Is is possible to install the Aqua GUI on top of Darwin? I was researching this about a year and a half ago and I don't remember much about what I found out. I also was not the main person in charge of research, so that didn't help. Anyhow, I can download Darwin from the Apple site, and I get a CLI (kinda like single-user mode for OS X), and I now want to install an interface on top of that.

  1. Can I install the Aqua GUI?
  2. Or do I have to install another GUI?
  3. Would it be possible to write a GUI for it?
  4. How would I do this?

Technically, yes, since Darwin is substantially the same UNIX underbelly that is in Mac OS X.

In all practicality, not unless you're inside Apple. Even if you took the pkg files from the OS X installer they probably wouldn't be installable directly on Darwin. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Aqua requires components that aren't available as part of Darwin (like the Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext). But if you have a copy of Mac OS X, it would be a fun project to try to get Aqua running on it. You're likely to learn more than you ever wanted to about it.

Officially the GUI for Darwin is X, just like with any UNIX.

  • Ok, I have a copy of OS X, but how would I extract the Aqua interface? BTW, thanks for the quick response. – daviesgeek Sep 3 '11 at 20:27
  • On the Installer DVD, they are in System/Installer/Packages. These are the package files used by Mac OS X's native installer. The /usr/sbin/installer is a command line interface to the same GUI installer in OS X. Theoretically, you can just use installer on Darwin to install them. But I doubt it will be that easy. – bahamat Sep 3 '11 at 20:39
  • I remember downloading Darwin from Apple. Do you happen to know where to find a download link from Apple? I also remember it being hard to find. ;-) – daviesgeek Sep 3 '11 at 20:50
  • I don't think they provide it as a distribution anymore. At opensource.apple.com you can download each individual component's source code. At sourceforge.net/projects/darwinsource you can download the last available Darwin release (8, or equal to 10.4). You can order a DVD of GNU-Darwin at gnu-darwin.sourceforge.net, but it looks like they're a fork. – bahamat Sep 3 '11 at 21:01
  • So how would I go about installing Aqua on Darwin? Or what other GUI will work? – daviesgeek Sep 4 '11 at 16:52

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