Apr 27 2009
Intro to Darwinism
this isn’t going to be a religious or scientific battle about the origin of
our universe. It’s going to be a first look at Darwin, the underlying level
of Mac OS X. Right now you are probably asking yourself why, how, or are confused
as to what Darwin really is. I can give a you a great nutshell answer for each.
Strap on your geek boots, here we go!
is FreeBSD for the PowerPC processor (G3 and up actually). It is open source
and can be downloaded free of charge from http://darwin.org/projects/Darwin/1.3/release.html
(an Apple site). The download is about 120 megs and the installation can’t
be easier. If you have ever tried to install Linux you will envy Darwin’s
install. It is truly drag and drop (and there’s not even any dragging!). Just
double click, select an empty partition and you are in UNIX. I said before
that Darwin is the underlying level of OS X. Here is what that means:
As you can
tell, Darwin is on the bottom of our chart; this means it controls all the
base level OS operations. You can access Darwin in the Terminal.app in OS
X (in the Utilities folder). That’s all good but we power users want more.
For that we move to why.
Why not? Well,
it isn’t user friendly, has no native GUI (X Windows can be installed but
isn’t part of Darwin), can’t run any of your applications, and the list gets
longer. What it does, it does well: all UNIX functions. Aqua is beautiful
but takes RAM and CPU cycles. That is a waste if you are using your box as
a server. OS X has real powerful server tools like Apache built-in, and MySQL
and PHP can be installed making OS X a powerful web server. The same server
can be run from Darwin without the wasted RAM and CPU cycles that Aqua brings.
In fact, Darwin can be your network’s NAT server (for sharing net access).
You can have an older G3 serve as your router/firewall/webserver all without
paying a dime. Even if you don’t want to use those features there is no easier
way to learn UNIX (except using it in the terminal).
Once you run
the installer, go up to the startup disk control panel and select the disk
(or partition) with Darwin on it. If you don’t want to make it the default
disk, just hold Option at startup and select the boot disk at that point (instead
of using the startup disk control panel). After a few minutes you will have
a blinking cursor; type the following:
You will get
the following message: "Welcome to Darwin!". This signifies that
you are all logged in and are ready to do anything you choose. Here are the
commands I found most useful:
= list files in current directory
directory (cd / takes you to the main directory)
= make directory, creates folder
up pico (a text editor). A file string followed by pico will open that file
in pico (Ex: pico /files/test.pl will open a file called test.pl located in
the /files directory)
All the OS
X directions in my Perl
tutorial apply to Darwin (since it is OS X).
to the internet I edited the /etc/iftab file in pico to read:
inet 192.168.1.102 netmask 255.255.255.0 up
en0 inet -DHCP-
The IP address
is specified by my router so that will change depending on your setup. If
you aren’t on DHCP try following the directions on this site: http://www.excel.net/~clobrien/darwin/Network.html
After I was
on the net I did an FTP transfer. To connect to an FTP server type:
ftp.servername.TLD (replace TLD with the ending tld)
It will prompt
you for a username if necessary and then a password. You can use the cd and
ls commands to move around the file tree. Type: get FILENAME to download
files and: put PATH/TO/FILE.txt to upload files. Type ? for
a list of all commands.
That was my
experience with Darwin… I will write another article once I get PHP and
MySQL going (I am having some difficulties forwarding the right ports to my
computer at the moment).
you are having trouble or would like to ask me a question, please send me mail: