Mac OS X and iOS Internals
To the Apple's Core
By Jonathan Levin
Publisher: Wiley / Wrox
Final Release Date: October 2012
Pages: 864

Peeling Apple's Operating Systems

System-level developers, kernel hackers, and intrigued Apple-lytes, take heed: This book lets you explore the nooks and crannies of Mac OS X and iOS, delving into the architecture of both systems, and picking up where the frameworks (and documentation) leave off. It offers clear, detailed explanation of the inner workings of Apple's systems, including proprietary APIs, most of which are documented for the first time.

As you traverse the architecture, moving from user to kernel mode, each layer and component is unraveled with annotated code samples and hands-on experiments, comparing and contrasting its implementation in both OSes. Topics include:

  • The boot process: Mac's EFI, iOS's iBoot, and kernel startup
  • Processes, threads, and virtual memory management
  • Debugging and profiling, using DTrace, ptrace, and hidden system calls
  • The system level APIs: POSIX calls, Mach traps, and OS X/iOS proprietary
  • File system architecture, including VFS and HFS+
  • Network architecture: from sockets to interfaces, and network drivers
  • Kernel extensions, drivers, and a discussion of I/O Kit architecture
  • Security features, Mandatory Access Control, and iOS jail

The companion web site ( includes sample programs, freely downloadable tools, updated references, and bonus additions.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Good update to general coverage of OS X

By Dave

from San Francisco, CA


  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

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    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Mac OS X and iOS Internals:

    While it doesn't replace Mac OS X Internals by Amit Singh, this book is excellent for an updated general understanding of OS X and iOS from a systems perspective. The companion website also has excellent links and commandline tools.

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