When the original Mac OS was released in 1984, it was a major departure from other operating systems at the time. Instead of using a Unix-inspired file system or segmented memory model like just about every other OS at the time, Apple developed a brand new hybrid OS with features derived from both POSIX and CP/M. This hybrid nature has left Mac OS with a curious duality in its identity ever since. While it’s fundamentally different from any other popular operating system on the market today, elements of BSD Unix still peek through its user interface and underlying code. In this article, you will learn whether the Mac operating system is based on Linux and how much it shares with some other well-known computer operating systems.
Is MacOS Based On Linux?
No. Mac OS is based on a different kernel from Linux. However, some of the tools used on Mac are shared with Linux, for instance, the Bash shell and Git revision control system. While the Mac operating system shares some similarities with Linux, it’s designed to be used on desktops and laptops rather than servers, it’s written in many different programming languages, and it’s distributed in a very different way. Additionally, macOS is designed to be extensible and modular, while Linux is not. Therefore, macOS includes many more features than Linux, and it’s intended to be used in very different ways.
How is macOS Different from iOS?
1. MacOS Is Based On A Unix Foundation
The roots of macOS date back to the late 1970s, when Apple decided to create a version of their popular Apple II computer system that ran on Unix. The Unix operating system was already being used by large corporations and government agencies, and Apple hoped to appeal to this market by creating a system that was much more powerful than its predecessor. The Apple III and Lisa computers also ran on a Unix-based OS, although the systems weren’t related and weren’t very successful. In 1984, Apple released the Macintosh computer, which ran on a new, proprietary operating system called “System”. The Mac OS has undergone many changes and revisions over the years, and it has even been renamed a few times. After years of development, Apple released the Mac OS X operating system in 2001. It is important to note that macOS still shares many of its Unix roots, including its open-source code.
2. Finder And The Ios-Like Dock Are Key Maco Features
Both macOS and iOS feature an application dock or taskbar that makes it easy to launch apps as well as access your Documents folder, Trash, and other system-level features. The dock also allows you to keep track of running apps, and you can even send an app to the background with a simple click and hold. Finder is macOS’s default file browser, and it offers a number of features that are similar to the iOS Photos app. You can view thumbnails of images, pictures, and other files, and you can organize your files by creating folders, just like you would on iOS. But where Finder really shines is when you need to perform a more advanced task, such as editing system settings or managing files stored on an attached external drive. Finder also offers quick access to Terminal, a Unix command line.
3. Macos Runs On Intel Processors Only
Over the years, Apple has relied on both PowerPC and Intel processors to power its computers. This has created some confusion among users since it was unclear which processors were compatible with which operating systems. However, this confusion largely ended when Apple released macOS High Sierra, a special version of macOS that supports only Intel processors. This change was necessitated by the fact that the PowerPC processor architecture was no longer being developed. It also made the lives of users a whole lot easier by eliminating confusion.
4. The Mac Operating System Has A Very Different Interface
A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that the iOS operating system is just a scaled-down version of macOS. While there are many similarities between the two, there are also some very noticeable differences when it comes to the user interface. For example, the macOS dock is located at the bottom of the screen, whereas the iOS dock is at the top; the macOS menu bar is at the top of the screen, and the iOS menu bar is at the bottom. Furthermore, macOS is designed to be operated with a mouse, whereas iOS is meant to be navigated with touch. This means that some features may be located in different places on the two operating systems.
5. Macos Supports Many More Languages And Tools
Although both macOS and iOS are designed to be primarily used on mobile devices, there are some significant differences between these two operating systems. One of the biggest differences is that macOS supports many more programming languages, including C++, C, Swift, and Objective-C. And while macOS and iOS both support the use of Xcode, the macOS version of this programming tool is a very mature and robust product. In fact, some developers may be surprised to learn that Xcode for macOS is actually older than Xcode for iOS. This difference in maturity is especially apparent when you consider the number of available tools and utilities for macOS.
How is macOS Different from BSD Unix?
1. Macos Supports Rich Media And Games
Another difference between macOS and BSD Unix is that the former supports rich media, like video and audio, while the latter doesn’t. This may seem like it would make it harder for macOS to straddle the desktop and server operating system worlds because servers aren’t designed to handle rich media. However, the rise of streaming media services like YouTube and Netflix has created a demand for servers that can handle rich media. So, for IT administrators managing servers running BSD Unix, having rich media support on macOS servers is not a problem at all. It’s actually a big benefit because having rich media support on macOS servers makes it easier to build services that support rich media. For example, you can use macOS to build a media server that streams video and audio content to your computers and mobile devices. If your server programs can handle rich media, you can use macOS to build rich media services that would be very difficult to build with BSD Unix.
2. Macos Has A Different Focus
Another difference between macOS and BSD Unix is that the former has a different focus. While BSD Unix was originally designed to be a general-purpose computing platform suitable for a wide range of uses, macOS has always had a narrower focus. Apple designed macOS from the start to be a platform for creative professionals such as graphic designers, photographers, musicians, etc. This focus on a specific set of users makes it easier for Apple to straddle the desktop and server operating system worlds because it means Apple doesn’t need to support all of the general-purpose computing features that BSD Unix does. This makes it a bit easier for Apple to build its hybrid operating system.
3. Macos Uses Bsd Unix Commands
Another difference between macOS and BSD Unix is that the former uses BSD Unix commands while the latter doesn’t. This might seem like it would make it harder for macOS to straddle the desktop and server operating system worlds because servers don’t use BSD Unix commands. However, BSD Unix commands have been very widely adopted and have become an industry standard. So, for IT administrators managing servers running BSD Unix, having BSD Unix commands on macOS servers is not a problem at all. It’s actually a big benefit because having BSD Unix commands on macOS servers makes it easier to transition between the two operating systems. For example, macOS and BSD Unix both use the same Bash shell and core utilities such as ls, cp, mv, and rm. Since those are BSD Unix commands, using them on both operating systems is very similar. This makes it easier for IT administrators to switch between managing servers running macOS and BSD Unix.
The Mac operating system is not based on Linux, but it is based on BSD Unix, which is similar to Linux. This hybrid nature has left Mac OS with a curious duality in its identity ever since. While it’s fundamentally different from any other popular operating system on the market today, elements of BSD Unix still peek through its user interface and underlying code. The Mac operating system is a complete, fully featured, richly featured system that is designed to be extensible and modular, and can run on everything from the tiniest laptop to the most powerful server. This makes the Mac operating system different from Linux, despite their similarities, and makes it a compelling choice for developers of all kinds.