back to article Run Mac OS X on a PC

Want to run Mac OS X on a PC? Perhaps you don't want to pay the premium for Apple's hardware - or Apple doesn't make the kind of computer you need, such as a netbook. Because of its native roots in Motorola and PowerPC code, this has traditionally required instruction level emulation. Two things have changed. Apple based Mac OS …

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  1. Leigh Smith
    Pirate

    Got the t-shirt

    Tried it a few times on different hardware but never got more than 70% of it working. Like the author says you eventually get bored trying to get everything to work. Still it is fun tinkering like back in the good/bad old days. At least for a while anyway.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A top end hackintosh for less than £360?

    Very easy if you buy the correct hardware. Just visit the wiki, look at the compatibility list and start buying. I brought all the components below, picked the correct DVD download for my hardware, and it installed 1st time out the box with just a small tweak to get the sound card working.

    Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L

    Memory - OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL 4-4-4-15 PLATINUM

    Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66GHz 1333FSB Socket 775 4MB Cache Retail

    DVD - Optiarc AD-5200A-0B 20X DVD±RW/DL Int IDE Bare Black Drive

    Graphics - MSI 8600GTS Heatpipe Edition 256MB DVI HDTV PCI-E Graphics Card

    Hard Drive - Seagate ST3500320AS 500GB Hard Drive SATA II 7200rpm *32MB Cache*

    Monitor - LG W2242S 22" TFT Monitor 1680x1050 8000:1 300cd/m2 5ms

    £357.12 from ebuyer. Nearest Apple equivilent iMac is £1150

    This kit works out of the box, i know as I just built one.

  3. Mark Brew
    Pirate

    Erm, is this not piracy?

    Is this article not encouraging the yoof to download a hacked pirate version of Leopard?

    seems naughty!

    great trick though, i have a dual boot system with OS/X and it's slick :)

  4. Mike Hartley
    Jobs Horns

    /Waits for the take down notice

    but in the meantime will take copies of the pages here for "archival purposes"

    In all honesty (seriously!) I would be tempted with *buying* OS X if Apple made it available to PC users as I would quite happily play around with a dual-boot scenario... in the meantime I'll have to discover my masochistic tendencies once more and get down and dirty ;)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Only one reason to do this

    You like OS X and want a form factor Apple don't do (e.g. netbook).

  6. KenBW2
    Linux

    Obligatory "Just install Ubuntu comment"

    Bet I won't be the last

  7. Admiral Grace Hopper
    Boffin

    If you really want the Mac experience, then buy a Mac

    Forgive me, but well .... duh!

  8. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    So what we really want

    Is for this to run inside VMWare or VirtualPC.

    Any pointers?

  9. Peter Hewitt
    Gates Halo

    VMware

    Is it possible to run this in VMware or on Virtual PC?

    Tempting as it is, going back to XP from Vista Betas caused enough BIOS related headaches for me.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wacketywack don't talk Mac

    Two things - firstly, there's an implication in the sentence about EFI that it's an Apple specific thing, rather than an Intel standard (albeit one more commonly used in Itanium servers than desktop computers).

    Secondly, most x86 articles remind the end user that (even if using a Torrent to save on hacking things themselves) they should really have a purchased OS X disk (as this takes you out of the realms of copyright violation towards EULA violation vs personal rights). It is widely thought that Apple don't have a leg to stand on in terms of restricting personal use of purchased OS X disks, but certainly do for dubiously acquired ones.

    Not that I expect anyone is really going to do this as much more than an intellectual exercise, or that anyone THAT committed is really going to respect Apple IP, but as it stands, this is a bit like doing an article on 'How to download the new Madonna album for free' without putting in the bottom-covering 'copyright infringement is quite bad' clause.

    Of course, it's only bad when it's people infringing the GPL!

  11. Simon Breden
    Happy

    Here's one I prepared earlier...

    Nice write-up.

    I also had an attempt at this in June, and was a PITA to get working but was successful, finally.

    However, 400 euros for a 4GB RAM Hackintosh is not too bad. The main problem I had was finding an ethernet driver that worked reliably -- had to use the 'cpus=1' hack as a workaround for the concurrency problem related to the ethernet driver. At least my USB worked (for digital photo transfer). The machine was in fact my ZFS fileserver's backup machine, repurposed for the duration of the experiment.

    http://breden.org.uk/2008/05/18/mac-on-pc/ (brief description and hardware used / prices)

    http://breden.org.uk/2008/03/02/a-home-fileserver-using-zfs/ (if ZFS interests you)

  12. Reg Skelton
    Boffin

    Is there a legal way to do this?

    I really wanted to try out OS X, so I bought copy for £85 from Amazon, with the intention of installing on a separate hard disk, or a VM or something. But...it seems to be impossible to install unless you already have an OS X installation - i.e., it's not a boot disk. So the only option seems to be download some dodgy install of a earlier version of OS X and the upgrade to the retail - not something I'm going to do.

    Shame, because I'm not going to buy a Mac without playing extensively first...so I guess I stuck with Vista.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Isn't MacOS just Linux anyway

    with a barstewardised GUI ? No wonder you have to muck around so much. Just install Windows and you can run anything Apple does but better and more stable.

    Paris = MacOS. Easy on the eyes, nothing in the working department.

  14. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Interesting

    Interesting... although now I'm not surprised that Apple won't invite you to launch events.

    I think the AC above has a good point - making a PC from scratch with an Intel chip and equivalent hardware to a Mac probably makes the whole prospect easier and much more likely to work. I'm considering buying a Mac Pro at the moment, but now I'm tempted to match like-for-like and build a Mac Pro hackintosh for around £1000 rather than £2-3000.

    This also seems like a better solution than the hardware widget that you reviewed before - I forget what it was called.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Yes, this works

    I've done this on a Gigabyte mobo with an E6600 C2D CPU and it works a dream. The only thing which was unreliable for me was sleep mode, it wouldn't sleep so I had to shut down at the end of a day.

    But apart from that, I'd challenge anyone who knows OS X to use my PC and not know it wasn't a real Mac. The only downside was the work that was needed when updates came out regarding whether they'd work straight away or needed any tweaks.

    I went into the experiment with an open mind having never used OS X before. After about six months of using a hackintosh I bought a Mac Pro, the first and only time I've ever bought a pre-built computer. Fantastic piece of kit, I wish I'd done it earlier. I no longer have any Windows machines in the house.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "Everything except USB worked."

    So that'll be like using Windows 95 then?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    MacOS X != Linux

    No, AC, Mac OS X isn't Linux. Mac OS X is fully certified BSD Unix - just like Solaris. It's a fully Posix compliant OS (just like Linux, just unlike Windows) which means that porting from another Posix OS is seldom more complicated than rebuilding the source. In short, if you want a compatible, non-lock in, OS - get Posix. Any variety, Mac OS X included. Of course, only a coder would really understand the importance of easily portable source.

    If you want you want to be locked in a cabin on a sinking ship, Vista is the only way to go.

  18. Francis Vaughan

    @Isn't MacOS just Linux anyway

    "Isn't MacOS just Linux anyway"

    No. I really wonder where the heck these ideas come from. Darwin is Mach, not Linux. The Unix (Unix is NOT Linux) emulation comes from BSD.

    There seems to be this odd idea that Linus invented Unix, rather than hacking up a version of Minix (Andrew Tannenbaum's Mini-Unix). An entire generation seem to have no idea about the history, or the technology. Mach is not a Unix kernel. Without the Unix emulation layer it provides no specific Unix functionality. Standard Unix or Linux kernels do not provide Mach functionality either.

    Odd comment in the article about GUI design principles - that if there is only one option you don't provide a choice. The example has two choices - they are: 1. Install, 2. Go back. You need number 2 because, as had been described in great detail, there is a very good chance the hardware might not have been recognised, or you have not correctly partitioned the disk. So skipping this step because it found only one valid disk drive/partition simply means that it will install on whatever drive it finds, even if it wasn't the one you intended. Not smart at all.

  19. Matt Thornton
    Happy

    @Reg Skelton and ?legal way

    Yeh there is - buy a Mac. And I'm not being flippant, when I was considering making the switch a few years back I just bought a Mac Mini (£350 ish at the time) reckoning I could experiment with OSx and if I didn't like it just Linux it or similar.

    (Turns out I loved OSx and I've been a complete convert ever since.)

    I can understand people doing this sort of stuff, as an experiment more than anything else, and 10 years ago I might have done it myself, but I dunno, nowadays I'm less interested in hacking about with stuff, I just want my stuff to work... and you defo get that with Mac, so I don't mind paying slightly through the nose for it.

    (IYAM Apple has the right business model in only supporting approved hardware that they know will work properly, which is arguably the biggest problem Windows/Vista had - trying to support billions of different components, each requiring drivers etc. etc.)

  20. Charles Champness
    Pirate

    @ Mark Brew

    yeah it's piracy, but it's smartly done... the author points out how hard it is, and the crap results divert your attention to the easier Linux and Windows... or buying a Mac.

    a more fitting title to this article would be... "Why not to use Pirated OSX"

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    re: Isn't MacOS just Linux anyway

    It is always puzzling how many fools believe (and brainlessly repeat) a bunch nonsense if the nonsense in question is repeated often enough. NO, OSX is not Linux, never has been.

    OSX is a hybrid of Mach and BSD, with the NeXT API and Apple's Aqua GUI added. Mach is a microkernel originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University, BSD is a Unix derivative originally developed at the University of Berkeley, the NeXT API was originally developed by NeXT Inc, which was acquired by Apple in 1996.

    Linux on the other hand is a monolithic kernel, originally developed by Linux Torvalds of Finland. Linux based operating systems (distros) typically use the GNU user environment developed by the Free Software Foundation and either the KDE or the Gnome GUI.

    The only piece of software Apple could be accused of having borrowed/plagiarised/stolen (take your pick) from GNU is the gcc compiler. But then again GNU has borrowed/plagiarised/stolen the NeXT API (released as GNUstep), so the two might well be considered even when it comes to borrowing from each other.

  22. Chris

    Yes, you can install in VMware

    I've done it using the hacked disks that you would use to install on a PC. The only issue (that was unsolved as of a year ago) is that there is no VMware tools for it, thus, the mouse response sucks, there is no sound, and a few other annoyances. There may be an update now that VMware Fusion can succesfully and officially run OS X Server (and runs it very well).

  23. Dru Richman

    The value of Time

    I'm always amazed that the Do-It-Yourselfers spend enormous amounts of time in trying to circumvent certain manufacturers and build, in this case, a Hackintosh.

    Perhaps I'm just strange. My time has value! At my current billing rate to my clients (USD $87.50, €64.78, £50.03), if I were to spend, say, 15 hours assembling, building, installing a pirated copy of Mac OS X, testing, having the install blow up, re-installing Mac OS X, having the install blow up again, doing more research, re-installing Mac OS X, testing, etc., etc., etc, and then having a System that still doesn't work 100% - it'd be well worth my time to just purchase a Mac from the get-go. [A Mac can be had for less than £400, €513]

  24. doctorflam
    Stop

    'Hackintosh'

    I'm sure some people enjoy spending hours faffing about trying to get software to run. But I like to think that I have a life, therefore the whole arsing-about-with-hardware-and-drivers-and-configuration-and-worrying-about-updates-breaking-my-system thing is one of the main reasons I choose to use a Mac: I want to USE the computer to get some shit done, not waste time configuring and fixing it!

    The snazzy OpenGL shizzle isn't the only nice thing about owning a Mac, you know. I hate to regurgitate a line spewed from Apple's PR machine here, but it is true - "it just works"!

  25. Robb Dunphy
    Flame

    "It just works"?

    Then why do sites like macfixit exist?

  26. Jason Harvey
    Joke

    Mac: Crash Different

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7148748849652085555

    enjoy ;-)

  27. Dave Murray Silver badge
    Go

    @Dru + doctorflam

    Some people like to just use computers and some like to build, repair and generally fiddle with them. Just like some people like to drive cars and some people like to build, repair or restore them. To the later group spending hours making things work is an intellectual challenge and not an amazingly pointless waste of time and money unlike the hours you spend playing golf, watching football or whatever other mindless pursuit it is you consider "having a life".

  28. Semihere

    The easiest solution...

    If all you're looking to do is have a play around with OS X and don't want to fork out the price of a new computer (Apple's models aren't that dissimilar in price to their contemporaries), just buy a second hand Mac. You can pick up old Graphite G4 towers for around 50 quid (or less) on ebay with anything up to their maxed-out 1.5Gb of RAM and enough space (if you get hold of a Mac version of a PCI IDE bus card) for as many as 7 hard drives inside. I used to run one of these as my main server - fantastic bargain. They're PPC and only run at about 400MHz (equiv to about an 800MHz-1GHz P3), but for 50 notes you can't go wrong for messing about with it.

    If you spend a little bit more you could get one of the newer 'quicksilver' models (700Mhz upwards PPC) and get a bit more out of the experience.

    My sis is using an old 400MHz tower that I grabbed second hand to replace their dead PC and has no probs with it speedwise (she just does average browsing/mailing/office stuff/iTunes) - given enough RAM they're nearly as nippy as even the last of the G4 machines for most day to day tasks. But you might wanna look at a decent AGP ATI video card, b4ecause the original ATI Rage Pro 128 is only a 16Mb card and you need at least 32Mb for the Quartz Extreme stuff of later years.

    Anyway - that's a much easier option than banging your head against kext customisation ;)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    OS X in a VM

    I have succesfully run OS X in VMware since 10.3

    The install process is similar to the one mentioned in this article (quite annoying). The other option is to just download the already functioning VM in its entirety (saves you the messing around).

    That said, if you do purchase OS X, and install it in a VM you are probably within your legal rights, even if you violate the EULA.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VMWare

    @ Eddie Edward:

    I believe i have seen vmware installs on a certain bay of pirates - havent tested them though

  31. Wyrmhole
    Thumb Down

    Wow

    The author tries to make such a strong point against OS X on non-Apple hardware. And what's with the pseudo-advertisement ending? Here's my experience of installing 10.4 on a rather old P4 system:

    1. Create a partition for OS X (shrink existing partitions with PartitionMagic if necessary)

    2. Install OS X from DVD.

    3. Install a modified kext for sound.

    4. Enjoy OS X.

    My full-time OS X-using friends have similar experiences.

  32. Jacob Reid
    Jobs Horns

    Why would anyone want this?

    MAC OS is one of the biggest disadvantages of macs, along with their ugliness, overpriced hardware and marking you out as an apple fanboy.

    If you want to go 'hey look I'm not running Windows LOL', install Linux.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Mac:Crash Different

    Jason, you do know that the video is 10 years old talking about Mac OS 9?

    That's the Mac equivalent of Windows 98.

    Except, unlike Windows, OSX has absolutely no connection with earlier versions of the OS.

  34. J
    Pirate

    @The value of Time

    Good point, at least for people whose life's main purpose is money.

    I value knowledge higher than money though, so I would one day try this -- if I didn't think OSX is horrible. I did install Ubuntu on a friend's Mac laptop (don't remember which type of Mac exactly). Piece of cake, even wireless worked immediately, I didn't expect that...

  35. Paul
    IT Angle

    macs

    I own three macs, mini g4, Intel macbook and new iMac, varying ages but this sounds like fun might give it a try.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Audio driver

    Just because the audio doesn't work at first boot, doesn't automatically mean that a complete OSX re-install is required. My Biostar P35D2-A7 main board includes a Realtek ALC662 audio chip. In order to have working audio: required obtaining a sound codec from an Ubuntu 7.9 "Live CD".

    Then another program called "HDA Patcher" used that Linux audio codec to enable audio under OSX Leopard.

    All USB ports work fine. My ICH9 chipset does not include any AHCI bios option. The author should maybe have also mentioned that, for best results, you should probably choose ONLY an Intel CPU with SSE3 support.

    AMD CPU's require too much extra "baby sitting" to be very worthwhile. Also best to only use USB keyboard & mouse, since PS2 peripherals can be problematic.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or you could just get an EFI-X

    http://gizmodo.com/5049756/review-efix-dongle-perfectly-transforms-pc-to-mac

    www.tomshardware.com/reviews/efi-x-efix-leopard-usb,2021.html

    A $155 USB dongle that plugs into your motherboard and allows an install staright off a retail version of OS X.... rather simpler.

  38. Coalescence
    Thumb Up

    One reason

    There's only one reason why I'd install OSX instead of Ubuntu.

    Logic Studio!

    Funnily enough I got this installed last night on my laptop. Next step is to build a quad core with 8Gb of RAM. Mmm, tasty.

  39. Dustin Marquess
    Stop

    @ AC

    "No, AC, Mac OS X isn't Linux. Mac OS X is fully certified BSD Unix - just like Solaris."

    Actually, while Darwin & Solaris are both certified "UNIX"'s, Solaris hasn't been based on BSD since the old SunOS 4.x days. Solaris (eg, SunOS 5.x) is SysV-based.

  40. Stephen

    Quad core mac

    I have a macbook pro (which is forever going back for repairs to the optical drive, audio board and replacement of poor quality casing.).

    I also have an MSI Wind 'netbook' which is running kalyway updated to 10.5.4

    I most recently built a quad core desktop mac: http://www.esrun.co.uk/blog/quad-core-mac/

    I recommend downloading ideneb 10.5.5 rather than kalyway 10.5.2 because then you're already on the most recent updates!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    OSX, why?!

    I had a new 500GB hard drive arrive yesterday which left me with a free 160GB to play around with, I managed eventually to get Kalway 10.5.2 installed on it, no networking however and got stuck in the silly welcome loop.

    /sbin/fsck -fy (fy? fy2!)

    /sbin/mount -uw /

    touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

    passwd root

    reboot, and straight in, downloaded "drivers" for my network, got that up and running, downloaded Opera (kextload nForce.kext or something). I now have a fully functioning OSX operating system, and am using Vista.

    Seriously, what is the point of OSX? There is none! If you want a system to play the latest cutting edge games, you can a) get a PS3/360 or you get a Windows based PC, not a Mac. if you want a development system, you either use Linux or Windows with Visual Studio, if you want a fully functional sytem with lots of security features, you get Linux, if you want an OS that comes with a ton of software out of the box, you get Linux.

    Mac OSX isn't for gamers, OSX isn't for the security minded, it isnt even for office workers, its a fancy pile of junk basically. Sure I'll play with it now it is installed, only I have Farcry 2 arriving tomorrow, so can't play with it on that right? I'll also install Server 2008 for development work (gotta love Dreamspark)

    It kind of sits in its own niche market "OSX, for those that want to pay for form over function, an OS that does less, and over-priced hardware".

    Anon because Mac fanboys are worse than animal rights activists!

  42. Jeremy
    Joke

    And El Reg wonders...

    ...why it doesn't get invited to Apple events!

  43. Dave
    Stop

    POSIX?

    "It's a fully Posix compliant OS (just like Linux, just unlike Windows)"

    Um, you sure about that? Windows has actually been POSIX compliant for ages.

    No, I'm not joking.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @AC

    MacOSX Why?

    MacOSX is for people who want just a computer that works without hassle.

    Ask any media professional whether Final Cut is a "fancy pile of junk". By the way, from the height of your superior knowledge that allows you to dismiss MacOSX as a pile of junk, have you ever tried to have a look at the Cocoa APIs, like Core Image, Core Data, Core Animation? Have you ever had a look at the Quarz Compositor, the WM of MacOSX and made the comparison with X11, which is the only real pile of junk?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    POSIX compliance

    POSIX compliance, oh yeah, that's what I need. I've been laying awake at night, wondering what's missing from my life - and now I know.

    POSIX compliance

  46. Lord Zedd
    Jobs Halo

    Hackintrash

    This guide was mode for those too poor to afford a REAL mac. Losers!

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Re: two things have changed

    > Apple based Mac OS X on NeXT code, which could run on Intel.

    Circa 1992 a reliable source told me that Apple had Mac OS running on Intel.

    My source claimed there were two reasons why they didn't bring it to market: 1) to many variables in the hardware -- they couldn't possibly hope to qualify it on all the different PCs out there, and 2) they're a hardware company and they want(ed) their margin.

    Ironically in the same ecosystem Micro$oft managed to make billions while Apple settled for considerably less.

  48. David Kelly
    Thumb Down

    @AC re: "OSX Why"

    Wow, you installed a new OS (a hacked together version at that) and used it for one day and now you think that you know what it's all about? That really is pretty pathetic. Why don't you actually learn something about the OS before you make another lame judgement.

  49. Matt Black

    VMWare

    Make it run on VMWare 'hardware' without any expert knowledge required - then I will try it!

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Why Kalyway?

    I'd second a previous commenter's suggestion to install the iDeneb release. I got this from a torrent site a couple of weeks ago and installed it with none of the issues or bizarre workarounds detailed here - it worked straight away for me (fortunately, I already know my hardware inside out, so it was just a matter of selecting the correct hardware kexts). So far nothing's fazed it, and I'm using it daily.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Why would anybody ....

    ... Want to waste precious hours of their life doing this? Having an OS that doesn't support USB and freezes, requiring a reinstall(!!) when trying to do an update isn't my idea of a clever. Plus (actually more importantly) this is illegal (downloading and using a pirated version of a commercial product), which as someone who works in the software industry, I have a very big problem with (actual people write this stuff in order to make a living). It's things like this that make me think that DRM has a point and Microsoft actually have the right idea forcing online activation on people (and there's something I never thought I'd say)!

    Typing this on a mac mini using OS X Leopard, which was bought legally and installed by (a) popping DVD in the drive and (b) going away to get a coffee for half an hour and coming back to find everything working on hardware with which it's been tested to within an inch of it's life.

    And before anybody says anything, I've been putting together my own PCs for about as long as I can remember (but haven't bothered since being exposed to OS X. It's amazing how much a little user friendliness can do for you).

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @ Professor Denis "Mac" Smith

    Hmm... I see what you mean.. I mean, I guess I could:

    "look at the Cocoa APIs, like Core Image, Core Data, Core Animation? Have you ever had a look at the Quarz Compositor, the WM of MacOSX and made the comparison with X11, which is the only real pile of junk?"

    but you see, I don't have time for all that... I need an OS that "just works" ;o)

  54. Drak

    it comes down to how apps install (or dont install)

    The only thing that attracts me to Mac is there installationless apps, and the only thing bad about Ubuntu and most other Linux distros is the hacked way they install software with package managers. If someone ever comes up with a way to run apps on Linux like OSX does, then its bye bye Mac forever

  55. Stevie
    Happy

    Err...

    Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 20th October 2008 13:33 GMT<i>No, AC, Mac OS X isn't Linux. Mac OS X is fully certified BSD Unix - just like Solaris. </i>

    Hackcherly, Solaris isn't BSD. Never was.

    Solaris is SVR4 derived.

    Ported by those nice chaps at ICL.

    I think the authors of Unix textbooks would be a tad disapponted that people don't actually read the obligatory thirty page "History O Unix" chapter. One might conclude they only added that material to pad out an expensive text book.

  56. steve
    Happy

    instal off a real retail Leopard OSX disk

    If you use a boot 123 boot disk (google) you can install a real OSX system on a PC without using a hacked copy, that won't be destroyed by apple updates. You need relatively compatible hardware and an intel cpu

  57. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Old kernel

    Running a hackintosh is fine if you want to run a 3rd party compiled kernel that's way out of date compared with the official kernel.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    @Marc: Why would anybody...

    Re: your comments about all this being illegal etc, consider the following:

    1. Personally, I already owned a Mac Pro (top of the range Apple kit costing mucho $$$), and so I already had paid a lot of $$$ to Apple for the hardware and software, but I was curious to see it running on a cheap machine I built myself to see if it would really work.

    2. Don't you think that some people who try this will be tempted to buy a real Mac computer? If your answer is yes, then consider that Apple will have increased their sales -- so this could be seen as try before you buy. If your answer was no, then would they have bought a Mac anyway? If not then where is the loss?

    DRM has been tried and dropped by music companies -- caused too many interoperability problems, costs and headaches -- they made P2P easier and more user-friendly. Own goal.

    My thoughts about all this are that it (1) increases publicity about a great OS and user-friendly system and (2) if people try this they will probably want a real Mac to ensure that the OS keeps working as it should after updates etc. There will always be a minority of hardcore people smart enough to find a way to get things for free, but as long this remains a minority the system works.

    I think Apple is smart not to put activation/codes etc into the OS installation process.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    "University of Berkeley"

    ROTFLMAO!!!

    - Ah - WHAT state is that in???

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    @dave

    <quote>

    Windows has actually been POSIX compliant for ages.

    </quote>

    Really???

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POSIX#POSIX-oriented_operating_systems

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: re Why would anybody...

    Yep, I can see where you're coming from.

    As for the try as you buy though, it could also have the opposite effect of being so unstable (my reading of the article was that it wasn't exactly smooth sailing) to put people off macs for life. Then again, YMMV I suppose.

    Personally I'm too afraid of picking up malware from hacked iso images to ever give this a go. My concern re: piracy, etc. was more along the lines that I'm surprised the register is actually publishing details of the exact image name to download and advising people how to skip the registration, etc. I'd probably be a lot less vocal if there were at least some disclaimer or something in the article (having said that I accept that I may just have read too fast to notice it). As it is it seems a bit irresponsible...

  62. Neoc
    Thumb Down

    Promoting Piracy?

    So, let me get this straight...

    This isn't even a piece about how to shoe-horn a legal copy of OS-X on standard Intel hardware (legally dubious, but morally defendable). Nope, this is a piece on how to install a piece of *pirated* software. The author even admits this is pirated software.

    Damn, I hope you guys have good lawyers.

  63. Cristhian Mejia
    Thumb Up

    Good for the curious

    I used to run OS X86 like this since it was first released with the "deadmoo" image. I then did it with the 10.4.8 Intel DVD, and then the Leopard 10.5 Disc. And after some trials and errors I finally got it to perfectly work without having to use to many altered kexts; I used a total of 4. That gave me some good insight in to OS X which I haven't used before play around with it for about a year, then I made the switch to a real Mac by purchasing an iMac and I haven't looked back. My old OSx86 machine is still there with 10.5.4 in plastic in a box. I like the project very good if you want so high end hardware with OS X capabilities. But I got tired of the wires and opted for the all-in-one solution that the iMac is.

  64. Cristhian Mejia
    Thumb Up

    My Config

    My setup was:

    Intel Core2Duo 1.86Ghz

    Asrock Conroe945G-DVI

    Intel GMA950 w/fixed 64MB

    ALC888

    RTL Gigabit LAN (8118B I think)

    2x1GB 667mhz DDR2

    250GB WD 7200rpm HDD (SATA)

    Pioneer DVR-110 (shows as Superdrive on OS X)

    20in LCD

    Built for $250 pretty good since I paid over $1300+ for my 24in iMac.

    Everything works out of the box except the onboard GMA950 & the ALC888 audio. But those can be fixed with a kexts.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    At least with a home-built mac you know what is inside it ...

    I've never bought a Windows ready PC nor built one myself but have instead succumbed to the over-priced crappily built machines that Apple produce.

    My first machine a 2000 iMac (you know the coloured ones without the slot loading trays) was great for a while but suffered intense set backs from heat related issues. After using it for a few hours (in summer) it would freeze up and start throwing up random windows and eventually crash. My only way of getting it to start was to let it cool down (anywhere from 2-4 hours) and then start working again - not fun. To avoid these issues I used to have a little desk fan sitting directly above the machine which would have to be turned on all the time the machine was running - but if it wasn't on the right angle it would freeze up and cause said problems - all this because supposedly they could cool from convection - yeah right

    My next machine was an eMac (2004 model) great machine but the DVD drive was retarded by apple engineers to not burn dual layer discs and faster media. It also has had a nasty habit of being completely picky about what discs it will accept - sometimes it will accept DVDs sometimes not - but it loves CDs - go figure. Another thing is it has had an annoying whining sound that shows itself about every hour or so which has been there from day one - not good for audio recording :(.

    In line with this I also maintain around 90 macs for a college and have had interesting experiences with a wide range of different macs from iMac G5s (the first release with the dodgy capacitors - which Apple still won't replace - unless they're completely dead), PowerMac G5's with 19" Apple Monitors and less than stellar performance and stability from built in USB and firewire ports and the subtle yet annoying differences between the cheaper iBooks and more expensive PowerBooks.

    I actually bought a G4 PowerBook after working on the quite well designed iBooks for a year - what I found was the USB ports didn't power portable USB drives (you would have to plug it in to two USB ports or power it from mains) the problem is that on PowerBooks the USB ports are on opposite sides of the machine - yeah smart design my arse. The other major issue was battery life - the iBooks would last for 4-6 hours while the PowerBooks only 2-3 - what a rip - especially since PowerBooks would be more likely used in the field for production etc. The other issue was heat - the PowerBooks get so hot that unless it's the middle of winter you would never have the machine on your lap due to the excessive heat they would give off.

    Other issues I've found consistent with a lot of different macs old and new is the stability issues while trying to run two firewire devices off two separate ports. Alot of macs will either disconnect one of the devices or stop them both working until you restart the machine. This is completely unacceptable and a flaw that has been consistent through many models, Apple won't even admit that it is a problem - BAH!

    All this combined with problems with the new 2007+ iMacs with the cheap TN screens that Apple is denying is a problem to the problems with the Nvidia chips in the MacBook Pros to god knows whatever else is happening inside their so called well built and designed machines.

    Apple has persistently been able to hide these flaws by offering brand new, spectacular looking offerings to the masses every few months or so.

    I need not go into problems with software nor the many other issues loyal mac users have had to endure - but I say this and I say this loud...

    THE NEXT OS X SYSTEM I INSTALL (FOR PERSONAL USE) WILL BE ON A BOX I'VE BUILT MYSELF!

    I don't care if it's a fugly hacked together piece of kit - it will work, if it breaks I will fix it, the only thing I will rely on Apple wise is their OS but hey if something better comes along then I'll go for it instead.

    Apple has progressively become more belligerent towards its criticizers and tries to slap a NDA on anyone who comes even close to proving them wrong.

    How long will people take this shit for?

    I have long been a faithful Apple user and supporter but no more - they can literally suck my balls!

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    whats the difference ?

    Between OS/X and linux ? Linux is for heterosexuals.

    Actually, the GUI in OS/X is polished, uniform, pretty and functional. The linux GUI is perhaps functional.

    The real difference is that software publishers are so afraid of being pirated they refuse to produce linux versions. If they do, 30 sec. after they are released, they are everywhere. Zero sales potential. So there are no linux versions of photshop, autocad, ....

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @Dru Richman

    "The value of Time

    Perhaps I'm just strange. My time has value! At my current billing rate to my clients (USD $87.50, €64.78, £50.03)"

    Some people do this sort of thing for fun you know, I think it counted as a hobby. I guess at night you don't watch TV as when you break the costs down it's too expensive, it's prop cheaper to pay someone else to watch it for you.

  68. Luke Speer

    IIRC

    Duh Windows Black.

  69. David Kelly

    @AC: re home built

    "I've never bought a Windows ready PC nor built one myself but have instead succumbed to the over-priced crappily built machines that Apple produce."

    So how do you know Apple machines are "crappily" built compared to, say, Dell or Gateway? Yes, Apple machines have their fair share of troubles (all machines do) but relatively speaking they tend to be much better built than other brands (IME).

    "My next machine was an eMac (2004 model) great machine but the DVD drive was retarded by apple engineers to not burn dual layer discs and faster media"

    You do know that you can flash the firmware on these drives right? Apple makes them picky about disks and run slower partly to make them more reliable (less support calls) and partly to try and "encourage" you to buy media from them. I don't condone that practise and generally flash the drive of any new Apple machine I buy.

    As far as building something yourself goes, for me the time spent is not worth the savings. (No, I don't watch TV). I'd be keen to get a pre-built quality machine and use the EFI-X solution though. If anyone knows a machine which has all the right compatible hardware please post a link on here.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just get a PC

    Mac's crash & burn just as well as XP - only you pay a lot more for the privilege.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    iLife

    There are a couple of points missing from this, an otherwise standard Mac vs PC thread.

    The first, is that being a Mac user, I don't have to think about spyware, adware, malware or viruses. The anti-spy, ad, mal etc. ware is not installed on my machine. I don't have to worry that it's getting in the way of things, nor do I think about updates, responding to potential threats and all that related malarky. It is simply not an issue in our household. In 8 years of Mac use I have yet to have a significant problem operationally, let alone one that could attributed to any kind of attack.

    Second, no one has mentioned iLife, the creative productivity suite that comes free with every Mac. Yes, I'm aware there are music libraries, video editors, photo organisers and web page makers out there, for free, for PCs. Do these integrate? Do they allow media sharing? I don't mean 'File Open..' either - I mean media browsing within the app. Is there, specifically, an app that does what iDVD does? You know, iDVD - the underrated i-app that allows you to author professional looking DVD front ends for your home movies. I'd really like to know.

    Of course, the Vast majority do not need this out-of the-box functionality. I do.

  72. andy gibson
    Coat

    The Mac

    is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Remind me again...

    why bundling Windows Media Player (for instance) with Windows was an abuse of antitrust legislation, but bundling iDVD (for instance) with OSX is what makes the Mac wonderful?

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Yeah baby

    Been running my Hackintosh for 6 months now, purpose built the rig for the task = less than 1/2 cost of a Mac for same power.

    Crazy talk.

  75. Pooper Scooper
    Thumb Down

    @AC re pirating

    "The real difference is that software publishers are so afraid of being pirated they refuse to produce linux versions. If they do, 30 sec. after they are released, they are everywhere. Zero sales potential. So there are no linux versions of photshop, autocad, ...."

    Right, because no one pirates them on Windows or Mac.

  76. Pooper Scooper
    Unhappy

    @AC re bundling

    "why bundling Windows Media Player (for instance) with Windows was an abuse of antitrust legislation, but bundling iDVD (for instance) with OSX is what makes the Mac wonderful?"

    Dunno, never figured this out. They bundle iTunes, iDVD, iPhoto, Safari, QuickTime, Garage Band, Mail, on and on and on. And every time I reboot they revert all of these to be the default applications (some bug with FileVault that Apple refuses to admit).

  77. Kristian Walsh
    Thumb Down

    Next week on the reg...

    "Installing a cracked copy of Photoshop"

    "Stealing DVDs for fun and profit"

    "Warez: Cutting Procurement costs for IT Organisations"

    Seriously, there are ways to run OS X on generic hardware that are easier and don't involve stealing the software. Perhaps you could replace this article with one that details those?

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @David Kelly

    So how do you know Apple machines are "crappily" built compared to, say, Dell or Gateway?

    Well from a hell of a lot of hands on experience, don't get me wrong they used to be top notch machines 8-10 years ago (for example - the G4 quicksilvers are amazing machines) but gradually over the last 6-7 years the quality of internal components has gotten worse and worse. The capacitor problems with the first generation G5 iMacs was a complete fuck up on their behalf, all because they wanted to save a few cents per machine.

    The problem is that Apple touts their machines as well designed and well built pieces of kit, the price they charge suggests this too. Unfortunately they have started to use cheaper components to try and maximize profits which has come at a cost - the cost of true quality.

    I wouldn't have made the comment unless it was true - although the same issues affect with other computer manufacturers too. The difference is that other computer manufacturers give you what you pay for - Apple think that people will pay through the nose just because it has an Apple logo on it - not for what is inside.

    You do know that you can flash the firmware on these drives right?

    Yes and I did, although it still didn't behave in the way it should. Also the other problems I was talking about seemed to slowly creep up a few months after the flash. In this situation I was stuck with a drive that was void of warranty because of the flash and hell I wouldn't have had to flash the thing if Apple had left it alone in the first place. Why stop a drive doing what it was initially manufactured to do?

    As for a pre-built machine go to Psystar, although they are in talks with Apple to cease their production they are still selling the machines online.

    The problem overall is somewhere along the line Apple began thinking more of profit than of quality, maybe they were blinded by the sales of iPods (despite their initial hardware failings - scratches/batteries etc) and thought that they could extend that approach to their entire line - hell if they are that arrogant what's going to happen next, what is the next iProduct to suffer?

  79. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    @Professor Denis "Mac" Smith, Re: X11

    "... the WM of MacOSX and made the comparison with X11, which is the only real pile of junk?"

    Since X11 isn't a window manager, that would be a completely pointless comparison. (Some professors know enough to do their research before they make contentious claims.)

    X11 is a windowing-system protocol, and various implementations of that protocol (the "device-independent X" layer) plus support for the hardware functions it uses (the "device-dependent X" layer). Window managers run on top of X11. They are not part of it. There are many of them, with various appearances and affordances - many of which are unavailable on the OSX window manager.

    The only WM I ever really cared for - and I've used many of them - was uwm on X11R4, because it was the only sensible one. The rest are mostly baubles for infants coupled to time-wasting inconveniences designed to relieve the lazy of the need to learn how to use their tools.

  80. Ivan Headache

    @AC

    "The capacitor problems with the first generation G5 iMacs was a complete fuck up on their behalf, all because they wanted to save a few cents per machine."

    Slight error there. It wasn't just the G5 imacs, it was the Airport BS and the G4 eMac as well. However, Apple didn't save the pennies - the company that manufactured the boards saved a few pennies. They are the ones who told Apple they could build the unit for a given price because they knew they a had a source of cheap capacitors. Now they are counting the cost because they didn't know why those capacitors were cheaper and they (and many other manufacturing companies) put the same capacitors into products that didn't carry the Apple name.

    As for your issue with the flashed optical drives - I've not experienced it on any that I've done.

    And finally - your general rant about build quality "The problem is that Apple touts their machines as well designed and well built pieces of kit, the price they charge suggests this too"

    Have you opened up a mac Pro? If you can put your hand on your heart and say that it is not a well built piece of kit, I wonder what you would class as well built.

  81. Nicholas Krijger
    Thumb Up

    Perfect

    Wow

    I installed OS X onto a spare 20GB hard disc and it worked properly the first try.

    My spec is:

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA P35-DS3R

    Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 8400 GS 256MB

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E4600

    Memory: 2GB

    works perfectly except for microphone.

  82. kain preacher

    @AC

    "The capacitor problems with the first generation G5 iMacs was a complete fuck up on their behalf, all because they wanted to save a few cents per machine."

    Talk to Dell. Almost every dell board I've replaced in the last year were do to bad caps.

  83. Mick F
    Alien

    MacTards

    "The first, is that being a Mac user, I don't have to think about spyware, adware, malware or viruses."

    I love these head in sand comments. I don't think Mac owners know how close they are to the first real OS X virus, when it hits it will hurt - big time. The more people moving to Mac's with this "no-one can hurt me" attitude, the more virus writers will target the OS.

  84. Jason Bloomberg
    Paris Hilton

    Why ?

    Quite simply because I'd like to try before buying ( hence Paris ).

    The pain doesn't seem to be worth the gain for me though so until someone is willing to lend me some legitimate Mac hardware for free I guess I'll be sticking with what I have.

    PS : Doesn't a failure to say "freetard" in the article go against El Reg editorial policy ?

  85. Ivan Headache

    @Mick F

    "I love these head in sand comments. I don't think Mac owners know how close they are to the first real OS X virus, when it hits it will hurt - big time. The more people moving to Mac's with this "no-one can hurt me" attitude, the more virus writers will target the OS"

    Well Mick, they've been saying that for an awful long time now. Yes there's been some proof of concepts but....

    As for me - I'm just going to clean pounds I've saved out of my sand hole.

  86. V
    Thumb Up

    @Steve

    [/quote] If you use a boot 123 boot disk (google) you can install a real OSX system on a PC without using a hacked copy, that won't be destroyed by apple updates. You need relatively compatible hardware and an intel cpu [/quote]

    You mean Boot 132. Have a look at insanelymac for lots of info on how to install a purchased copy of OSX on generic PC hardware.

    There is also a good noob guide here: http://menoob.com/2008/09/04/hackintosh-install-a-mac-leopard-os-x-retail-dvd-on-a-pc/

  87. Jeff
    Alien

    Re: The value of Time

    "I'm always amazed that the Do-It-Yourselfers spend enormous amounts of time in trying to circumvent certain manufacturers and build, in this case, a Hackintosh.

    Perhaps I'm just strange. My time has value! At my current billing rate to my clients (USD $87.50, €64.78, £50.03), if I were to spend, say, 15 hours assembling, building, installing a pirated copy of Mac OS X, testing, having the install blow up, re-installing Mac OS X, having the install blow up again, doing more research, re-installing Mac OS X, testing, etc., etc., etc, and then having a System that still doesn't work 100% - it'd be well worth my time to just purchase a Mac from the get-go. [A Mac can be had for less than £400, €513]"

    Strange indeed you may be, as not everyone's time is worth £50.03 per hour. Unfortunately. :)

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