Running OS X applications on your Linux machine

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Summary: The Darling project, which enables you to run OS X applications on Linux provided a to-do list for application developers that are eager to help.

darling HQ

Running native applications under a different operating system has been quite a challenge for developers. At first, they tried and eventually managed to create Wine, a tool that allows you to run Windows apps under Linux. After this, some developers turned their attention to OS X, and wanted to find a way of running those application under any Linux distribution. This is how the Darling project was created.

After many months of inactivity, the project has recently moved from its GitHub repository to a new address, DarlingHQ.org. The website will give you  quick access to the source code, issue tracker, and will also provide you with a way of contacting the developers.

For the moment, the Darling translation layer can run only console applications that previously worked only under OS X, but will also enable simple GUI based tools to run under Linux.

The lead developer of this project, Luboš Doležel stated that, while there aren’t that many OS X apps supported by the project, the developers are working hard to provide support for more apps in the near future.

The main purpose behind the Darling project is to provide a runtime, framework and system library reimplementations that will enable end-users to open and run OS X executables in a safe environment. Darling will also try to provide a dynamic loader, suitable for loading the Mach-O executables.

While some may think otherwise, the main developer behind Darling states that their project is not violating the licensing agreements released by Apple, since their code is original, and doesn’t include anything created by the software giant. Although he recommends you to use Darling only with apps not covered by the Apple EULA, as well as avoiding APSL code.

The project’s name, Darling, comes from Darwin, the open source operating system that includes the core components for iOS, OS X, and also Linux. On the new website you will be able to read various articles regarding the state of the project, the latest updates, but also simple tutorials about debugging or other similar topics.

A few days ago, the main developer posted an article that informs developers interested in the project about various things they can do to help, such as writing more test programs, implementing Core Audio support or others.

Darling is quite an interesting project and will hopefully grow larger over time, implementing support for larger and more important applications that are available only on Mac OS X. Anyone can access the source code in the Github repository, and for the latest news and information, feel free to visit the project webpage. From my point of view, this is a very promising project, that will bring even more attention to Linux. However, only time will tell if it will be more successful than Wine.

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Running OS X applications on your Linux machine
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