curl's first twenty years on the mac

daniel.haxx.se
5 min read
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Article URL: https://daniel.haxx.se/blog/2021/09/25/curls-first-twenty-years-on-the-mac/ Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28648977 Points: 1 # Comments: 0
September 25, 2001 is the official release date for Mac OS X 10.1. Exactly twenty years ago today.

Mac OS X 10.1

This was the first macOS release from Apple that bundled curl. It was a complete surprise to me as well when I realized this had happened. Nobody had told me about it ahead of time. I don't even recall anymore how I figured this out, as I'm not a mac user and I've never had any direct contact with the peeps at Apple Inc who were and are responsible for shipping curl on that platform. Not before then and not after that either.

The general consensus at the time seemed to be that Apple replaced Wget with curl due to licensing reasons as Wget had been included in their previous OS X release. Wget is licensed under GPL and curl comes under an MIT-like license. I'm not sure if they shipped libcurl too already at that point.

Various Apple products have been using libcurl over the years on several of their operating systems.

We ship source, they build and ship binaries

Apple downloaded our source code tarball, built curl from it and shipped it. (They also made the exact code they used available.) If I remember this correctly, they built curl against OpenSSL and shipped a version of that as well in the beginning.

In later macOS releases (you know they later changed the name of their OS from being Mac OS X to macOS), they've switched curl to use different TLS backends over time. At one point they converted over to using Secure Transport (their own native TLS library) only to somewhat later switch again and then to libressl – which is what the current most recent macOS version uses for curl's default TLS backend.

curl 7.7.2

The original cURL logo

The original curl version they bundled in that first release had been released by us in April earlier that same year. It was our 55th curl release but curl was only a little over three years old at the time. It…
Daniel Stenberg, Michael Litwak, Willy Tarreau
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