Mac OS X 10.0

Mac OS X version 10.0 (code named Cheetah) is the first major release of Mac OS X (renamed OS X in 2012 and macOS in 2016), Apple’s desktop and server operating system. Mac OS X 10.0 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 10.1 (code named Puma).

Mac OS X 10.0
A version of the macOS operating system
DeveloperApple Computer, Inc.
OS family
Source modelClosed, with open source components
Released to
March 24, 2001 (2001-03-24)[1]
Latest release10.0.4 / June 22, 2001 (2001-06-22)[2]
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
LicenseApple Public Source License (APSL) and Apple end-user license agreement (EULA)
Preceded byMac OS X Public Beta
Mac OS 9
Succeeded byMac OS X 10.1
Official websiteApple - Mac OS X at the Wayback Machine (archived June 29, 2001)
Support status
Obsolete, unsupported as of 2004

Mac OS X 10.0 was a radical departure from the classic Mac OS and was Apple’s long-awaited answer 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 completely 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 still being a good start to an operating system still in its infancy, in terms of completeness and overall operating system stability. Unlike releases of Mac OS X 10.2 to 10.8, the cat-themed code name was not used in marketing the new operating system.

System requirements

The system requirements for Mac OS X 10.0 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 10.0 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). Additionally the new operating system required more hard drive space, causing longer boot times.


  • 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.
  • OSFMK 7.3 — the Open Source Foundation Mach kernel[3] 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 Darwin, a Unix-like operating system.
  • 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.


Criticism and problems

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, and was praised for its Aqua interface, Mac OS X 10.0 was heavily criticized. There were three main reasons for criticism:

  • Interface Responsiveness — The brand-new Aqua interface 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 had been available in the prior version of Mac OS. Mac OS X 10.0.2 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 10.0 ultimately resulted in Apple offering a free upgrade to Mac OS X 10.1.[5]

Multilingual snags

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. 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 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 Darwin 1.3.1
10.0.3 4P13 May 9, 2001 Darwin 1.3.1 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


  1. "Mac OS X Hits Stores This Weekend" (Press release). Apple Inc. March 21, 2001.
  2. "Mac OS X Update 10.0.4". Archived from the original on April 11, 2004.
  3. Jim Magee. WWDC 2000 Session 106 - Mac OS X: Kernel. 14 minutes in.
  4. "Mac OS X 10.0: Connecting to AppleShare or File Sharing Requires TCP/IP". September 18, 2003. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  5. "First Major Upgrade to Mac OS X Hits Stores This Weekend" (Press release). Apple Inc. September 25, 2001. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
Preceded by
Mac OS 9
Mac OS X 10.0
Succeeded by
Mac OS X 10.1
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.