The developers behind the
project hope to bring the popular WINE technology first to Darwin and then to Mac OS X. If successful, Darwine could eventually pave the way to Mac OS X users being able to run Windows software without having VirtualPC or Windows installed.
is an acronym for WINE Is Not An Emulator. It’s an open source implementation of the Windows Application Programming Interface (API) that runs on top of Unix and Linux variants. Wine doesn’t require Windows to be installed — it’s an alternative consisting of Microsoft-free code.
The developers associated with the Darwine project, as it’s described on its Web site, plan to port and develop WINE and other supporting tools to enable it to run on Apple’s
Darwin, the core BSD UNIX-derived technology that powers Mac OS X. Darwin is one of many open-source projects that Apple participates in. Darwin runs on multiple system architectures, including both Macs and PCs.
Darwine’s developers plan first to port WINE to run on Darwin/x86, the derivative that operates on PC-compatible systems. “While the basic compatibility is there, as Darwin is largely FreeBSD, we need to overcome the hurdle of its Mach kernel which uses the Mach-O format rather than ELF,” they noted.
After they’ve gotten to that point, the Darwine team will port WINE to Darwin/PPC and thereby make the software able to run on Mac OS X. Eventually, they’ll get Darwine to work with Bochs, an open source PC emulator.
“This project is distinguished from simply using Bochs to run Windows because there is no Windows here,” the Darwine team stated. “Just WINE and Bochs will be needed to run Windows applications directly under X. That will enable vastly better performance, better integration, and easier administration.”
Darwine, at least in its current incarnation, isn’t ready for prime-time: The developers said that the target audience is developers and hackers, given the amount of improvement needed to WINE. But if you want to keep your eye on the project, make sure to
bookmark the Web site
and check in from time to time.