Feeds

Apple yanks key x86 Mac OS X open source code

Compile-your-own kernels a PowerPC-only affair

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Apple has pulled the source code the underpins key components of the x86 version of Mac OS X's 'Darwin' foundation. The PowerPC versions are still available for download from the Mac maker's open source software website.

News of the shift was broken by Infoworld columnist Tom Yager, who revealed this week that Darwin's repository of open x86 source code now no longer contains driver and kernel content or, we'd add, handy stuff like the BootX start-up engine. PowerPC versions are still available for dowloading.

What's left, on the x86 side, are commands and utilities such as Apple's zero-configuration networking system, Bonjour, along with the results of other open source projects the company has adopted and contributed to.

All of which will disappoint Apple's server customers and folk using its kit for high-performance computing applications. Many of them, Yager asserts, tweak the Mac OS X kernel to regain the performance or throughput Apple's own binaries miss out on in the name of compatibility.

That's not an issue for owners of the current Intel-based Mac line-up, such as the new MacBook, but it may well be an issue for potential buyers of the upcoming Mac Pro and - presumably - Intel-based XServe boxes. As Yager points out, these are likely to be based on Intel's 64-bit next-generation architecture processors like the Core 2 Duo - aka 'Conroe' and the 'Woodcrest' Xeon chip.

It's not hard to see why Apple's made the move: its efforts to stamp on attempts to run the x86 version of Mac OS X on bog-standard PCs is proof that while the company's happy for Macs to run Windows, it doesn't want its code running on Wintel boxes. That attitude speaks volumes about Apple's line on the oft-argued suggestion it ship a Wintel version of its operating system and, potentially, quit the hardware business. Clearly, hardware matters to much to its business model for all Macs are now essentially PCs in fancy cases. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.