On May 26, 2006, at 7:54 AM, John Cruz wrote:

When it comes right down to it, the differences between freeBSD and MacOS X (darwin) are very minimal. No, you can't do a buildworld because you can't build the kernel source because the source is closed. But why would you need to? The kernel is already built and optomized for your Mac hardware. As you stated, the kernels are different anyways. No ports system, but when you have a plethora of point-click-install software the need isn't really there.But basic OS functioning is the same, they all (all the BSDs and MacOS) are basically the same at the os level, but not the kernel level. Also, i'm pretty sure that /etc/fstab/ exists on OS X

This is not true. There are very big differences on how you admin and run them. I have been running FBSD for 10 years or longer and have been running OS X since the public beta and the NeXT OSes and the Apple/NeXT hybrids that came in between, before OS X. OS X is much different from an admin perspective, both client and server versions. Things you would do in FreeBSD you don't do on OS X and vice versa. As an example, lots of standard unix like config files seem to exist on OS X but when you look at them they are empty or full of comments only and you learn that the data is actually taken out of netinfo.

OS X has very little to do with FreeBSD (different kernel, different driver architecture, different "admin" style and setup and files, different file structure, even in most cases a different file system type) EXCEP that Apple implemented a kernel layer that makes it look like a FBSD kernel so that userland utilities could be easily ported for the BSD subsystem (which is optional on OS X) and they took the FreeBSD userland as a base for their BSD subsystem userland. There are probably other minor sharings of code etc and some things have been shared for MSDOS and other FS compatibilities etc.

Ted (not in the post above) claimed that OS X is a commercialized FreeBSD. This is not true. (Unless you want to say that FreeBSD is a Linux distribution because they share the gnu compilers and many other gnu tools and programs.) And OS X is "run" much differently than FreeBSD. OS X is a *nix-like OS and has a BSD subsystem so you can port normal non-X unix apps easily and if you install the optional Apple X11 then X apps can pretty easily be ported. As a user at a shell prompt you won't find much difference (and you won't find that difference on OpenBSD, NetBSD, or even Linux, and to a great extent with Solaris etc). But from an admin perspective, from "running" the system, they are worlds, and I mean worlds, apart.

Luckily for simple things like running make files etc (once you have appropriate tools installed) they are close, like any "unix" is close.


Chad Leigh -- Shire.Net LLC
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