It's been a while since our last post (4 years!) but we're finally back with another progress report. The past few years have been an exciting time for Darling with lots of changes happening in the lower levels, numerous bugs getting fixed, and many stubs being added. All these changes have been made with one goal in mind: a better experience for users. We have plans for further improvements, which we hope will make easier to use Darling and improve compatibility.
We are very excited to say that in Q2 2019 (April 1 to June 30) we saw more community involvement than ever before. Many pull requests were submitted that spanned from bug fixes for our low level assembly to higher level modules such as the AppKit framework. Thanks to everyone for your contributions and we hope for this level of engagement to continue.
Darling made good progress in the first quarter of 2019. A total of 13 issues were closed from January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2019. The work continues for GUI app support. The thing holding us back the most was a lack of support for running a debugger (lldb) in Darling. Last summer, Luboš took care of this complicated task which involved delving into Darling's multithreading and Mach APIs in #304 and was capped off with loading Mach-O binaries in the kernel with #364.
In the meantime, Sergey has been putting a lot of work into getting our new Cocoa stack to work and has produced exciting results. The last thing preventing us from announcing and shipping basic GUI application support is trouble around loading Linux's native OpenGL drivers and other files. Loading native Linux things doesn't reliably work with our current mechanism for filesystem virtualization, which is based on mount namespaces and chrooting.
Luboš is working on a replacement that we have dubbed "vchroot" (virtual chroot) that will be a one-time fix for this issue, but progress has been stalled due to time constraints. We would also like to welcome Jack Howell as the newest member of the project! Below are a few accomplishments which we would like to highlight.
(A translation of this post into Russian is available at https://habr.com/post/417507/)
The goal of the Darling Project is to make it possible to run macOS apps under Linux, and being able to load Mach-O binaries is a crucial step in achieving that.
Darling has been under development for almost five years now, which invites the questions — what has happened over the past years, are we getting anywhere and when will we get there.