What is Mac OS X?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by teknikal90, May 28, 2008.

  1. teknikal90 macrumors 68030


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    random noob question..
    i keep hearing things like 'UNIX-like'....'UNIX core'....'Free BSD...'Linux'....'Ubuntu'.....those sorts of things...
    my question is basically....
    what are they? and how does Mac OS X fit into that?
    is linux related to unix?and so is also related to mac os x?
    what do people mean when they say things like free bsd, ubuntu, solaris etc etc??

    thanks, broad question..but really curious, and clueless
  2. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
  3. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Here's how it goes:

    UNIX started out back in the 1960s (or was it 1970s?). It forked many times, producing Linux, all the BSDs, and a bunch of other versions (Solaris included). The BSDs eventually consolidated into two - called BSD and FreeBSD. FreeBSD forms the basis of the underpinnings of Mac OS X - hence why Apple rightly claims that Mac OS X has UNIX heritage (as does Linux).

    As for Linux, it too forked, producing Ubuntu, Debian, and all the other Linux distributions we know today. Linux and Mac OS X have similar underpinnings but wildly differing internal implementations, so they're not as closely related as Mac OS X and FreeBSD are.
  4. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Mac OS X is an operating system based on Unix, which is based on technology that had been developed at NeXT before Apple purchased Jobs' company in early 1997.

    It is derived from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) implementation of Unix in Nextstep

    Linux is a free basis for many operating systems, such as Ubuntu and RedHat. There are also other operating systems, such as Solaris.
  5. speakerwizard macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
    mac OSX is apples operating system, Its is an evolution of steve jobs next os when he left apple (an effort to make a true modern os), It is based on Unix at its core and has elements of BSD (often thought of as the most stable and secure os), It is based on these elements as they are open source, as in anyone can develop them but has to put that code change back into the open source community, this makes up darwin (the foundation of osx) one you add aqua (the ui) cocoa / carbon / core animation / image etc (the api's) and all the apps (spotlight/finder/dock/dashboard/system prefs) etc you get a complete OS....OSX, Thats in simple terms and i know not 100% accurate but more laymans terms.
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    that is an excellent explanation (i even learnt a bit more!) and in addition to the two below yours explaining NextStep and the gui/apis of Mac OS X, this makes a good explanation for the OP.

    essentially Mac OS X is FreeBSD based which is open source and originated from UNIX which Linux, Solaris etc did too but has propriatory GUI, APIs and applications (as speakerwizard explained) so that Apple can have a business… plus Mac OS X has a EULA to be only sold and installed on Macs which makes Apple so unique in the Computer world… and Apple even has these things called the iPod an iPhone too!
  7. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    Wow, that's like the time when I was working at Staples. I was hanging out in the computer section with a coworker when a guy came up to us in all seriousness and said "So what's up with this whole 'computer thing'?" I shook my head, turned to my friend, and said "This one is all you" and walked away.
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    NeXTstep through MacOS X 10.4.11 were based on Unix, specifically BSD. MacOS X 10.5 is certified UNIX 03 by the Open Group. MacOS X 10.5 is one of the very few certified UNIX commercial operating systems on the market.
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    OSX is still based on the BSD flavor of Unix, but Leopard was the first version to be certified to meet the standards for Unix held by The Open Group. Whether this is a technically or commercially significant development is the subject of much fruitless debate. The main significance as nearly as I can tell is it gets The Open Group off of Apple's neck over the question of whether they can use the name Unix in their advertising. The Open Group had filed a lawsuit which I presume has gone away now.

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