What is macOS?

macOS (Mac or Macintosh) is a Unix-based OS. In the back-end, it is FreeBSD with a modified (hacked) GNU Mach kernel, which is not accessible off-hand. The end user interacts only with the Aqua GUI and has no access to directories in the system other than the home (~) subdirectory. macOS is fairly closed only allowing applications from the Mac App Store or identified developers. This limitation is disappointing and annoying considering the high cost of MacBooks and other Apple products even if done for the purpose of security or as an expansion of the iOS heavily restricted system mentality.

Since I got my second-hand MacBook running macOS Catalina (version 10.15, released on 10/07/2019) with the purpose of learning the OS and for programming, I installed the Homebrew package manager in order to install different applications like LibreOffice, Anaconda, MariaDB, DBeaver and PyCharm for Python3 — most of which are not available in the Mac App Store. Unfortunately, my machine is too obsolete although only four years old and is no longer supported by Apple or any vendor for that matter.

        /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

I had to install ranger — a CLI file explorer to see the contents of directories outside home via the terminal (zch).

        brew install ranger

I dare say that I am disappointed. If I wanted to be limited by an OS and only able to see the contents of my home directory, I would have opted for another chromeOS laptop. Better yet, I could have set up FreeBSD again after more than a decade — this time on a VDI rather than on barebone hardware.

At least, I can use my MacBook to rewrite the curriculum for the SQL classes I teach. I want to move away from Microsoft SQL Server and into MariaDB since many students have MacBooks of their own.

By the way, my MacBook ("13-inch, Mid 2010" as listed in the Apple website, with a 2.4 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM) is heavier than most desktop replacements — about five pounds according to Apple. Although I paid under $200 for it and it does not feel like the best purchase I have ever made.

Installing macOS:

Unfortunately, image do not have any experience installing the older versions or macOS X (Darwin), which is based on FreeBSD). Therefore I would recommend reading Installing BSD.

Of course, you can always opt for a hackintosh project if you really want to learn how to install macOS on new hardware (non-Apple, Intel-based hardware or no-longer supported Apple hardware (dosdude1's OS patches). For some reason, I am not eager to learn how to install macOS after feeling disappointed at the lack access the end user has over a computer he/she spends lots of money for. In other words, macOS feels like too much hype.