Is macOS Based on Linux?

macOS and Linux are the leading operating systems based on Unix and do share some similarities. The macOS is based on the Mach Kernel, which was introduced in 2001 by Apple Inc. While Linux is based on the Linux Kernel and was introduced in the 1990s. 

This blog will give a brief description of macOS and Linux operating systems.

What is macOS?

macOS is a Unix-like operating system particularly designed for Apple devices that cover services such as iCloud, Apple Music, and App Store. The macOS also facilitates the user with a variety of built-in tools like Siri, text editors, iWork (Office suite), etc.

The interface of the macOS operating system is shown in the following image:

What are the Key Features of macOS?

The key features of the macOS are described below:

  • User Interface: macOS has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate for users that’s it is the popular choice for most users.
  • Spotlight Search: macOS has the feature of instantly searching for apps or files the user is looking for.
  • Accessibility: macOS also provides the feature of speech recognition so that every user can access it even if he has disabilities.
  • Quick Look: macOS provides the feature of quick look by popping up the window that shows the preview of the particular file/folder.
  • Screenshot: macOS provides the built-in screenshot tool feature that lets the user capture the whole or selected area of the screen.
  • Security: The macOS has strong security features that prevent users from installing unauthorized applications.

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source operating system that is famous for its security, stability, and flexibility. it is used on devices such as servers, supercomputers, smartphones, computers, etc. Many Linux distributions are introduced now, such as Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Fedora, Arch, etc. Furthermore,

the Linux operating system is managed by the open-source community of developers for support services and development.

The following is the interface of Linux Ubuntu-based operating system:

What are the Key Features of Linux?

Linux operating system has the following key features:

  • Open Source: Linux is open-source and easily accessible to every user and can be modified.
  • Multi-User: The user can create multiple users in one operating system and enable them to use the same resources.
  • Multitasking: Another key feature of Linux is to give a multitasking facility; the user can perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Portability: Linux supports a variety of system architectures and has high portability because.
  • GUI Support: Linux offers various environments like Mate Xfce, KDE, GNOME, etc.
  • Lightweight structure: it utilizes less space storage for installation between 4GB and 8GB.
  • Security: One more strong feature of Linux is its security; Linux gives powerful security to the user, like file permission, firewall, and packages/software.

Comparison of macOS and Linux

The comparison between macOS and Linux is demonstrated in the below table:

User InterfaceIt provides a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate for the users.Linux provides multiple user interfaces, such as GNOME, KDE, and XFCE.
KernelmacOS works on the Kernel named Mach.Linux based on the Linux Kernel.
Open SourcemacOS is not open source as it is only developed for apple devices.Linux is open-source and easily accessible to users.
SecurityIt provides the security that stops the user from installing unauthorized applications.Linux also provides strong security features such as firewalls, file permissions, and software/packages.
CompatibilitymacOS is compatible only with Apple devices.Linux is compatible with multiple hardware. such as Windows Chromebook and Android.


From the above discussion, it is concluded that macOS is based on BSD, which is alike to Linux (not exactly Linux). However, BSD and Linux are both Unix-inspired operating systems. There is quite a difference between macOS and Linux features such as open-source, compatibility, and Kernel. This write-up has answered the query ”is macOS Based on Linux?” with a demonstration of Unix and Linux operating systems.