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The cornerstone of the rock-solid foundation under the engaging new interface, Darwin represents the next generation in the evolution of modern operating systems.

As you’ll notice the moment you start using it, Mac OS X is not just another pretty face. Beneath the appealing, easy-to-use interface is a rock-solid foundation—an industrial-strength modern operating system engineered for stability, reliability and phenomenal performance.

The core OS—called Darwin, because it represents the next generation in the evolution of modern operating systems—was built using open standards, and the open source software community contributed to its development. Darwin delivers the reliability and performance you’d expect from a modern operating system, ensuring users and developers the benefit of a high-quality, interoperable system.

Mac OS X Is Unix-Savvy
Mac OS X supports POSIX file system semantics and NFS file sharing, as well as standard services like telnet and FTP, allowing easy operability with UNIX systems and applications.

The system’s kernel, which does the heavy lifting to support all those rich applications, is based on Mach 3.0 from Carnegie-Mellon University and FreeBSD 3.2 (derived from the University of California at Berkeley’s BSD 4.4-Lite), the most highly regarded core technologies from two of the most widely acclaimed OS projects of the modern era. We also took the famous Apache web server—which runs over half the websites on the Internet—and made it friendly enough to use on your desktop for personal file sharing.

Faster, Standards Based Networking
Darwin incorporates the time-tested BSD networking stack, the basis of the vast majority of TCP/IP implementations on the Internet today. We provide built-in support for PPP, allowing users to easily access remote networks. We’ve also included full support for AppleTalk, to ensure smooth interoperability with existing Macintosh networks.

Welcome to the Brave New World of Crash-Resistant Computing
Let’s start with the notion of protected memory, and why it’s so important. A reliable operating system should not only keep you operational, it should also protect your information from loss or corruption. One of the ways an operating system ensures reliability is by protecting applications through a mechanism called protected memory (essentially walling off applications from each other). Darwin includes a modern, robust protected memory architecture that allocates a unique address space for each application or process running on the computer.

When applications are isolated in their own memory space, they can’t interfere with each other if one goes bad. And, perhaps best of all, you don’t need to restart your computer. The computer simply shuts down the offending application and its memory space, letting you continue on your merry way without interruption.

We Didn’t Forget Virtual Memory
Along with the protected memory mechanism, Darwin provides a super-efficient virtual memory manager to handle that protected memory space. So you no longer have to worry about how much memory an application like Photoshop needs to open large files. When an application needs memory, the virtual memory manager automatically allocates precisely the amount of memory needed by the application—no more, and no less. The result? Out-of-memory messages are out of here.

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