The aim of the Darling project is to provide the following:


This is just an introductory article. You can always learn more by visiting the wiki.

Running Applications

OS X applications on x86 are either 64-bit or 32-bit. Darling can run both, depending on whether you have built / installed 32-bit support.

Darling has support for DPREFIXes, which are very similar to WINEPREFIXes. They are virtual “chroot” environments with an OS X-like filesystem structure, where you can install software safely. The default DPREFIX location is ~/.darling, but this can be changed by exporting an identically named environment variable.

Note that Darling needs Internet access to download initial prefix contents.

The /home directory is symlinked to your real /home, so you can feel at home right away. The real root directory is accessible through /system-root.

Darling bundles a whole collection of elementary console binaries, namely Bash and most of coreutils. To enter Darling’s shell, run

$ darling shell
Darling [~]$ 

You can try out some simple commands, such as ls, uname, sw_vers and others.

You can directly execute an OS X binary inside the chroot with a real (non-chrooted) path:

$ darling /somewhere/binary

or run it through Bash with a chroot-relative path:

$ darling shell echo "Hello world"
Hello world

Installing Software

You can install .pkg packages with the installer tool available inside shell. It is a somewhat limited cousin of OS X’s installer:

$ darling shell
Darling [~]$ installer -pkg mc-4.8.7-0.pkg -target /

If you have previously downloaded the Midnight Commander package from Rudix, you can now run mc to start MC for OS X.

You can uninstall and list packages with the uninstaller command.

Rudix Package Manager

For easier installation of common Unix utilities, install the Rudix Package Manager:

$ darling shell
Darling [~]$ curl -s | sudo python - install rudix

Then you can install Midnight Commander with just:

Darling [~]$ sudo rudix -i mc

Working with DMG Images

DMG images can be attached and deattached from inside darling shell with hdiutil. This is how you can install Xcode (which you can get from Apple’s Developer Area) along with its toolchain and SDKs (note that Xcode itself doesn’t run yet):

Darling [~]$ hdiutil attach Xcode_7.2.dmg
Darling [~]$ cp -r /Volumes/Xcode_7.2/ /Applications
Darling [~]$ export SDKROOT=/Applications/
Darling [~]$ echo 'void main() { puts("Hello world"); }' > helloworld.c
Darling [~]$ /Applications/ helloworld.c -o helloworld
Darling [~]$ ./helloworld
Hello world

Congratulations, you have just compiled and run your own Hello world application with Apple’s toolchain.


Darling contains a pair of tools to assist with diagnostics.


motool can be used to analyze contents of Mach-O executables. It is similar (but simpler than) readelf for ELF executables or Apple’s otool.


dyldd can be used to analyze what libraries/frameworks are required by given executable and how the dynamic linker will try to resolve them (similar to ldd on Linux).