Apple has just released the kernel source code for iOS along with macOS kernel for the ARM architecture. The source code comes with Apple Public Source License 2.0.
Developers can use the code to learn from it or built their project by using this Kernel code.
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Kernal is the lowest layer in an operating system that shows how users are able to access the hardware resources of a system. The kernel code doesn’t cover the interface, apps, and frameworks.
Apple has been releasing the code or its macOS formerly OS X kernel for years. It was based on Darwin. This year, it is the first time when the company has shared the ARM versions of the kernel.
Even if you now have the Kernel code of macOS for ARM chip, don’t expect a MacBook running on A11 Bionic Chip anytime soon. Apple usually does this and writes code for other architectures.
The first version of macOS (Mac OS X) released in 2001 was actually built on the top of NeXTSTEP operating system developed by NeXT, the company founded by Steve Jobs in 1985. NeXTSTEP was itself derived from open-source project BSD. As Apple relies heavily on open-source technologies, it has to release tiny portion of macOS every year.
You can now download the ARM-optimized source code of Kernel if you are a developer and want to learn how Apple tackles basic system tasks.