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I'm looking to install a different unix on my workstation to acquire some perspective on GNU/Linux and out of curiosity. I have narrowed my options down to these two. The reason for considering PureDarwin is because I have very little experience with Apple's products.

So my question is will installing and using PureDarwin give me a closer understanding of OSX than would running FreeBSD? What I have in mind are day to day routines like adding users, installing software and configuring various aspects of the underlying OS. I know that the GUI of OSX would not be available, but that is not a concern.

As a secondary, less important question, can I buy OS X in the apple store and run it in a virtual machine or does that violate their EULA?

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By "installing Darwin", you mean installing OS X? Note that installing OS X is only allowed on Apple hardware – and, in the case of OS X Mountain Lion, as a virtual machine running on Apple hardware. – slhck Nov 7 '12 at 9:36
No. That was a secondary question. I meant the open source, freely available PureDarwin. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Nov 7 '12 at 16:16

The distinction is that they're completely different operating systems starting from the most of admin tools, up to the different binary formats and driver models. See: That's describes a kernel part, and userspace is having whatever utilities Apple wished to include: self-written; or coming from GNU, some BSD, or other source. Integrating some BSD components (mostly invisible, with which user or even a developer of any kind will most likely never deal) in OS X doesn't make it automatically common with FreeBSD.

Installing Darwin will give you a closer understanding of Darwin base of OS X, and that's all. Listing day-to-day routines in an answer will make it enormously huge and also take a lot of any's time. Please consult yourself using Google or part on administration via CLI of any of many available OS X administration books. But note that achieved skills will don't get you closer to OS X, as most of configuration of it is preferred to be done via GUI, even on the servers.

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