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Apple Wiki

MacOS Kernel Panic History

A kernel panic is an equivalent of the black or blue screen of death for Mac OS X and macOS, which use a Unix-based kernel. The screen, translated in many different languages, simply tells the user that the Mac has restarted and is recovering from an error.


In early versions of Mac OS X, the details of the kernel panic were simply dumped to the screen in verbose mode.

Starting in Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), the background was darkened as a message appeared in a light grey rectangle to inform the user that the computer needed to be restarted. In 10.3 to 10.7.5, the message shown in a dark gray background.

Starting in Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), a kernel panic would cause the system to automatically restart and notify the user afterwards with a message on a gray background.

Starting in OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), the message after a kernel panic restart would be presented on a full black screen.



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