1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

A New Project To Run Mac OS X Binaries On Linux

Free Software

Published on 08 December 2012 02:28 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
58 Comments

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.

It is The Darling Project that's set out to achieve binary compatible support for Apple OS X / Darwin applications on Linux. While in its early stages, Darling does leverage some code from GNUstep, an open-source implementation of Apple's Cocoa Objective-C libraries, widget tool-kit, and application tools.

Darling also possesses some hope as the project is being worked on for a diploma thesis research project by a university student, so at least this means the code should continue to be developed for several months to come in a serious manner. This work is being done principally by Luboš Doležel.

Darling works in a similar manner to Wine for Windows programs but instead it's OS X binaries. Darling must provide an ABI-compatible set of libraries/frameworks as those on OS X so it can parse the executable files for the Darwin kernel, load them into memory, and execute them without needing any code recompilation or other modifications for Linux. Darling uses the GNUstep libobjc2 run-time for part of this Objective-C support. While not a focus of the current work, it's also theoretically possible that it could be extended to handle running applications for Apple's iOS, but that would require dealing with ARM and supporting additional Apple frameworks. However, Luboš Doležel doesn't seem too interested in taking up this iOS on Linux challenge.

A New Project To Run Mac OS X Binaries On Linux A New Project To Run Mac OS X Binaries On Linux
Here's screenshots from Doležel showing the same OS X binary running on Apple's operating system and then Linux. The program is just a simple "Hello World" application.


Among the components making up Darling right now is a Mach-O dynamic loader, a tool for Mach-O file examination, a Mac binary file extractor, and a set of libraries. The libraries provide Mach file loading support, a Darwin libc/libSystem replacement, an Apple Objective-C runtime translation layer, and extractors for various formats used on Mac OS X.

Unfortunately at this time, with the project still being early in development, there aren't many Apple programs that can yet run on Linux with this translation layer. Most of the OS X applications working with Darling at this point are console programs. For those interested in the Darling project to run Apple OS X binaries natively on Linux, see the Darling Project Wiki.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Pentium G3258 On Linux
  2. SilverStone Precision PS10
  3. ASRock Z97 Extreme6
  4. Nouveau Re-Clocking Is Way Faster, Shows Much Progress For Open-Source NVIDIA
Latest Linux Articles
  1. KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10
  2. X.Org Server 1.16 Officially Released With Terrific Features
  3. Ubuntu With Linux 3.16 Smashes OS X 10.9.4 On The MacBook Air
  4. Preview: Benchmarking CentOS 7.0 & Scientific Linux 7.0
Latest Linux News
  1. Intel Adds BPTC Texture Compression To Their Mesa Driver
  2. The Linux Kernel Bang-Bang Thermal Governor Is Banging
  3. NVIDIA Releases K1-Powered Shield Tablet & Controller
  4. Xen Project Announces Mirage OS 2.0
  5. Canonical Community Team Changes Announced For Ubuntu
  6. Raspberry Pi B+ ARM Debian Benchmarks
  7. Mozilla Unleashes Firefox 31 Web Browser
  8. GCC 5.0 Is Expected Next Year
  9. PHP5's Successor Might Be PHP7
  10. AMD "Hawaii" Open-Source GPU Acceleration Still Not Working Right
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. In Road To Qt, Audacious Switches From GTK3 Back To GTK2
  2. Debian + Steam + r600
  3. AMD "Hawaii" Open-Source GPU Acceleration Still Not Working Right
  4. Next-Gen OpenGL To Be Announced Next Month
  5. Ubuntu With Linux 3.16 Smashes OS X 10.9.4 On The MacBook Air
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. AMD Publishes Open-Source Linux HSA Kernel Driver
  8. KDE Plasma 5 Officially Released