Due to the simplicity and similarities in commands of both Linux and Mac OS, users tend to view them as similar operating systems. Although they have similar kernels, both have completely different histories.
In 1985, Steve Jobs after leaving Apple worked on an operating system called NeXTSTEP OS. In order to make this OS, his team combined some codes from BSD codes and used them with Mach Kernel from Carnegie Mellon. Apple, later on, purchased the NeXTSTEP OS in 1997 as they failed to update their existing OS. Then Apple renamed the OS to Mac OS. Its kernel was called XNU or “X is Not Unix”. Mac OS is strictly used for Apple devices.
Linux Kernel, on the other hand, was developed by a student Linus Torvalds in 1991 for his x86 intel processor. He created an open-source operating system and posted it on Usenet. Now after 27 years, Linux is the most commonly used operating system. The most famous release of Linux is Android followed by Arch Linux and Debian Linux.
Here we will highlight the major differences between Linux and Mac OS:
1. File Structure
Both of these operating systems have similar command lines. Their differences come into view when you look at the architecture. So, Linux has a data tree on to which it mounts all the drives and files. However, Mac OS stores files in the form of directories, like Windows, that can be accessed as /Developer, /tmp, etc.
Linux uses the same format of storage for application settings as it does for file storage. The settings can be found in a hierarchy format without any centralized database in existence. However, Mac OS gives the application settings the extension .plist. This file is located in /Library/Preferences and has all the relevant application settings in text or binary format.
3. Switching Network Interfaces
In Linux, you can switch interfaces without the need to install any program. Simply use GNOME or similar applications. Whereas for Mac OS, interfaces can be managed by making changes in the system preferences.
Both Linux and Mac OS provide a console terminal on which the users can write and run commands. Moreover, the terminal also provides information to the users.
In a nutshell, Linux and Mac OS look alike at a glance. But when you dig in a little deeper, you start to understand the key differences that make them incompatible.