Is there any OS that can run .app files except for macOS? For Example, an application like Xcode run on another OS? I've Heard about Something called Darwin, but I am not completely sure about it.

  • 'open' in what way? You can right click > Show Package Contents on any app if you want to see what's inside it. – Tetsujin Oct 5 '18 at 17:12
  • @Tetsujin No, I mean Run. Fixing that... – Holyprogrammer Oct 5 '18 at 17:13

Is there an alternative to macOS that runs macOS .app files?

On a practical, useful and real level? Utterly no. There is no macOS equivalent of something like the Windows application runner Wine to run GUI applications like Xcode.

That said there is a hobby project called Darling that attempt to be a macOS version of Wine but as the homepage for that project states:

At this point, does not yet run macOS application with a GUI.

And also states on their project status page:

Developers may find Darling interesting as a playground to work on something extraordinary. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but not so much to have usable results.

Which means that tool is—no disrespect—effectively useless past tinkering since there are few to no macOS command line applications anyone really wants to run on a a non macOS system. If anything, Linux systems have a far richer world of more useful and well maintained CLI tools when compared to macOS.

So for all intents and purposes, currently macOS applications with a GUI can only run on macOS.

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    It's hard enough trying to run a modern app on a version of OS X from 5 years ago, let alone one of its 'ancestor' OSes like Darwin or BSD, which diverged 15 years ago. – Tetsujin Oct 5 '18 at 17:34
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    No. The answer already says that. – Tetsujin Oct 5 '18 at 18:39
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    Not entirely true. Check this: darlinghq.org. It's not quite at the point that Wine is, but it's more than able to run basic CLI applications from MacOS on Linux. – Austin Hemmelgarn Oct 5 '18 at 18:47
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    Also, Darwin is not an 'ancestor' to macOS, it's updated concurrently with it, and it will actually run some macOS apps just fine. It's also not something you should be running yourself unless you're really interested in figuring out how to build the userspace for an OS from the ground up. – Austin Hemmelgarn Oct 5 '18 at 18:48
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    @JakeGould Yeah, It's been around fro a few years now but hasn't made much visible progress since I started watching it. It should in theory be easier to get macOS stuff running on other UNIX systems than it is to get Windows stuff running there, it's just that not enough people with the background to be able to make it happen are interested in doing it. – Austin Hemmelgarn Oct 5 '18 at 19:10

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