macOS comes with bash (which is a GNU tool), macOS also comes with tools like ls and chmod (which are BSD tools, even though I don't know from which BSD flavor they come from).

Now does the GNU and BSD tools that comes with macOS gets modified by Apple (for example: does Apple remove some features from them or add some features to them), or does Apple leave them unmodified?


Yes Apple modifies at most open tools that come with MacOS in order to support Apple specific features.

You can see this in the man pages


or if you diff the source


As a specific example compare these 3 links for ls.c;




  • Do you know of an example of a tool that come with macOS that Apple modified in order to support some Apple specific feature? – user342273 Mar 19 '19 at 1:03
  • But ls is not listed here - – Thomas Dickey Mar 19 '19 at 8:34
  • @ThomasDickey you may notice from the URL that "ls" is in the file_cmds repository. – user1133275 Aug 26 '19 at 17:55

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