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Revision Date Username Comment
803 Oct 2013 - 15:56norqu036? 
729 Apr 2013 - 10:32NicLewis 
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You are here: UMWiki>CBI_ComputerSecurity Web>Systems>SystemsMACH (03 Oct 2013, norqu036)

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A Carnegie Mellon project from 1985 to 1994, Mach was a multiprocessor operating system kernel intended as a replacement for the traditional Unix kernel. Unix was originally designed to treat all objects as files, a feature that caused performance issues as Unix program and installation sizes increased. The Mach kernel, however, re-designated objects as tasks, and moved a large portion of the operating system code out of the kernel, and into user space. The consequence was not only a smaller, lighter-weight kernel, but the ability to process tasks in multiple threads on the processor(s), rather than the OS manage each task one-at-a-time as a file. The Mach kernel provided a level of networking security through its system of abstracting network servers as network ports, with the data sent over each network port containing ownership tags that determine the access rights of each transmission. (1)(2)(3)

Although the Mach project ended in 1994, derivatives of the Mach kernel survived in BSD-based operating systems. NeXT Computer, founded in 1985 by Steve Jobs after being forced out of Apple, selected the Mach 2.5 kernel for its NeXTSTEP operating system. In 1996, Apple purchased NeXT for the purpose of acquiring the NeXTSTEP OS (with Steve Jobs becoming Apple's CEO as part of the agreement), which served as the basis of Mac OS X.(4)(5)(6)(7)


1 : lock Mike Accetta, et al., "Mach: A New Kenel Foundation for UNIX Development," Proceedings of the Summer 1986 USENIX Conference (June, 1986), 1-6, 9-10, 12." (Login required)

2 : lock Abraham Silberschatz, et al., Operating Systems Concepts, Ninth Edition, Hoboken, NJ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012), appendix B, 1-5. (Login required)

3 , 6 : Armit Singh, "What NeXT? The Mach Factor," (February, 2004).

4 : lock Abraham Silberschatz, et al., Operating Systems Concepts, Ninth Edition, Hoboken, NJ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012), appendix B, 2. (Login required)

5 : Press Release: Apple Computer, Inc. Agrees to Acquire NeXT Software Inc.

7 : Paul Freiberger, and Michael Swaine, Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer, Second Ed., New York (McGraw-Hill, 2000), 403-405.

Topic revision: r8 - 03 Oct 2013 - 15:56:49 - norqu036
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