Mac OS X 10.0

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Mac OS X 10.0
Version of the macOS operating system
DeveloperApple Computer
OS family
Source modelClosed, with open source components
March 24, 2001; 23 years ago (2001-03-24)[1]
Latest release10.0.4 / June 22, 2001; 22 years ago (2001-06-22)[2]
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
user interface
LicenseApple Public Source License (APSL) and Apple end-user license agreement (EULA)
Preceded by
Succeeded byMac OS X 10.1
Official websiteApple - Mac OS X at the Wayback Machine (archived June 29, 2001)
TaglineThe future is here. The power of UNIX with the simplicity and elegance of Macintosh.
Support status
Historical, unsupported as of November 13, 2006[citation needed]

Mac OS X 10.0 (code named Cheetah) is the first major release of Mac OS X, Apple's desktop and server operating system. It was released on March 24, 2001, for a price of $129 after a public beta.

Mac OS X was Apple's successor to the classic Mac OS. It was derived from NeXTSTEP and FreeBSD, and featured a new user interface called Aqua, as well as improved stability and security due to its new Unix foundations. It introduced the Quartz graphics rendering engine for hardware-accelerated animations. Many technologies were ported from the classic Mac OS, including Sherlock and the QuickTime framework. The core components of Mac OS X were open sourced as Darwin.

Boxed releases of Mac OS X 10.0 also included a copy of Mac OS 9.1,[3] which can be installed alongside Mac OS X 10.0, through the means of dual booting (which meant that reboots are required for switching between the two OSes). This was important for compatibility reasons; while many Mac OS 9 applications could be run under Mac OS X in the Classic environment, some, such as applications that directly accessed hardware, could only run under Mac OS 9.[3]

Six months after its release, Mac OS X 10.0 was succeeded by Mac OS X 10.1, code named Puma.


The development of Mac OS X 10.0 began in 1998, after Apple acquired NeXT Computer, which was founded by Steve Jobs after he left Apple in the mid-1980s.

The initial development of Mac OS X was led by Avie Tevanian, who had previously worked at NeXT and had played a key role in the development of NeXTSTEP. The development team faced significant challenges in merging the classic Mac OS with the new Unix-based architecture, as well as in creating a modern user interface that would be familiar to Mac users.

Mac OS X 10.0 was released to the public on March 24, 2001, after several months of beta testing. The release was met with mixed reviews, with some users praising the new features and stability, while others criticized the lack of compatibility with older Mac applications.

Some of the key features of Mac OS X 10.0 included the Aqua user interface, which introduced translucent menus, drop shadows, and other visual effects; the Dock, a new way of launching and switching between applications; and a new file system called HFS+. The operating system also included built-in support for networking protocols such as TCP/IP and PPP, as well as for USB and FireWire devices.

In the years following the release of Mac OS X 10.0, Apple continued to refine and improve the operating system, releasing updates and new versions that added new features and improved performance and compatibility. Mac OS X was renamed OS X in 2011, and to macOS in 2016; as of October 2023, the latest version is macOS Sonoma, which was released in September 2023.

New and updated features[edit]

  • The features of the release include the Dock which 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.
  • It included Terminal, a terminal emulator that provides access to Mac OS X's Unix command-line interface; the classic Mac OS had previously had the distinction of being one of the few operating systems with no command line interface.
  • The new Mail email client included the ability to configure the software to receive all of a user's email accounts in one list, the ability to file emails into folders, the ability to search for emails, and the ability to automatically append signatures to outgoing emails.
  • The Address Book was a new application which had features including exporting and importing cards to and from vCard format, API to interface with other applications, change of address notifications, contact groups, auto-merge when importing vCards, customizable fields and categories, the automatic formatting of phone numbers.
  • TextEdit replaced the SimpleText application with new features.
  • PDF support was added; it allows the user to create PDFs from any application.
  • The OS introduced the new Aqua UI.
  • Several features of Mac OS 9 were ported to Mac OS X, including the Sherlock desktop and web search engine.

Removed features[edit]

  • File-sharing client — The system can only use TCP/IP,[4] not AppleTalk, to connect to servers sharing the Apple Filing Protocol. It cannot use SMB to connect to Windows or Samba servers.
  • File-sharing server — As a server, the system can share files using only the Apple Filing Protocol (over TCP/IP), HTTP, SSH, and FTP.
  • Optical media — Neither DVD playback[5] nor burning CDs or DVDs[6] is supported. However, audio CD burning was added in the Mac OS X 10.0.2 update,[7][8] roughly 2 months after initial release.


Mac OS X is built on Darwin, a Unix-like operating system derived from FreeBSD. Darwin includes a new kernel, XNU, derived from Mach and BSD, as a replacement for the Mac OS nanokernel used in classic Mac OS.

Unlike Mac OS 9, Mac OS X has protected memory and preemptive multitasking. This means that if an application's memory becomes corrupted due to a bug, the application will crash without the entire system crashing and needing to be rebooted.

Mac OS X also had support for OpenGL, AppleScript, and the Carbon and Cocoa APIs.

Language support[edit]

Mac OS X 10.0 began a short era (that ended with Mac OS X 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 were introduced when Mac OS X v10.0.3 was released to the Asian market (this variant could not be upgraded to version 10.0.4). The brief period of multilingual confusion ended with the release of v10.2.[citation needed] Currently, all Mac OS X installer CDs and preinstallations include the full set of 15 languages and full multilingual compatibility.


Mac OS X 10.0 was not externally marketed with its codename, a practice which began with Mac OS X Jaguar.

On March 23, 2001, the night before the launch day, Apple hosted a launch party in a Micro Anvika store located at Tottenham Court Road, London.[9] Attendees were provided with live music, along with food and alcoholic beverages. The first 50 Mac OS X 10.0 customers of the participating stores in the UK, including the store hosting the launch party, would receive a free Apple Pro Mouse, while the next 100 customers would be given a commemorative Mac OS X T-shirt. These participating stores also provided demonstrations and offers for Mac products.[10] Similarly, an Apple Authorized Service Provider (known back then as Apple Specialist), in Cupertino, California, held a launch party at midnight. The first 100 Mac OS X 10.0 customers would receive a free commemorative Mac OS X T-shirt.[11] On the day, the store was completely packed with customers and fans of Apple products. Steve Wozniak, one of the co-founders of Apple, also attended the launch party.[12]

In the US, multiple Apple authorized resellers also held events on the 24 and 25 of March 2001, to coincide with Mac OS X's launch.[13][14]

A store located in Minneapolis reported that over 60% of their available Mac OS X stock were sold on launch day.[15]

On April 3, 2001, Apple launched an bi-weekly email newsletter service named Mac OS X Product News that showcases the latest software for Mac OS X.[16]


The release of Mac OS X 10.0 saw mixed reviews. ZDNet called the new OS "underdone" due to poor performance, kernel panics, with main applications such as Finder causing system freezes.[17] CNET rated Mac OS X 10.0, a 6 out of 10, calling it "more stable than previous Mac OSs", along with compliments on its UI, memory management and speed, but isn't "ready for the masses", due to issues such as the lack of native third-party applications for the platform, missing DVD playback and hard to use user interfaces.[18] David Pogue stated in a New York Times tech column, that while he felt Mac OS X was better looking and easier to use than Mac OS 9 with superior features and menus, it is not yet ready for the average user, as it's not as polished, with missing features such as CD burning (at launch), automated shutdown scheduling, Labels menu.[19]

Release history[edit]

Version Build Date Darwin version Notes
10.0 4K78 March 24, 2001 1.3 Original retail CD-ROM release
10.0.1 4L13 April 14, 2001 1.3.1 Apple: Mac OS X 10.0: Software Update 1.3.1, 10.0.1 Update, and Epson Printer Driver Update Provide Feature Enhancement, Address Issues
10.0.2 4P12 May 1, 2001
10.0.3 4P13 May 9, 2001 Update and Before You Install Information
10.0.4 4Q12 June 21, 2001 Apple: 10.0.4 Update and Before You Install Information
4R14[20] July 18, 2001 For Quicksilver Power Mac G4
4S10 August 20, 2001[21] For Quicksilver Power Mac G4 (Dual 800 MHz)

System requirements[edit]


Timeline of Mac operating systems
ARM architecture familyx86PowerPC68kMacBook Air (Apple silicon)iMac ProRetina MacBook ProMacBook AirApple–Intel architecturePower Mac G5Power Mac G4iMac G3Power MacintoshMacintosh QuadraMacintosh PortableMacintosh SE/30Macintosh IIMacintosh PlusMacintosh 128KmacOS SonomamacOS VenturamacOS MontereymacOS Big SurmacOS CatalinamacOS MojavemacOS High SierramacOS SierraOS X El CapitanOS X YosemiteOS X MavericksOS X Mountain LionMac OS X LionMac OS X Snow LeopardMac OS X LeopardMac OS X TigerMac OS X PantherMac OS X 10.2Mac OS X 10.1Mac OS X 10.0Mac OS X Server 1.0Mac OS X Public BetaA/UXA/UXA/UXMacWorks XLMacWorks XLSun RemarketingMacWorks XLMac OS 9Mac OS 9Mac OS 9Mac OS 8Mac OS 8Mac OS 8Mac OS 8System 7System 7System 7System 7System 6Classic Mac OSClassic Mac OSClassic Mac OSClassic Mac OSSystem 1Finder (software)Finder (software)Finder (software)Finder (software)Finder (software)Finder (software)Finder (software)


  1. ^ "Mac OS X Hits Stores This Weekend" (Press release). Apple Computer. March 21, 2001. Archived from the original on December 2, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Mac OS X Update 10.0.4". Archived from the original on April 11, 2004.
  3. ^ a b "Mac OS X missing some key elements". CNET. January 2, 2002. Archived from the original on January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  4. ^ "Mac OS X 10.0: Connecting to AppleShare or File Sharing Requires TCP/IP". September 18, 2003. Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  5. ^ Turner, Daniel (March 1, 2001). "Mac OS X: Promise without the polish". ZDNet. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  6. ^ Jary, Simon (April 12, 2001). "Apple Mac OS X review". Macworld UK. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  7. ^ "TenBITS/07-May-01". TidBITS. May 7, 2001. Archived from the original on November 25, 2006.
  8. ^ "OS X 10.0.2, iTunes Update Available, Now Supports CD Burning". The Mac Observer. April 30, 2001. Archived from the original on January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  9. ^ Smith, Tony (March 9, 2001). "Apple event to sell MacOS X midnight 23/24 March". The Register. Archived from the original on January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  10. ^ "The future of the Macintosh is just around the corner!". Apple (UK). 2001. Archived from the original on October 13, 2001.
  11. ^ Sellers, Dennis (March 19, 2001). "'California's largest X launch party' coming Friday". Macworld. Archived from the original on March 27, 2005.
  12. ^ Honan, Mathew (March 24, 2001). "Apple Faithful Come Out In Force for OS X". Macworld. Archived from the original on June 17, 2001.
  13. ^ Sellers, Dennis (March 9, 2001). "In-store events planned for Mac OS X debut". Macworld. Archived from the original on March 26, 2005.
  14. ^ "Apple In-Store Events". Apple. Archived from the original on March 12, 2001.
  15. ^ Lain, Rodney O. (March 28, 2001). "Minneapolis Store Sells In Excess Of 60% of OS X Copies On First Day". The Mac Observer. Archived from the original on June 28, 2001.
  16. ^ Sellers, Dennis (March 30, 2001). "Apple to launch OS X e-mail newsletter". MacCentral Online. Archived from the original on July 11, 2001.
  17. ^ Somogyi, Stephan (March 29, 2001). "OS X is here. So now what?". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on April 17, 2001.
  18. ^ Rizzo, John (March 24, 2001). "CNET review: Mac OS X". CNET Software. Archived from the original on September 13, 2001.
  19. ^ Sellers, Dennis (March 30, 2001). "Columnists: OS X gets one thumb up, one thumbs down". MacCentral Online. Archived from the original on July 25, 2001.
  20. ^ Kim, Arnold (July 23, 2001). "Minor Mac OS X Update Available". MacRumors. Archived from the original on September 20, 2022. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  21. ^ "Apple Ships Dual 800 MHZ Power Mac G4" (Press release). Apple. August 20, 2001. Archived from the original on September 20, 2022. Retrieved September 19, 2022.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Mac OS X 10.0 (Cheetah)
Succeeded by