Robert Storey wrote:
[ ... ]

First off, apologies for this off-topic post, but I think this is the
only place I'm likely to get an intelligent (and well-informed) answer
to my question. I tried searching the web, but found a confusing and
contradictory bunch of poorly-informed opinions, which wasn't helpful.

It's not clear to me that you are going to obtain anything different by asking your questions here. :-)


I'm writing a news article about Apple's contribution to open source. In
particular, I'm interested in finding out the following:

You ought to ask Ernie Prabhakar, Wilfredo Sanchez, Jordan Hubbard, or someone like them at Apple. Asking about what Apple has done for FreeBSD, or vice versa, is like studying one tree out of a forest. People at Apple have make significant contributions on for the Apache 2, Java, Samba, GCC, and such, as well as to the BSD projects.


1) How much of FreeBSD did Apple actually use in OSX? If I'm not
mistaken, the Darwin kernel is not related to FreeBSD in any way (or is
that wrong?). Basically, what exactly did Apple gain from FreeBSD?

The Darwin kernel, Mach, is not related to FreeBSD in any way.

Apple mostly started with NetBSD improvements to their NEXTSTEP-derived userland based on an old BSD 4.3 version, and since have adopted many changes from FreeBSD as well. Stuff like Unix CLI programs, various standard C library fixes and updates, IPFW, KAME's IPv6 stack, things like that.

2) What exactly has Apple contributed back to FreeBSD? (money?
equipment? source code?). Nowadays, does Apple still continue to give
anything back to the FreeBSD community?

I know at least one FreeBSD committer who is working at Apple, so I suppose that providing jobs counts as money...? I don't know about equipment. Yes, to source code.


Apple recently released a bunch of changes and fixes to the MS-DOS filesystem compatibility kernel module, which someone here was looking over. I'd imagine you could find other examples if you looked, to answer the second question.

3) How much of OSX today is open source (or "shared source")? Can you
actually see the OSX source code? Can you use any of it?

Others have responded to this with URLs that are more useful, but "lots, except for GUI programs", yes, and yes would be my answers.


--
-Chuck
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