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Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach Hardcover – June 29, 2006
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"Overall, I recommend this book to anyone that wants a deeper understanding of the internals of the Macintosh. If you are a developer, this is a must-have book."--Justin Williams, Founder, Maczealots.com
"It's a book that every administrator and developer of almost any kind of hardware and software would want to own. It explains the how as opposed to the what of OS X more clearly, thoroughly and intelligently than any other book on the market."--Mark Sealey, Contributing Editor, ThinkSecret.com
About the Author
Amit Singh is an operating systems researcher, programmer, and author. He manages the Macintosh engineering team at Google. Previously, Amit has worked on operating systems at IBM Research, Bell Laboratories, and a Silicon Valley startup doing cutting-edge work in the area of virtualization. He also created and maintains osxbook.com and kernelthread.com. Amit often writes and releases open source software, such as MacFUSE, a Mac OS X implementation of the FUSE (File System in USEr Space) mechanism.
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(Full disclosure: Back in Feb. 2004 I reviewed Singh's proposal to Addison-Wesley for this book, gave it an enthusiastic recommendation, and was paid a small sum.)
I have a bunch of OS internals books, but this one at 1600 pages is more than twice as big as the next biggest. There are two reasons: Mac OS X is the most functionally rich of any OS I know of, and Singh covers it in amazing detail.
I'm only up to page 50, but I've already learned a lot about Mac OS X's fascinating history, which goes back to NextStep and Mach (mid-1980s), and includes parts from the original Mac OS (now represented in Classic and Carbon) and BSD, as well as newer subsystems developed entirely at Apple. The UNIX-like part is called Darwin, and I discussed its API in my own book, Advanced UNIX Programming (available from Amazon). But Darwin is only a fragment of what Singh takes on.
The author got in touch with me and sent me the missing pages--thank you! I got some much needed information on OS X's keychain storage.
In other news, I just want to say that this book is top notch in terms of the breadth and depth of technical information on OS X. I originally purchased it for information on OS X's boot sequence and crypto facilities. It has detailed information on all this an much more.
Kudos to Mr. Singh who went out of his way to help and on having written an excellent guide to OS X internals.
All the gory details of how a Mac OS is put together from Mach to Cocoa are covered and then some. The author is a hard-core expert who put a lot into this book. Well worth the price!
It can still be useful reading material if you run into intricacies of OS X where it becomes essential to know the history and evolution of the OS.