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Home » ravynOS 0.5 Released: A FreeBSD-based OS Aimed at macOS Compatibility

ravynOS 0.5 Released: A FreeBSD-based OS Aimed at macOS Compatibility

The ravynOS project has released version 0.5 of its FreeBSD-based operating system, aimed at achieving compatibility with macOS applications and providing a macOS-style user interface.

After two years of development, the ravynOS project has released version 0.5, an operating system based on FreeBSD that aims for compatibility with macOS applications and provides a macOS-style user interface. The project’s code is distributed under the BSD license, and the boot ISO image is 869 MB (x86_64).

The ravynOS project aims to achieve compatibility with macOS applications at both the source code and executable file levels. Users can recompile the source code of macOS applications for execution in ravynOS or embed changes into the kernel and toolkit to run Mach-O executable files compiled for x86-64 and arm64 architectures. The operating system supports ZFS and the HFS+ and APFS file systems used in macOS.

ravynOS 0.4 release
ravynOS 0.4 release

In addition to the FreeBSD-specific /usr and /usr/local hierarchies, ravynOS creates macOS-specific /Library, /System, and /Volumes directories. User home directories are located in the /Users hierarchy, and each home directory has a ~/Library subdirectory for applications that use Apple’s Cocoa programming interface.

For compatibility with macOS, ravynOS provides a partial implementation of the Cocoa and Objective-C runtime programming interface, located in the /System/Library/Frameworks directory. The operating system also offers the ability to run Linux applications based on FreeBSD’s Linux emulation infrastructure (Linuxulator).

Applications can be designed as self-contained app packages (App Bundle) in the AppImage format and placed in the /Applications or ~/Applications directories. The programs do not require installation or use of a package manager – just drag and drop and launch the AppImage file.

The graphical environment is built on a stripped-down composite labwc server, wlroots, and the Wayland protocol. Graphical applications can use the Qt and Cocoa frameworks. The interface uses typical macOS concepts, such as a top bar with a global menu, an identical menu structure, keyboard shortcuts, a similar-style Filer file manager, and support for commands such as launchctl and open.

In the new release, the base system has been updated to the FreeBSD 15-CURRENT branch, and the use of FreeBSD ports has been discontinued. The main structure includes the turbo text editor, cmake, gmake, nasm, and GNU binutils. The assembly files of the frameworks for Cocoa and Objective-C provide the ability to link objects in subdirectories to simplify the transfer of code from different subdirectories into one library.

A new build utility, build.sh, simplifies the entire process of building the system and creating a custom ISO image that can be loaded in Live mode. An initial implementation of a graphical Dock panel with a small set of basic icons has been added. The contents of the panel are currently configured by editing the plist file in ~/Library/Preferences.

The new release also includes support for the NSStatusItem class, allowing Cocoa applications to move menus to the global panel. The use of the package repository has been discontinued, but it is still possible to install packages from the FreeBSD repositories into the /usr/local directory using the pkg command.

You can download the ISO for this release from the GitHub.

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