that an executable compiled on one will run on the other. If we assume we are talking about command line app here (GUI apps are a whole lot more complicated) then they are probably written against the Posix standard (Portable Unix). In this case then only issue would be the CPU architecture. An executable compiled for one CPU architecture will not run on another architecture, no matter what it's written on. New Macs use Intel processors (or PPC, but that will be eliminated over time). Older Macs use PPC. If you SGI apps are x86 (Intel) compiled you might be in luck.

    Otherwise if you have the source code you should be able to compile then on OSX easily.
  4. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    The Python programs should work fine.

    The C programs can have some issues. You need the source code, and even with the source there can be problems when you compile it. Mac OS X is very compatible with the BSD family of UNIX, but IRIX isn't in that family so it all depends on which libraries and system calls the programs use.

    I would recommend that you have someone test it or make contact with the programmers/makers of the applications to hear what they have to say.
  5. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    Both C,C+,C++ and Python are supported by OSX, but the particulars I am not sure of. I do not code in any of these programs, but compilers exsist for this platform.
  6. titanium thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2006
    Thank you

    I sincerely thank you all for your valuable input and commnets to my query/questions.:)
  7. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    There are many web sites out there with projects for getting Unix-based apps to run on Macs. If someone else has already compiled, debugged, and maybe even made a regular GUI application out of a Unix program (rare but possible), then better to use their work than redo it. Therefore, for each individual program you want to run, do a Google search for the name of the program followed by "OS X" and see what you find.

    I do know there is a fairly involved process to get many of these programs running on a Mac. Firstly, I believe you have to install X11, then maybe the developer tools (not sure about that). Then you have to download and install several different libraries and such from the web.

    Apple says it is "easy":

    But to me it does not seem near as easy as hooking up an ipod and downloading songs from the iTunes Music Store, etc. It is all relative.

    Good luck. [and yes, it should be obvious I know NOTHING about Unix and never have used it]

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