A Wine-like compatibility layer to run Mac OS X programs on Linux?

Emmet Hikory persia at ubuntu.com
Fri Nov 9 02:12:28 UTC 2007

On 11/9/07, Greg K Nicholson wrote:
> Is a compatibility layer (like Wine) to run Mac OS X programs on Linux
> feasible? Does one already exist?

    If you have a powerpc machine, the MacOnLinux (1) virtual layer
may be useful for many applications (although using alternate virtual
machines may be as convenient).  If you have an x86 machine, there are
a number of virtual machines that can be used for Intel OS X (with
appropriate modifications) and the Basilisk II m68k emulator (2) does
a reasonable job for older applications (through OS 8.1 or so).

    Separately, for some applications, the GNU OpenStep (3)
implementation may provide source-level compatibility for some
applications (some of the Cocoa API is included).  I do not know of a
current effort providing binary compatibility for applications that
might be source compatible with GNUstep, although one is conceivable,
assuming appropriate wrappers / implementations for various assumed
system services (source for some of which are available from Darwin

> Anyhow, it'd be cool if we could say "all OS X programs will Just Work™
> on Ubuntu, too".

    I'd suggest that the project of implementing a full compatibility
layer likely consists of many separate components, some ported from
Darwin, some as new components, and some implemented with GNUstep.
Given the scope, such an effort to provide a compatibility layer for
Linux is probably best done as a separate upstream project, outside
Ubuntu, with integration deferred until the system is somewhat stable,
and demonstrably suitable for at least a limited set of test
applications.  To promote testing with Ubuntu, such a project might
provide candidate Ubuntu packages in a separate repository, as a
technology demonstration and basis for ongoing efforts.

1: http://mac-on-linux.sourceforge.net/
2: http://basilisk.cebix.net/
3: http://www.gnustep.org/
4: http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/


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