Mac os x v10.0

Mac OS X v10.0 Cheetah
Part of the Mac OS X family
Apple Computer
Initial release March 24, 2001 [release 10.0.4 (June 22, 2001) [info]
Source model Closed source (with open source components)
License Apple Public Source License (APSL) and Apple end-user license agreement (EULA)
Kernel type Hybrid kernel
Platform support PowerPC
Preceded by Mac OS X Public Beta
Succeeded by Mac OS X v10.1 Puma
Support status

Mac OS X version 10.0, code named Cheetah, is the first major release of Mac OS X, Apple’s desktop and server operating system. Mac OS X v10.0 was released on March 24, 2001 for a price of US$129. It was the successor of the Mac OS X Public Beta and the predecessor of Mac OS X v10.1.

Mac OS X v10.0 was a radical departure from the previous classic Macintosh operating system (Mac OS) and was Apple’s long awaited answer to the call for a next generation Macintosh operating system. It introduced a brand new code base completely separate from Mac OS 9's, as well as all previous Apple operating systems. Mac OS X introduced the new Darwin Unix-like core and a totally new system of memory management. Cheetah proved to be a rocky start to the Mac OS X line, plagued with missing features and performance issues, although it was praised for being a good start to an operating system still in its infancy, in terms of completeness and overall operating system stability. Unlike later releases of Mac OS X, the cat-themed code name was not used in marketing the new operating system.

System requirements

The system requirements for Mac OS X v10.0 were not well received by the Macintosh community, as at the time the amount of RAM standard with Macintosh computers was 64 megabytes (MB), while the Mac OS X v10.0 requirements called for 128 MB of RAM. In addition, processor upgrade cards, which were quite popular for obsolete pre-G3 Power Macintosh computers, were not supported (and never officially have been, but can be made to work through third-party utility programs).


  • Dock — the Dock was a new way of organizing one's Mac OS X applications on a user interface, and a change from the classic method of Application launching in previous Mac OS systems.
  • Mach 3.0 — the Mach 3.0 microkernel was part of the XNU kernel for Mac OS X, and was one of the largest changes from a technical standpoint in Mac OS X.
  • Terminal — the Terminal was a feature that allowed access to Mac OS X's underpinnings, namely the Unix core. Mac OS had previously had the distinction of being one of the few operating systems with no command line interface at all.
  • Mailemail client.
  • Address Book
  • TextEdit — new on-board word processor, replacement to SimpleText.
  • Full preemptive multitasking support, a long awaited feature on the Mac.
  • PDF Support (create PDFs from any application)
  • Aqua UI — new user interface
  • Built on XNU, a Unix-like operating system and its Darwin development platform.
  • OpenGL
  • AppleScript
  • Support for Carbon and Cocoa APIs
  • Sherlock — desktop and web search engine.
  • Protected memory — memory protection so that if an application corrupts its memory, the memory of other applications will not be corrupted.



While the first Mac OS X release was an advanced operating system in terms of its technical underpinnings, and in relation to its brand new code-base, Mac OS X v10.0 was heavily criticized. There were three main reasons for criticism:

  • Interface Responsiveness — The brand-new Aqua interface was sluggish at best. It was heavily criticized for its slow application launch speed and user interface response speed. The interface response times compared to earlier Apple operating systems showed that Mac OS X still had a long way to go in terms of interface performance.
  • Stability — While ‘theoretical’ stability in Mac OS X was much better than stability in Mac OS 9, Mac OS X was riddled with fatal bugs that caused kernel panics, especially in complex hardware setups.
  • Missing Features and Hardware Compatibility Issues — Another reason for criticism were the missing features, especially missing DVD playback, as well as CD burning, both of which were available in the ninth version of Mac OS. Mac OS X v10.0.2 included the necessary software frameworks to allow iTunes 1.1.1 to provide audio CD burning support, but data CD burning had to wait until version 10.1. There were also several issues in respect to missing printer and other hardware drivers.

The heavy criticism of Mac OS X v.10.0 ultimately resulted in Apple offering a free upgrade to Mac OS X v10.1.[2]

Multilingual snags

With Mac OS X v.10.0 began a short era (that ended with Mac OS X v.10.2 Jaguar's release) where Apple offered two types of installation CDs: 1Z and 2Z CDs. The difference in the two lay in the extent of multilingual support.

Input method editors of Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean were only included with the 2Z CDs. They also came with more languages (the full set of 15 languages), whereas the 1Z CDs came only with about eight languages and could not actually display simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese and/or Korean (except for the Chinese characters present in Japanese Kanji). A variant of 2Z CDs began when Mac OS X v.10.0.3 was released to the Asian market. However, it could not be upgraded to version 10.0.4. The brief period of multilingual confusion ended with the release of version 10.2. Currently, all Mac OS X installer CDs and preinstallations include the full set of 15 languages and full multilingual compatibility.

Release history

Version Build Date OS name Notes
10.0 4K78 March 24, 2001 Darwin 1.3.1 Original retail CD-ROM release
10.0.1 4L13 April 14, 2001 Darwin 1.3.1
10.0.2 4P12 May 1, 2001 Darwin 1.3.1
10.0.3 4P13 May 9, 2001 Darwin 1.3.1 Apple: 10.0.3 Update and Before You Install Information
10.0.4 4Q12 June 21, 2001 Darwin 1.3.1 Apple: 10.0.4 Update and Before You Install Information


External links

  • Ars Technica

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