Subject: Re: Darwin on alpha?
To: None <>
From: Dave McGuire <>
List: port-vax
Date: 08/29/2003 11:28:41
On Wednesday, August 27, 2003, at 03:28 PM, Michael G. Schabert wrote:
>> Please pardon this question, the wife got this mac and it is pretty 
>> slick.  I keep looking at that little laptop and thinking the alpha 
>> stations should be able to blow this away.  I don't know if I 
>> understand enough about macs to ask this correctly, so bear with me 
>> or flame me, your call.
>> I am still working with X, not migrated to kde or gnome successfully 
>> yet, so the question came to mind: Given a NetBSD base, could a 
>> Darwin port be done so that a mac os X gui could run on an alpha with 
>> a specific vga card?
> Hi Bob,
> Darwin is the BSD base of OSX, but Darwin is not OSX. Darwin compiles 
> natively on i386 and on PowerPC. I would imagine that it is 64-bit 
> clean given the new G5 PowerMacs (so it should be fairly ready for an 
> alpha compile).
> But even on PowerPC, if you compile and run Darwin, you don't get the 
> Aqua GUI, it will just be "yet another unix", & not OSX. You'd still 
> need to run X11 and customize that to suit.

   This is true...but there might be a way to get closer.  Apple's X11 
window manager (called "quartz-wm") looks *exactly* like Aqua and 
interfaces well with it.  I'm not sure if it can run without Aqua...but 
if it can, this might work.  Remember that under X, a window manager is 
an X client like any other, and doesn't have to be running on your 
local machine.  If you have an OSX machine (a real one) somewhere on 
the network, run quartz-wm attaching to your local display under some 
other OS.

   I've not tried this, and there are a bunch of things that could go 
wrong, but theoretically (if Apple didn't make too many "this will be 
running with Aqua" assumptions) this should work.

   If it does...picture a bunch of non-Apple X workstations, with an 
Apple Xserve running in the computer room serving up copies of 
quartz-wm as the window managers for the workstations.  Neat!  (and I 
hope you're not running ethernet, or at least unswitched ethernet!)


Dave McGuire                 "You don't have Vaseline in Canada?"
St. Petersburg, FL                     -Bill Bradford