Apple has taken another step into the world of open source products with the release of Darwin 1.0. Darwin is the fundamental layer at the core of the upcoming modern operating system from Apple, OS X. With Darwin available to software developers and designers, the potential for growth and enhancements to the core of OS X is great. According to Apple:
Darwin's open source model allows the tens of thousands of registered Darwin developers to modify, customize and extend key Apple software, including the modern mach kernel and BSD layers found in Apple's next generation operating system, Mac OS X.
The core of Mac OS X is the only mainstream operating system following an open source model, said Philip Schiller, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. The new Darwin 1.0 posting includes some of the most advanced operating system technology available, and it's open to our customers and developers so that we may collaborate on the future of the Mac OS.
The new Darwin kernel is based on FreeBSD and Mach 3.0 technologies and supports the Kernel Extension Developer Kit (KDK) for developing drivers and loadable modules. Darwin 1.0 gives developers access to essential Mac OS X source code. This allows developers to enhance the feature set, performance and quality of Mac OS X products in partnership with Apple engineers. Darwin 1.0 is processor-independent and is built for PowerPC and Intel platforms, enabling Open Source developers to work on Darwin projects on the widest choice of computer systems.
In addition to Darwin 1.0, Apple also announced an update to the Darwin Streaming Server, the open source version of Apple's QuickTime Streaming Server software, which is used to stream high-quality audio and video over the Internet. The Darwin Streaming Server is the only open source, standards-based and free Internet streaming server. This update makes the Darwin Streaming Server available for Windows NT-based systems, expanding support for developers creating streaming server products based on five different operating systemsMac OS X, FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris and now Windows NT.
The Darwin CD is available for US$20. The Darwin Streaming Server is expected to ship in May. You can find more information at the Apple web site.