Editing internal workings of Mac OS

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by joe056, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. joe056 macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2005
    I've heard that it's possible to edit, or at least customize some parts of the inner workings of OS X (kind of like you would edit the linux kernel and operating system). Is this true and if so, how much can be edited?

    Thinking of switching -
  2. JDOG_ macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    I know a lot of it is protected, but people have been able to easily edit things like system information and hardware profiles. I'm not sure how to do it, but I've seen plenty of hoax screenshots (especially two months or so before 10.4) with people claiming they had things they really didn't.

    A lot can be done with Terminal to an extent, but to really get in there you need some dark apps.
  3. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Things like startup screens (Starting OS X, et cetera) are PDFs. If you dig around, you can edit them... I'm not too sure about other parts of the OS.
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    You can download the sources to the core of Mac OSX as Darwin. It is possible to replace the Darwin layer of OSX with one you have compiled yourself. You could edit the kernel and core services this way, but you'd really have to know what you are doing. Not for beginners.
  5. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000


    Dec 9, 2001
    State of Denial
    What robbieduncan said. You can go to www.opensource.apple.com/darwin and get the sources for the entire darwin layer. Some of that you can modify yourself, some of it you can't (unless you're an expert).
  6. joe056 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2005
    Compile OS 10.4 from ground up?

    Is it possible to compile every bit of OS 10.4 from the source provided on the Darwin site (thus eliminating the need to pay for OS 10.4)?

    Thanks for your help, the other responses helped me find what I was looking for.
  7. elmimmo macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2002
    Mac OS X is composed of many layers. The one far below, controlling most of the basics of the whole experience is pretty common to Darwin, referred by Apple as Core OS, but Mac OS X is much more, most of it closed source.

    So you could indeed compile your own Darwin and you would have a modern fully functional OS but a) you have to be an expert at this, no staters or amateurs b) you'd get a command-line only OS, over which you could install other windowed environments such as gnome or kde (I'm pressuming here). Hence, OS X applications needing OS X's GUI would not work in Darwin, while most command-line ones would. Except for experimental purposes, or very specific ones towards which an amazingly expert might tweak the OS, Darwin is pretty much suited only for server uses, and maybe not the best OS to choose for that purpose considering the large ammount of other OSs out there.

    Darwin is more or less the open source Apple flatbed for enhancing the OS innards with the community.

    So the answer is no. ^_^

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