[nSLUG] Minix and microkernel discussion

Michael Crawford mdcrawford at gmail.com
Tue Jul 11 01:24:34 ADT 2006


> OS X is useful today, although some will argue that any resemblance to
> the original Mach OS is coincidental.

OS X isn't actually a microkernel OS.  The FreeBSD kernel it's derived
from is statically linked to Mach so there is no context switch when
making Mach calls.

Instead, Mach is used to provide stuff like messaging, multitasking
and synchronization primitives.

I've written some drivers for OS X.  It has a very nice driver
architecture called the I/O Kit, in which the drivers are written in
C++.  There's a couple open source versions of it (OpenDarwin, GNU
Darwin) if you want to try installing the kernel on an x86 PC.

Mike Crawford
mdcrawford at gmail.com

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