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Darwin is the core kernel of Mac OS X. The Darwin kernel is based on FreeBSD and Mach 3.0 technologies and provides protected memory and pre-emptive multitasking. Darwin runs on both PowerPC- and Intel-based computers.

Note: Darwin should not be installed onto a Mac OS X partition. It is a goal for a future release of Darwin to be easily interchanged into a Mac OS X system.

What's New

Version 8.0.1:
  • PowerPC 64-bit support.
  • Darwin/x86 installs onto and boots from an HFS+ (journaled) partition.
  • GCC-4.0
  • Enhanced dlopen(3) API support.
  • Korn shell (ksh) included.
  • launchd, a dynamic system management daemon, replaces SystemStarter and init
  • And much more...


  • PowerPC G3+ or Intel CPU
  • OS X 10.3 or later

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Darwin User Discussion

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Anonymous Member IconReview

I'm wondering if I could compile some command-line apps (things I've run in Terminal in OS X) for Intel with Xcode 2.1, then run them on an Intel box with Darwin. Is it difficult to get Darwin built-up on Intel? I'd like to try it on an old Compaq Pentium II box.

Is there any risk of PC Malware running under Darwin on Intel?

Reply0 replies
Version 7.0.1
Anonymous Member IconReview

we talking about Darwin period not OS X, which is built on Darwin.

Reply0 replies
Version 7.0.1
kevin Member IconComment+0

I installed it on my PC. The installation went very smooth. But there are some problems:


I cann't boot into GUI. I try to run X, XDarwin, or xinit, and aways got error of "Display: not usable".


I changed the password of root by running "passwd" after my first reboot. I tried to logout and then re-login, the password with user "root" seems working. And I created another user "kli" by using "niutil", which also seems working properly.

However, when I reboot the computer again, I cann't login as wichever user.

I tried to reinstall the whole thing, but still the same problem.


Reply5 replies
Version 7.0.1
Anonymous Member Icon

XDarwin (Or XFree86 for that matter) is started with the command startx. /usr/X11R6 has to be in your PATH for the command to work.


I have same problem with not being able to login after reboot! I don't believe I had it before, but now I can't... Is there a way to login as single user to Darwin? Does anybody have any solutions to this?


Anonymous Member Icon

apple is using netinfo by default to store user and password info in it.

this means you have to run the passwd with following arguments:

passwd -i netinfo

if u dont, the system looks up somewhere else for the password and cant verify.


You say Apple is using "passwd -i netinfo"? Well according to Apple's site on the subject, , "sudo passwd root" should work just fine in addition to the netinfo detailed there with the gui instructions. So no, your comment about using any one method other than "passwd -i netinfo" to set a password should not be responsible for failed logins. I'm not suggesting that one method is beter thn an other, just that this suggests a problem with Darwin.

I too had this problem, so I reinstalled on a cleaned partition and before altering any passwords (the 2nd time around) I had the login fail, no prompt. Finally, repeated space barring finally prompted a login. I logged in as root and shutdown to get that junk (in my opinion) off of my drive! I can't fathom how Apple would put, in my experience, such junk out! I'm also disappointed in how fully updated CD images are not available. What is Apple doing getting the open source community to work on Darwin for free yet they give them a shabby product to work with? Is this a case of trying to get something free for as little as possible? Or is this an attempt to foil users wanting to put a gui on top of Darwin and thus get a distro (fully functioning OS) for free?
I don't know the answers to these questions, but I can't believe that Darwin 7.0.1 that corresponds to Panther can realy be the same as Panther is so much more stable than this Darwin v. On the other hand ssh'ing remotely to pine lags incrementally as it does on Panther term (even on Darwin console).
I've liked for years now but lets get things right. I could go on with problems of OSX and Darwin's (I pressume) dynamic VM, the lack of focus on UFS (some mac clients do not work on UFS), although you can install OSX over UFS (but I don't think a sole Darwin install does), Apple's apparent refusal to to intergrate themeing/the insistance of their propietary theme on OSX, etc. But I'll leave it at that, my experience, my opinions. Maybe I've graduated.

Anonymous Member Icon

Hue, your passwd -i netinfo solution worked perfectly. Many thanks!

Apple really need to amend that misleading documentation quickly.

Sitzar Member IconComment+0

Does anyone understand what the #*$$ all this means? I'm running Darwin (MacOS X 10.1.5) on an old PowerMac 8600 (though Apple claims it can't run on my computer). Do I need to download and install?

Reply1 reply
Version 7.0.1
Anonymous Member Icon

To mention this very late, it's now possible to run Mac OS X 10.4.1 (Tiger) easily on an SSE2 or better an SSE3 x86(_64) processor !

http://www.osx86project.org tells you more !

user icon+13
Version 8.0.1
> 4 1


Current Version (8.x)


Downloads 8,588
Version Downloads 1,907
Type Utilities / System
License Free
Date 12 Jul 2012
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32 / PPC 64
Price Free
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