- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 

Mac OS X

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Mac OS X (official IPA pronunciation: /mζk.oʊ.ɛs.tɛn/) is a line of proprietary, graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Computer, the latest of which is pre-loaded on all currently shipping Macintosh computers. Mac OS X is the successor to the original Mac OS, which had been Apple's primary operating system since 1984. Unlike its predecessor, Mac OS X is a Unix-like operating system built on technology that had been developed at NeXT through the second half of the 1980s and up until Apple Computer purchased the company in early 1997. The operating system was first released in 1999 as Mac OS X Server 1.0, with a desktop-oriented version (Mac OS X v10.0) following in March, 2001.

The current server edition, Mac OS X Server, is architecturally identical to its desktop counterpart but usually runs on Apple's line of Macintosh server hardware. Mac OS X Server includes workgroup management and administration software tools that provide simplified access to key network services, including a mail transfer agent, a Samba server, an LDAP server, a domain name server, and others.


Main article: History of Mac OS X

Despite its branding as simply "version 10" of the Mac OS, Mac OS X has a history that is almost completely independent of the earlier Mac OS releases.

Mac OS X is based on the Mach kernel and is derived from the BSD implementation of Unix in NEXTSTEP. NEXTSTEP was the object-oriented operating system developed by Steve Jobs's NeXT company after he left Apple in 1985[1]. Meanwhile, during the years without Jobs at the helm, Apple attempted to create a "next-generation" operating system of its own through the Taligent and Copland projects, with little success.

Eventually, NeXT's OS — called OPENSTEP at the time — was selected to form the basis for Apple's next OS, and Apple purchased NeXT outright[2]. Jobs was re-hired, and later returned to the leadership of the company, shepherding the transformation of the programmer-friendly OPENSTEP into a system that would be welcomed by Apple's primary market of home users and creative professionals. The project was first known as Rhapsody, and was later renamed to Mac OS X[3].

With each new version, Mac OS X evolved away from a focus on backward compatibility with the earlier versions of Mac OS toward an emphasis on "digital lifestyle" applications such as the iLife suite, enhanced business applications (iWork), and integrated home entertainment (the Front Row media center). It could also be noted that almost every new major version brought a little enhancement in the general interface[4].


The original (left) and revised (right) retail packaging for Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger"
The original (left) and revised (right) retail packaging for Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger"

Mac OS X was a radical departure from previous Macintosh operating systems; its underlying code base is completely different from previous versions. Its core, named Darwin, is an open source, Unix-like operating system built on top of the XNU kernel, with standard Unix facilities available from the command line interface. Apple layered over Darwin a number of proprietary components, including the Aqua interface and the Finder, to complete the GUI-based operating system which is Mac OS X. For that reason, there is often debates to determine whether the complete operating system should be labeled as closed source or not.

Mac OS X included a number of features intended to make the operating system more stable and reliable than Apple's previous operating systems. Pre-emptive multitasking and memory protection, for example, improved the ability of the operating system to run multiple applications simultaneously without them interrupting or corrupting with each other[5]. Many aspects of Mac OS X's architecture are derived from OPENSTEP, which was designed with portability in mind, thus easing the transition from one platform to another. For example, NEXTSTEP was ported from the original 68k-based NeXT workstations to other architectures before NeXT was purchased by Apple, and OPENSTEP was subsequently ported to the PowerPC architecture as part of the Rhapsody project.

The most visible change was the Aqua theme. The use of soft edges, translucent colors, and pinstripes — similar to the hardware design of the first iMacs — brought more texture and color to the interface than OS 9's "Platinum" appearance had offered. Numerous users of the older versions of the operating system decried the new look as "cutesy" and lacking in professional polish[6]. However, Aqua has been said to be a bold and innovative step forward in a time when user interfaces were seen as being "dull and boring"[7]. Despite the controversy, the look was instantly recognizable, and even before the first version of Mac OS X was released, third-party developers started producing skins for customizable applications which mimicked the Aqua appearance. To some extent, Apple has used the successful transition to this new design as leverage, at various times threatening legal action against people who make or distribute software with an interface the company claims is derived from its copyrighted design[8].

Mac OS X includes its own software development tools, most prominently an integrated development environment called Xcode. Xcode provides interfaces to compilers that support several programming languages including C, C++, Objective-C, and Java. For the Apple Intel Transition, it was modified so that developers could easily create a universal binary to remain compatible with both the Intel-based and PowerPC-based Macintosh.



The Carbon APIs for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X were created to permit code to be written to run natively on both systems.

Apple now refers to the technology behind the OPENSTEP APIs as Cocoa. This heritage is visible in the Cocoa APIs, in which the class names mostly begin with "NS" for NEXTSTEP.

Mac OS X has supported the Java Platform as a "first class citizen" — in practice this means that applications written in Java fit as neatly into the operating system as possible while still being cross-platform, and that graphical user interfaces written in Swing look almost exactly like native Cocoa interfaces. Traditionally, Cocoa programs have been mostly written in Objective-C, with Java as an alternative. However, on July 11, 2005, Apple announced that "features added to Cocoa in Mac OS X versions later than 10.4 will not be added to the Cocoa-Java programming interface."[9]

Many software packages written for BSD or Linux may be recompiled to run under Mac OS X; such software is often distributed precompiled for Mac OS X in the form of Mac OS X packages. Projects such as Fink and MacPorts provide precompiled or preformatted packages for many standard packages. Since version 10.3, Mac OS X has included, the company's version of the X Window System graphical interface for Unix applications, as an optional component during installation[10]. Apple's implementation is based on the X11 Licensed XFree86 4.3 and X11R6.6, with a window manager which mimics the Mac OS X look, has a good integration with Mac OS X and uses the native Quartz rendering system. Earlier versions of Mac OS X can also run X11 applications using XDarwin.


For the early releases of Mac OS X, the standard hardware platform supported was the full line of Macintosh computers (laptop, desktop, or server) based on PowerPC G3, G4, and G5 processors. Later versions of Mac OS X discontinued support for some older hardware; for example, Panther does not support "beige" G3s, and Tiger does not support systems that pre-date Apple's introduction of FireWire ports[11]. Tools such as XPostFacto and patches applied to the installation disc have been developed by third parties to enable installation of newer versions of Mac OS X on systems not officially supported by Apple, including some pre-G3 systems. Except for features requiring specific hardware (e.g. graphics acceleration, DVD writing), the operating system offers the same functionality on all supported hardware.

PowerPC versions of Mac OS X retain compatibility with older Mac OS applications by providing an emulation environment called Classic, which allows users to run Mac OS 9 as a process within Mac OS X, so that most older applications run as they would under the older operating system.

Main article: Apple Intel transition

In April 2002, eWeek reported a rumor that Apple had a version of Mac OS X code-named Marklar which ran on Intel x86 processors. The idea behind Marklar was to keep Mac OS X running on an alternative platform should Apple become dissatisfied with the progress of the PowerPC platform.[12] These rumors subsided until late in May 2005, when various media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal[13] and CNET[14] reported that Apple would unveil Marklar in the coming months.

On June 6, 2005, Steve Jobs confirmed these rumors when he announced in his keynote address at the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference that Apple would be making the transition from PowerPC to Intel processors over the following two years, and that Mac OS X would support both platforms during the transition. The last time that Apple switched CPU families — from the Motorola 68K CPU to the IBM/Motorola PowerPC — Apple included a Motorola 68K emulator in the new OS that made almost all 68K software work automatically on the new hardware. Apple has supported the 68K emulator for 11 years; however, Apple will be dropping support for the 68K emulator during the transition to Intel CPUs. Included in the new OS for the Intel-based Macs is Rosetta, a binary translation layer which enables software compiled for PowerPC Mac OS X to run on Intel Mac OS X machines. However, Apple dropped support for Classic mode on the new Intel Macs. Third party emulation software such as Mini vMac, Basilisk II and SheepShaver provides support for some early versions of Mac OS. A new version of Xcode and the underlying command-line compilers support building universal binaries that will run on either architecture.[15]

Currently, a lot of software is available only for PowerPC, and is supported with Rosetta. However, Apple encourages developers to produce universal binaries with support for both PowerPC and x86[16]. Universal binary software should run faster on Intel-based Macs than PowerPC-only software running on Rosetta. Moreover, some PowerPC software, such as kernel extensions and System Preferences plugins, are not supported on Intel Macs. While Intel Macs will be able to run PowerPC, x86 and universal binaries, PowerPC Macs will only support universal and PowerPC builds.

Support for the PowerPC platform will remain in version 10.5. Jobs also confirmed rumors that Apple has had versions of Mac OS X running on Intel processors for most of its developmental life. Such cross-platform capability already existed in Mac OS X's lineage, as said earlier; OPENSTEP was ported to many architectures, including x86, and Darwin included support for both PowerPC and x86. Although Apple stated that Mac OS X would not run on Intel-based personal computers aside from its own, a hacked version of the OS compatible with conventional x86 hardware has been developed by the OSx86 community and is available illegally through file-sharing networks.

Prominent features

  • Quartz's internal imaging model correlates well with the Portable Document Format (PDF) imaging model, making it easy to output PDF to multiple devices.
  • Full-color, continuously scalable icons.
  • Drop shadows around window and isolated text elements to provide a sense of depth.
  • Global application Services menu - spell checker, special characters palette, color picker, font chooser and dictionary.
  • Anti-aliasing of widgets, text, graphics and window elements.
  • New interface elements including sheets (document modal dialog boxes attached to specific windows) and drawers.
  • Interweaving windows of different applications (not necessarily adjacent in the visible stacking order).
  • ColorSync color matching built into the core drawing engine, for print and multimedia professionals.
  • OpenGL composites windows onto the screen to allow hardware accelerated drawing. This technology (introduced in version 10.2) is called Quartz Extreme.
  • Exposι (introduced in version 10.3) — instantly display all open windows as thumbnails for easy navigation to different tasks, display all open windows as thumbnails from the current application, and hide all windows to access the desktop.
  • Pervasive use of Unicode throughout the operating system.
  • Straightforward architecture for localization of applications and other code, fully separating language dependencies from the core code of a program.
  • FileVault (introduced in version 10.3) encrypts the user's Home folder with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128-bit keys.
  • Dashboard (introduced in version 10.4) supports small applications called desktop widgets that can be called up and dismissed in one keystroke.
  • Spotlight search technology (introduced in version 10.4) allows rapid real-time searches of data files, mail messages, photos, and other information, based on item properties (meta data) and/or content.
  • Automator (introduced in version 10.4) — an application designed to create an automatic work-flow for different tasks.
  • Smart Folders (introduced in version 10.4) allow for dynamically updated folders depending on a set criteria.
  • A well defined set of Human Interface Guidelines followed by almost all applications giving them intuitive, consistent user interface and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Xgrid allows networked Macs to form a distributed computing system.
  • Built in virtual file system images .dmg supporting encryption and compression, and optionally read/write capability.
  • Integrated Sync Services (introduced in version 10.4) allows applications to access a centralized extensible database for various elements of user data, including calendar and contact items. The operating system manages conflicting edits and data consistency.


Mac OS X comes included in the price for new Macs. Minor upgrades are free and can be downloaded using Software Update. Major upgrades cost US$129 (CAD$149) from Apple. There is also a US$199 (CAD$249) "Family Pack" version of Mac OS X that comes with 5 licenses for home users who have more than one Mac at home. Developers can register for free with the Apple Developer Connection (ADC) to download developer tools such as Xcode and documentation. ADC also offers several for-pay plans which include "testing and development only" licenses for both shipping and pre-release versions of Mac OS X. Student and educator pricing on Mac OS X software is roughly 10% to 50% lower than standard retail pricing. The Mac OS X Server 10-client license costs US$499 and an unlimited client license is US$999 as of April 1, 2006.


The character X is a Roman numeral and is officially pronounced "ten"[17]. It is the next logical release following the numbering of previous Macintosh operating systems such as Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9. It is not uncommon, however, to hear it pronounced as the letter X.

Mac OS X versions are named after big cats. Prior to its release, version 10.0 was code named "Cheetah" internally at Apple, and version 10.1 was code named internally as "Puma". After the immense buzz surrounding version 10.2, codenamed "Jaguar", Apple's product marketing began openly using the code name to promote the operating system. 10.3 was similarly marketed as "Panther". Version 10.4 is marketed as "Tiger". "Leopard" has been announced as the name for the next release of the operating system, version 10.5. It could be noted that while "Panther", "Tiger" and "Leopard" are registered as trademarks of Apple, "Cheetah", "Puma" and "Jaguar" have never been registered. Apple has also registered "Lynx" and "Cougar" as trademarks[18].

Apple faced a lawsuit from a computer retailer named Tiger Direct regarding its use of the name "Tiger". However, on 16 May 2005 the Florida Federal Court ruled that Apple's use of the name "Tiger" does not infringe upon Tiger Direct's trademark. [19]

Mac OS X 10.0 (Cheetah)

Main article: Mac OS X v10.0
Box artwork for Mac OS X versions Cheetah/Puma, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger.
Box artwork for Mac OS X versions Cheetah/Puma, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger.

On March 24, 2001, Apple released Mac OS X v10.0 (internally codenamed Cheetah)[20]. The initial version was slow, not feature complete, and had very few applications available at the time of its launch, mostly from independent developers. Many critics suggested that while the OS was not ready for mainstream adoption, they recognized the importance of its initial launch as a base on which to improve. Simply releasing Mac OS X was received by the Macintosh community as a great accomplishment, for attempts to completely overhaul the Mac OS had been underway since 1996, and delayed by countless setbacks. Following a few minor bug fixes, kernel panics became much less frequent, and Mac OS X began garnering praise for its stability at an early point in its development.

Mac OS X 10.1 (Puma)

Main article: Mac OS X v10.1

Later that year on September 25, 2001, Mac OS X v10.1 (internally codenamed Puma) was released[21]. The upgrade increased the performance of the system and provided missing features, such as DVD playback. Apple released 10.1 as a free upgrade CD for 10.0 users, in addition to the US$129 boxed version for people running only Mac OS 9. It was discovered that the upgrade CDs were actually full install CDs that could be used with Mac OS 9 systems by removing a specific file; Apple subsequently re-released the CDs in an actual stripped-down format that didn't facilitate installation on such systems.

On January 7, 2002, Apple announced that Mac OS X was to be the default operating system for all Macintosh products by the end of that month.[22]

Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar)

Main article: Mac OS X v10.2

On August 24, 2002, Apple followed up with Mac OS X v10.2 "Jaguar" (the first release to use its code name as part of the branding[23]) which brought profound performance enhancements, a newer, sleeker look, and many powerful enhancements (over 150, according to Apple), including:

  • Increased support for Microsoft Windows networks
  • Quartz Extreme for compositing graphics directly on the AGP-based video card
  • An adaptive spam filter for Mail, based on latent semantic indexing
  • A system-wide repository for contact information in the new Address Book
  • Rendezvous networking (Apple's implementation of Zeroconf; renamed to Bonjour in 10.4)
  • iChat: an Apple-branded, officially supported third-party AOL Instant Messenger client
  • A revamped Finder with searching built directly into every window
  • Dozens of new Apple Universal Access features
  • Sherlock 3: Web services
  • Common Unix Printing System (CUPS): allowed the use of additional printer drivers such as those from the Gimp-Print project for "unsupported" printers. It also allowed — with some user recompilation — printing to serial printers

Mac OS X v10.2 was never officially referred to as Jaguar in the United Kingdom due to an agreement with the automobile manufacturer Jaguar, although boxes and CDs still bore the Jaguar-skin logo.

Some consider version 10.2, or Jaguar, the "first good release" of Mac OS X.[24] Due to significant API changes between 10.1 and 10.2, most third party developers currently support 10.2 as a minimum requirement.

The Happy Mac which had appeared during the Mac OS startup sequence for almost 18 years was replaced with a large grey Apple logo with the introduction of Mac OS X 10.2.

Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther)

Main article: Mac OS X v10.3

Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" was released on October 24, 2003. In addition to providing much improved performance, it also incorporated the most extensive update yet to the user interface. The update included as many or more new features as Jaguar had the year before. On the other hand, support for some early G3 computers such as "beige" Power Macs and "WallStreet" PowerBooks was discontinued. New features of "Panther" include:

  • Updated Finder, incorporating a brushed-metal interface, customizable sidebar and fast-searching
  • Exposι: a new system to manipulate and view windows
  • Fast User Switching: allows a user to remain logged in while another user logs in
  • iChat AV which added video-conferencing features to iChat
  • Improved PDF rendering to allow for faster PDF viewing
  • Built-in faxing support
  • Much greater Microsoft Windows interoperability
  • FileVault: on the fly encryption and decryption of a user's home folder
  • Increased speed across the entire system with more support for the PowerPC G5
  • Safari (web browser)
  • Support for USB-interfaced iPods (nano, video ipod)

Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

Main article: Mac OS X v10.4

Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" was released on April 29, 2005. Apple stated that Tiger contains more than 200 new features. As with the release of Panther certain older machines have been dropped from the list of supported hardware; Tiger requires a Mac with a built-in FireWire port and a DVD Drive. Among the new features of Tiger:

  • Spotlight: A content- and metadata-based file search tool, which finds items containing the key words you search for.
Dashboard allows for miniature programs called "Widgets" to be superimposed over the desktop. When activated, the Dashboard "flies" onscreen as shown above.
Dashboard allows for miniature programs called "Widgets" to be superimposed over the desktop. When activated, the Dashboard "flies" onscreen as shown above.
  • Dashboard: Desktop widgets for common tasks available on a desktop overlay accessible by a mouse gesture or keyboard function key, similar to Exposι. Its similarity to the Konfabulator application caused some criticism.[25]
  • Smart Folders: A virtual folder that uses Spotlight to populate the file listing instead of showing a true folder on the filesystem.
  • Updated Mail program with Smart Mailboxes, allowing virtual mailboxes defined by Spotlight searches.
  • A new version of iChat: A new version supports the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video codec for conferencing and allows for multi-party audio and video chats. Support for the Jabber online instant messaging protocol is also introduced. (Mac OS X version 10.4.3 and later also include support for encrypted chat via .Mac.)
  • QuickTime 7: the new version includes H.264 support and a completely re-written interface.
  • Safari 2: this new version of the system's default web browser includes the ability to view RSS feeds directly in the browser, among other new features.
  • Automator: automates repetitive tasks without programming.
  • VoiceOver: A built-in screen reader for those with vision disabilities.
  • Core Image and Core Video: allows additional effects in video and image editing to be performed in real time.
  • 64-bit memory support for the new G5 for programs or program parts without a graphical user interface, with an LP64 programming model (graphical user interface front ends still must be programmed in 32-bit).
  • Updated Unix utilities, such as cp, mv and rsync, now respect HFS Plus metadata and resource forks. (cp in 10.4 is like CpMac, mv is now like MvMac, compatibility issues naturally arise.)
  • An extended permissions system using access control lists.
  • A brand-new Application Programming Interface called Core Data, which greatly facilitates the management of application data in Cocoa applications.
  • Added Sync Services, an operating system managed truth database exposed to applications via a published Application programming interface. Applications use Sync Services as a conduit to other applications, or the users other computers or mobile devices. This service is featured in the operating system with the Address Book, iCal, and Mail applications as well as the Apple Keychain using this service.

An Intel x86 version of Mac OS X Tiger was previewed by Apple, and subsequently leaked to the Internet, following Apple's announcement to switch to the Intel platform. It was revealed by Apple at the June 2005 Worldwide Developers Conference that Intel versions of all previous versions of Mac OS X had been compiled internally, keeping feature parity between the Intel and PowerPC versions, "just in case." Developers were provided the chance to buy an Intel-based Pentium 4 developer transition system loaded with 10.4.1 in June 2005, and 10.4.2 and 10.4.3 were released to developers in September and November 2005 respectively. The Intel version of 10.4.4 was the first update to Mac OS X that was released through Software Update. All new Intel Macs are preloaded with Intel versions of Mac OS X Tiger. Mac OS 10.4.7 added support for the 64-bit Intel Xeon processors in the Mac Pro and Intel Core 2 processors in the iMac Core 2 Duo; this support is similar to the support for the 64-bit PowerPC G5, in that no Apple frameworks or libraries other than the system library support 64-bit applications, so graphical user front ends must still be 32-bit code.

Soon after the release of the developer transition kits, copies of the Intel version of Mac OS X were released onto the Internet and a community effort called OSx86 started up to help coordinate efforts to get Mac OS X running on non-Apple hardware. As each update was released, patches were updated to circumvent Apple's efforts to lock their operating system to their hardware.

Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

Main article: Mac OS X v10.5
Leopard promotional disc art shown at WWDC 2006
Leopard promotional disc art shown at WWDC 2006

Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 6, 2005, and was shown to developers for the first time at the 2006 Worldwide Developers Conference on August 7, 2006. Steve Jobs stated that OS X Leopard will be available in "Spring 2007". Apple has said it will support both PowerPC- and Intel x86-based Macintosh computers. Though Apple maintains that "All features referenced in the Mac OS X Leopard Sneak Peek are subject to change,"[26] some officially previewed features include:

  • Time Machine: An automated backup utility which allows the user to restore any file that has been deleted, misplaced or replaced by another version of a file.
  • Spaces: an implementation of "virtual desktops" (individually called "spaces") for Mac OS X, allowing users to have multiple desktops per computer and be able to place certain applications and windows in a desktop. Users can organize certain Spaces for certain applications (i.e., one for work-related tasks and one for entertainment) and switch between them. Exposι will work inside Spaces, allowing the user to see all at a glance all desktops fitted onto one screen.[27]
  • Full support for 64-bit applications, including graphical applications.
  • New features in Mail, such as templates, notes, to-dos, and an RSS reader.
  • New features in iChat, such as dragging and dropping videos into a session, and screen sharing.
  • Resolution independence

Publicity materials at WWDC 06 made dismissive comments towards Microsoft's Windows Vista, using banners which read, "Introducing Vista 2.0" and "Hasta la vista, Vista".[28]

On April 5, 2006 Apple released a beta version of an application called Boot Camp, which eases the installation of Microsoft Windows XP on Intel Macs alongside Mac OS X in a dual boot configuration. Apple simultaneously published a firmware update with BIOS support (as Windows Server 2003 and XP, and all previous versions, do not support the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) used in Intel Macs; Vista will, but only in the 64-bit (x64) version, not the 32-bit (x86)), and the Boot Camp software automatically repartitions the user's hard disk to a custom size, and burns Windows drivers to a CD. Boot Camp is currently in public beta, with the final version intended to be included in Leopard.[29]


Mac OS X versions have been criticized for some of its components, including the Dock, the Finder, the Quartz engine and the X11 implementation bundled with it.

Visual comparison of an application under and a normal Cocoa application
Visual comparison of an application under and a normal Cocoa application
  • The Dock, often used in demonstrations of the system to show its nice visual effects, have been said to take too much space and cumbersome for everyday use. Moreover, unlike its Windows counterpart, it does not display labels if the mouse is not over the item, so it makes it impossible to distinguish between different documents of an application. Closed documents appear exactly the same, while opened documents do have a thumbnail-sized screenshot, but the small size generally makes them look the same. Another controversial feature is that when you drag and drop an icon out of the Dock, the icon vanishes in a small cloud animation and needs to be re-added from its source folder to get it back. The "object annihilation" model has been said to be bad-behavior inducing[30].
  • The Finder of version 10 has been criticized for dropping features available in previous versions, such as spatial interface[31]. Some users also consider that the fact that it is impossible to "cut" and then "paste" a file (a feature present in Microsoft Windows) is really annoying; It is possible to "copy-paste" a file, but the original is not destroyed[32]. The Finder is often attacked for its strange behaviour and bugs[33], like the fact that it leaves behind him files named .DS_Store whenever it connects on a network, who are supposed to contain informations about the aspect of the folder[34].
  • The Quartz engine, unlike its counterpart in other operating systems (Windows and X Window System), is unable to give a graphical user interface to several users at the same time, disabling things such as graphical remote login while another user is actually using the computer[35]. However, multiple accounts can be logged in at the same time, but only to be accessed via fast user switching.
  • The X11 implementation found in Mac OS X, generally named, does not mimic the look of normal Cocoa windows. There are often inconsistencies when windows from the latter interact with, such as un-synchronized clipboard. X11 applications do not look the same in Mac OS X, which is often enough to convince a Mac user not to use them, as it does not have the same "look and feel"[36].

See also

  • Architecture of Mac OS X
  • Comparison of BSD operating systems
  • Comparison of operating systems
  • .DS Store - .DS_Store files
  • List of Mac OS X technologies
  • List of Macintosh software
  • PearPC — PowerPC emulator capable of running Mac OS X
  • ipfirewall — the official firewall of Mac OS X


  1. ^ Singh, Amit. Architecture of Mac OS X. What is Mac OS X?. Retrieved on 2006-04-07.
  2. ^ Markoff, John. "Why Apple Sees Next as a Match Made in Heaven", The New York Times, 23 December 1996, p. D1.
  3. ^ Anguish, Scott (1998-07-09). Apple Renames Rhapsody, now Mac OS X Server. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  4. ^ Brushed metal appearance was added in version 10.2, unified appearance in version 10.4 and there is subtle differences in the "streetlight" buttons between versions, to name only those.
  5. ^ Raymond, Eric Steven. The Elements of Operating-System Style.
  6. ^ Nick dePlume. "Aqua: A Collection of Reader Feedback", Think Secret, 18 January 2000. Retrieved on 2006-04-08.
  7. ^ Think Secret - January 2000. Think Secret (January 18, 2000). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  8. ^ Apple lowers boom on Aqua 'skins'. ZDNet (mirrored from (February 2, 2001). Retrieved on 2006-05-22.
  9. ^ Apple Computer. Introduction to Cocoa-Java Integration Guide. ADC Reference Library. Apple Developer Connection. Retrieved on 2006-04-08.
  10. ^ X11 for Mac OS X 1.0 (2003-10-28). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  11. ^ Mac OS X: System Requirements (2005-04-28). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  12. ^ Matthew Rothenberg and Nick dePlume (August 30, 2002). Apple Keeps x86 Torch Lit with 'Marklar'. Retrieved on 2005-10-03.
  13. ^ Don Clark and Nick Wingfield (May 23, 2005). Apple Explores Use Of Chips From Intel For Macintosh Line. Wall Street Journal.
  14. ^ Michael Kanellos (May 23, 2005). Apple to Intel: Some advantage, lots of risk. CNet. Retrieved on 2006-04-28.
  15. ^ Apple Computer. "Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006", 6 June 2005. Retrieved on 2006-04-08.
  16. ^ Adopting Universal Binaries (2006-01-31). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  17. ^ What is an operating system (OS)? (2004-07-15). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  18. ^ Trademark #78257226 for Panter, #78269988 for Tiger, #78270003 for Leopard, #78271630 for Cougar and #78271639 for Lynx, all registered in 2004 by Apple Computer, Inc. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  19. ^ Jade, Kasper. Court sides with Apple over "Tiger" trademark dispute. AppleInsider. Retrieved on 2006-04-25.
  20. ^ Although the version is now called Cheetah by users, rare evidences can be found to prove that it was called that way internally. For instance, a Q&A was created in 2005 which mentions it Technical Q&A (2005-10-04). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  21. ^ The name Puma can be found here Cross-Development (2006-11-07). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  22. ^ Apple Makes Mac OS X the Default Operating System on All Macs. Apple Website. Apple Computer (2002). Retrieved on 2006-12-03.
  23. ^ Apple Previews “Jaguar,” the Next Major Release of Mac OS X (2002-05-06). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  24. ^ Siracusa, John. Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  25. ^ John Siracusa (April 28, 2005). Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger - Dashboard. Retrieved on 2006-06-11.
  26. ^ See Leopard Sneak Peak. Apple Computer. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  27. ^ OS 10.5 Leopard Spaces + Exposι. GoogleVideos. GoogleVideos (2006). Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
  28. ^ Apple - Introducting Vista 2.0. Flickr. Flickr (2006). Retrieved on 2006-07-17.
  29. ^ Apple - BootCamp. Apple Website. Apple Computer (2006). Retrieved on 2006-06-05.
  30. ^ Tognazzini, Bruce (2004-01-01). Top Nine Reasons the Apple Dock Still Sucks. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  31. ^ Siracusa, John (2003-04-02). About the Finder.... Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  32. ^ Whats *Actuallty* wrong with the Finder? (2006-12-03). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  33. ^ de Kermadec, Francois Joseph (2005-12-19). The story of the lost Finder. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
  34. ^ It actually does the same thing locally, but files starting with a dot are invisible in UNIX. It is also possible to disable that weird behavior using a command line, but it is unlikely to be known by a normal user.
  35. ^ It is possible to login remotely with a graphical interface using VNC servers, but not more than one user is allowed at a time.
  36. ^ Reasons I don't like

External links

  • Apple: Mac OS X — The official page for Mac OS X.
  • What is Mac OS X? ( — An overview of the Mac OS X operating system.
  • Mac OS X ( — Comprehensive reviews of Mac OS X (all versions).
  • Mac OS X vs. Windows XP — A rigorous comparison of Mac OS X Tiger and Windows XP.
  • — Site dedicated to freeware for OS X.


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