Mac OS X Server Embraces Open Source With Launch of Darwin

Apple Becomes First Mainstream OS Company to Make its System Software Available to Open Source Community

Cupertino, California—March 16, 1999—Apple Computer, Inc. today announced the launch of Darwin—the Open Source release of the Mac OS X Server operating system foundation. Mac OS X Server is the Company’s new server operating system which combines the proven strength of UNIX with the simplicity of Macintosh. Darwin will be available free to developers in the next few weeks at ( With this announcement, Apple becomes the first mainstream operating system provider to release its source code to the public and base its system software strategy on Open Source technologies.

“The Open Source movement is revolutionizing the way operating systems evolve and Apple is leading the industry by becoming the first major OS provider to make it’s core operating system available to Open Source developers,” said Avie Tevanian, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We look forward to working with the Open Source community to enhance the feature set, performance and quality of our Mac OS X products.”

The first release of Darwin consists of the foundation layer of Mac OS X Server, including enhancements to the Mach 2.5 microkernel and BSD 4.4 operating system, as well as core Apple technologies like AppleTalk, HFS+ file system and the NetInfo distributed database.

At, developers will be able to download the latest Darwin updates from Apple on a regular basis. Apple will also promote the web site as a forum for guiding and encouraging Darwin development efforts from the Open Source community.

“Apple has a proud tradition of innovating in ways that shake up the computer industry. They’ve done it again with this announcement,” said Eric Raymond, president, The Open Source Initiative. “The Open Source Initiative hopes that Apple’s decision to ‘open source’ its core OS code will point the way for other computer and systems manufacturers to ‘open source’ their operating systems.”

“This source code license allows Apple and their customers to benefit from the inventive energy and enthusiasm of a huge community of programmers, many of whom are found in universities,” said Jos-Marie Griffiths, University of Michigan’s chief information officer. “Apple’s intention to make sure any improvements are legitimized and redistributed has the potential to change the way the whole industry views support for Open Source.”

Today, Apple also announced the availability and new low pricing for the customer version of Mac OS X Server. Customers can order Mac OS X Server from Apple Authorized Resellers and The Apple Store ( for U.S. $499—with an unlimited client license. Mac OS X Server is also available pre-configured on a Macintosh Server G3 for U.S. $4,999. The new Macintosh Server G3 with Mac OS X Server software is the fastest platform for running Apache for under $5000—outperforming Linux, Solaris and Windows NT Server.*

Apple Computer, Inc. ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II, and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is now recommitted to its original mission to bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons and consumers in over 140 countries around the world.

*Based on WebBench benchmark testing performed by ZD Labs on a Dell PowerEdge 2300 Pentium II 450 MHz running Red Hat Linux, and a Sun Microsystems Enterprise Ultra 10S Server 333 MHz running Solaris; and NetBench benchmark testing performed by Apple on a Dell PowerEdge 2300 Pentium II 450 MHz running Windows NT Server, and a 400 MHz Macintosh Server G3 running Mac OS X Server.

Press Contacts:
Russell Brady
Apple Computer, Inc.
(408) 974-6877

Staci Sheppard
Apple Computer, Inc.
(408) 974-8404

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Apple, the Apple logo, AppleTalk, Macintosh, and Mac OS are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. BSD 4.4 includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors. Additional company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of the individual companies and are respectfully acknowledged.