Daniel Eran Dilger at Roughly Drafted published a piece over the weekend claiming that “the iPod is running Mac OS X — with a Mach kernel and a Unix userland — and has been for years”. The story was picked up by Slashdot earlier today, originally with the title “iPods Run OS X and Always Have”.
Dilger’s evidence for this claim is based on this April 2004 article in MacTech about a supposed method of developing QuickTime-based applications for iPods, using a programming language called “SNOJOB”, derived from SNOBOL. This MacTech article was a joke, an unfunny April Fool’s hoax. Current iPods do not run OS X, or anything even vaguely resembling it. There is no programming language called SNOJOB. There is no secret “laf” option for the
ls command-line tool that will reveal a “hidden” mach kernel on iPod file systems.1
There are ‘-l’, ‘-a’, and ‘-f’ options for
ls, but using them won’t reveal anything that looks like a Darwin-ish OS hidden on an iPod. ↩