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Thread: A New Project To Run Mac OS X Binaries On Linux

  1. #1
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    Default A New Project To Run Mac OS X Binaries On Linux

    Phoronix: A New Project To Run Mac OS X Binaries On Linux

    While there is the Wine project to run native Windows binaries on Linux (and other platforms), there's a new open-source project that's emerging for running Apple OS X binaries on Linux in a seamless manner...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTI0Njc

  2. #2
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    It seems like a promising start. I suspect there aren't quite so many architectural adaptations to make for OS X apps as there would be for Win32, but that's just a naive assumption of mine based on what I know of Cocoa and Objective C.

    Aside from Adobe CS, Final Cut, and some older game ports like The Sims 2, I'm not sure exactly what substantial gains a full OS X compatibility layer would grant us. Still, it's interesting and it may turn out to be valuable some day, if web technologies don't obsolete everything by then (we've probably got at least a decade).

  3. #3
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    Are they focusing on useful applications? On their homepage the statuses are applications that are pretty much useless and have better alternatives.
    Also I've been tempted to run some Windows applications I was missing, but it never happened with Mac OS applications.

    Quote Originally Posted by scionicspectre View Post
    Aside from Adobe CS
    Isn't the Windows version better anyway?

  4. #4
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    POSIX compatibility may make this easier. Also think of it from a marketing standpoint: "Linux! It'll run anything!" lol

  5. #5
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    Intersted! I was writing MachO loader and MachO inspect, but realy stoped in library layer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scionicspectre View Post
    Aside from Adobe CS, Final Cut, and some older game ports like The Sims 2, I'm not sure exactly what substantial gains a full OS X compatibility layer would grant us. Still, it's interesting and it may turn out to be valuable some day, if web technologies don't obsolete everything by then (we've probably got at least a decade).
    There are some apps which are only available on OS X, and which have no exact equivalent in Linux.

    Two that I use myself are DEVONthink Pro and OmniOutliner. There are Linux apps that do some of the things these apps do, but as I said, no exact equivalents -- and the differences are significant enough to make me want to run the OS X app instead.

    However, it seems to me that this project is taking the wrong approach. It would be better (and easier, I think) to identify useful OS X apps where there are no exact Linux equivalents, such as the ones I mention, and then get to work creating those equivalents.

  7. #7
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    Hi, first of all I'd like to say I'm happy I made it to Phoronix :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by pankkake View Post
    Are they focusing on useful applications? On their homepage the statuses are applications that are pretty much useless and have better alternatives.
    I started the project in August this year. When working on something of this size, you have to start small. There's just no other way.

    The next big thing (which is quite close by the way) is to have Apple LLVM-GCC fully working. That would basically mean you could compile applications for iOS on other platform than OS X. This is currently not possible. Anybody who wants to do iOS development has to buy a Mac. That sucks big time. iOS is not very popular in this part of Europe, but at least in the US I believe it's still the platform no. 1 for mobile apps.

    Getting iOS apps running on... say Android is a different story. I'm planning on supporting ARM (and good old PPC too, while I'm at it) in the dynamic loader and the ObjC runtime. The frameworks itself is I think a job for someone else, because as I've said, I don't see that many iOS devices around so I lack the motivation.

    Just for OS X apps, there is lots and lots and lots of work to do. Anyone who's ever written a piece of software for OS X could start mentioning loads of frameworks specific to this platform. While I'm enjoying the work, I also realize that I don't stand much chance to have anything suitable for end users in a short time frame. So if there are any guys out there willing to help out, be it with GNUstep or something that I actually write as part of Darling (IOKit userspace libs, Apple Events support, etc....), help is always welcome. You don't even need to have any experience with writing software for OS X...

    Luboš

  8. #8
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    I'm not sure this approach is the right way.

    Hopefully this work won't lead to apps doing less or even non-existing development for Linux because Linux can run Mac OS X applications anyway.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CorkyAgain View Post
    Two that I use myself are DEVONthink Pro and OmniOutliner. There are Linux apps that do some of the things these apps do, but as I said, no exact equivalents -- and the differences are significant enough to make me want to run the OS X app instead.

    However, it seems to me that this project is taking the wrong approach. It would be better (and easier, I think) to identify useful OS X apps where there are no exact Linux equivalents, such as the ones I mention, and then get to work creating those equivalents.
    Hey, that's exactly how open source apps usually start. Scratch your itch and go write that perfect app for doing foo.

    Can't code? There's your motivation to learn, to get that perfect app

  10. #10

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    WINE is a failure. After like 20 years of development, millions in donations, and an army of developers, the best it can do is (maybe) run your Windows applications(with some extra bugs and worse performance).

    A couple of years ago I evaluated running half a dozen enterprise Windows applications in WINE. WINE failed to run any of them adequately, most couldn't even start, and it was always because of some unimplemented function in a DLL somewhere... Maybe after 40 years of development WINE will adequately run 90% of applications written for Windows 2000.

    If that doesn't tell you that "Not An Emulators" are a waste of time, I don't know what will.

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