Compatibility issues

What hardware is supported?


OpenDarwin 7.2.1 should work on any machine Mac OS X v10.3 supports. This includes:

  • Power Mac G3 (Blue and White) or newer
  • PowerBook (Bronze Keyboard) or newer
  • Any iMac
  • Any eMac
  • Any iBook

Support for some older machines may be possible through XPostFacto, which maintains its own hardware compatibility list.


Only the PIIX4 IDE controllers have been found to work.
Attached devices must be UDMA/33 compatible or better.
Intel 8255x 10/100 ethernet controllers are supported.
3Com 905cXXX based ethernet controllers are supported.
Tulip based ethernet controllers are supported.

You must have a VESA 2.0 compliant video card. Almost all modern graphics cards are VESA 2.0 compliant. However, emulators such as vmware do not have VESA 2.0 compliant emulated video cards.

Successfully tested hardware
All 440BX motherboards tested have worked with their internal IDE controllers.
IBM ThinkPad A21m (with onboard Intel ethernet)

See for a community-created site that lists hardware which has been found to work.

Does Darwin support multiple processors?

Yes, but it is only on some dual-processor Power Mac systems. There is no SMP support on x86, and there may be issues with third party upgrade cards.

Does Darwin support wireless networking?

Currently there is no support for wireless networking. This is because although binary Airport drivers are included in Darwin, there is no user-space support for configuring them. However, work is underway and support is expected in a future release of OpenDarwin.

Why does Darwin use Mach-O instead of ELF as its binary format?

Primarily for historical reasons. However, seeing as Mach-O provides similar features to ELF with the addition of multi-architecture binaries, there is no compelling reason to switch to ELF. If you'd really like to use ELF, feel free to add support for it.