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  What Is Darwin (and How It Powers Mac OS X)
Subject:   Kernel source may not be enough to port OS X
Date:   2005-09-28 08:56:25
From:   Reedo
Response to: Will Darwin continue to be open source?

If the restriction of OS X to Apple hardware uses code embedded in the hardware (which Apple makes), then the kernel source may be as open as can be. One key in a cryptographic pair could be in the hardware, say, and the other could be in the kernel source. Running OS X on a non-Apple PC might require a mod chip like people have done with the XBox. Plus, as this article indicates, not all of OS X is open source now anyway, so whatever interesting parts of OS X handle the Apple hardware restriction may just be in a closed-source portion, with some bare hooks into the kernel.
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  • Kernel source may not be enough to port OS X
    2005-09-28 15:36:46  Mafretete [View]

    But there's a big difference between Linux on the XBox and Mac OS X on PCs. Linux on the XBox has to "persuade" the hardware to run it. The hardware contains the protections and prevents other OSes from running.
    When you run Mac OS X on Intel, the hardware does not prevent OS X from running in any way. Instead, the OS has to detect that it's not running on a Mac. Every protection built into the kernel can be easily disabled if you have the kernel source. So there are only two possibilities: 1.) Apple puts the restrictions in (many) closed-source portions, e.g. Quartz, or 2.) Apple does no longer release the kernel source.