Building the XNU kernel on Mac OS X 10.3.x / OpenDarwin 7.2.1 (for mortals)

Stefan Arentz


Felix Kronlage

Revision History
Revision 423 September 2004fkr
updated to Mac OS 10.3.5/OpenDarwin 7.2.1
Revision 311 June 2003fkr
updated to 10.2.6/6.6.1 and corrected.
Revision 209 May 2003fkr
updated and undusted.
Revision 118 December 2001 


This document describes the procedure for building the XNU kernel on Mac OS X 10.3.x, Darwin 7 and OpenDarwin. It does not cover building other parts of OpenDarwin, just the basics that are required for building the kernel.

Table of Contents

Download the source code
Installing the needed header files
Building the support tools
Building the kernel
Installing the new kernel
Doh! The new kernel fails to boot.


You will need:

  • Mac OS X 10.3.x / Darwin 7 / OpenDarwin 7.2.1
  • Mac OS X Developer Tools (Darwin and OpenDarwin both come with the equivalent to these)
  • Patience / Coffee / Beer

I'm also assuming that you are using a csh-style shell and that /usr/local/bin is in your PATH-variable. Furthermore your user should be able to make use of the sudo command.