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The Core: Darwin

The heart of OS X is the core, which is officially called Darwin. Darwin is an open source project, composed of two major elements: the Mach 3.0 microkernel and an emulation of FreeBSD 3.2 operating system. (You might recognize the terms “kernel” and “FreeBSD” as Unix-like.)

A kernel is the central module of any operating system. It is the part of the operating system that loads first, and it remains in main memory. Because it stays in memory, it is important for the kernel to be as small as possible, while providing the essential services that other parts of the operating system and the applications require. Typically, the kernel is responsible for memory management, process and task management, and disk management.


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