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DeveloperJeff Robbin, Thomas E. Saulpaugh, Bill M. Bruffey, Russell T. Williams
Working stateDiscontinued
Source modelClosed-source
Initial release1994; 29 years ago (1994)
Final releasePatent filing / 1996 (1996)
Marketing targetPersonal computers
Available inEnglish
Kernel typeMicrokernel
user interface
Preceded byMach
Succeeded byXNU

NuKernel is a microkernel which was developed at Apple Computer during the early 1990s. Written from scratch and designed using concepts from the Mach 3.0 microkernel, with extensive additions for soft real-time scheduling to improve multimedia performance, it was the basis for the Copland operating system. Only one NuKernel version was released, with a Copland alpha release. Development ended in 1996 with the cancellation of Copland.

The External Reference Specification (ERS) for NuKernel is contained in its entirety in its patent.[1]

The one-time technical lead for NuKernel, Jeff Robbin, was one of the leaders of iTunes and the iPod.

Apple's NuKernel is not the microkernel in BeOS, nukernel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ US patent 5590334, Saulpaugh, Thomas E.; Bruffey, Bill M. & Williams, Russell T., "Object oriented message passing system and method", published 1996-12-31, issued 1996-12-31, assigned to Apple Computer