See also: Operating Systems | BSD Distributions | POSIX | Macintosh | Unix | Mach

This topic includes OS X Server

Home Page: http://www.apple.com/macosxWikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac-OS-X

Also known as: OS 10 (Roman-numeral X = 10)

A widely-used operating system from Apple developed and used solely for Apple Macintosh computers. It offers a wide variety of features including multimedia, protected memory, an intuitive user interface, and true multi-tasking and has become a financial and technical boon to its developer, Apple Computer, Inc. Apple CEO Steve Jobs officially ended the life of OS X’s predecessor, OS 9, at a developers’ conference in 2002.

Why not “Mac OS X”?

The term used by Apple to refer to its OS is in fact “Mac OS X” but this term is not used in common language. It is almost invariably referrred to as “OS X.”



OS X is made up of two separate systems, Aqua and Darwin. Darwin forms the open-source UNIX-based foundation of Mac OS X. Darwin integrates a number of technologies, including the Mach 3.0 microkernel, operating system services based on 4.4 BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), high-performance networking facilities, and support for multiple integrated filesystems.

Darwin’s FreeBSD-based core benefits from UNIX stability, speed, server-readiness and power. Darwin is also distributed under the Apple Public Source License but Apple’s “AquaGUI is proprietary. Although many users may never exploit its UNIX underpinnings, Mac OS X has been reported as the most popular UNIX in the world. POSIX compliance is as of version 10.4 being described as having “even stronger.”



Although OS X is a very secure OS right out of the box, it is important that the OS is kept up to date. Although Macs are generally more secure than PCs, its still a good idea to keep them up to date to help both users (the computer will crash less and patches are released) and for the health of the network (a compromised machine can attack other computers). They can be set to automatically update on off hours (even monthly) so that you don’t have any downtime as a result.

Unlike Windows, OS X sometimes will not need to reboot after updates and patches are installed and can be set to work automatically. Follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Software Update
  3. Click on “Automatically”
  4. Select “Weekly” from the pull-down menu to enable weekly automatic software updates or “Monthly” for systems that are not often connected to the Network.

Running as User

For increased security, it is also recommended that users create separate Administrator and User accounts and run the User account for everyday tasks. While this can be less useful when users are unable to change system settings and install some programs, it also protects against system-wide harm through virus infection or some system compromises.

  1. Login under your administrative account
  2. Open System Preferences
  3. Select Accounts
  4. Disable Admin priviledges for your account (exact location of this option may differ depending on your version of OS X)


The root user is disabled by default and should remain so for most users. If you don’t have a specific need to use root, avoid enabling it. It is a dangerous system account that has no restrictions meaning its possible to wipe your entire hard drive without so much as a confirmation message.

Version history

  • Public Beta – 09/13/2000
  • 10.0 – 03/24/2001
  • 10.1 – 09/25/2001
  • 10.2 – 08/24/2002
  • 10.3 – 10/24/2003

Preceded by a Public Beta, Mac OS X 10.0 shipped on March 24, 2001, and was considered by many to be a second beta. Mac OS X 10.1 followed quickly on Sept. 25 of the same year.

After incremental updates to OS X 10.1, the operating system took a significant step forward with the release of 10.2 (Jaguar) on August 24, 2002. Along with the Jaguar release, Apple introduced Rendezvous, Quartz Extreme, and iChat, an AIM-compatible instant-messaging product.

October 24, 2003 marked the next release of OS X, 10.3 (Panther). Along with Panther, Apple introduced Fast User Switching and Exposé, and significant improvements in perceived performance over Jaguar.

John Siracusa, Apple Technology Specialist at Ars Technica has written in-depth reviews of each of Apple’s OS X releases and many pre-releases. Reviews by release are listed below.



10.2 CNet Review

OS X Server


A version specifically for server applications that is among the easiest servers to setup and use. With it, Apple has begun to move into the server market with the Xserve.

While there is a strong cost advantage for using other UNIX systems and non-Apple hardware, OS X Server appeals to both the novice and advanced administrator. On the other hand, Apple tends to use higher-end, well-tested hardware and is may be suitable for system-critical applications.

Related Links


in /Volumes)

  • Fugu – SSH & SFTP program

TakeDown.NET -> “OS-X