Mac on PC ?

I’d heard of ‘Hackintosh’ and various attempts people have made to build their own computer to run Mac OS X, but I wondered if Mac OS X would run on a new computer I had just built — surely not, but I decided to find out.

I have an Apple Mac Pro running OS X already and so have a license, so this would simply be an experiment to satisfy my curiosity.

After a little searching, I found some interesting links, especially this one.

Obviously, if you don’t have a Mac OS X license you shouldn’t try this out, and even if you do have a license, it could be that the EULA forbids running the operating system on non-Apple hardware, although one wonders about the legality of these EULA’s.

This info helped me out, and helped to get a successfully working installation and boot:

  1. Seek kalyway 10.5.2 torrent
  2. Burn it to a DVD
  3. If you have one IDE connector on the motherboard then set HD and DVD to ‘Cable Select’ (CS). Put the DVD reader on the end furthest from the motherboard so it appears as master, and then the HD appears as slave
  4. If you have two IDE cables, set HD and DVD as ‘master’ on separate IDE cables
  5. After the DVD boots press F8, and you may have to enter “-x” to boot installer in safe mode
  6. During the install process, there is an opportunity to customise the installation options for your particular hardware
  7. If you have a Marvell 88E1116 ethernet device, part of the MCP 55 chipset go here
  8. To get the ethernet driver to work reliably you may need to boot Mac OS X with the command line option ‘cpus=1′ if you get freezes / panics as the driver is not thread-safe

Other possibly useful links:

  1. 10.5.2 install guide
  2. http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
  3. 88E1116 ethernet driver
  4. 88E1116 ethernet driver not threadsafe so boot with option ‘cpus=1′
  5. Installing OSX86 Part 1 – iATKOS v Kalyway
  6. Install OS X on Your Hackintosh PC, No Hacking Required
  7. Build a Hackintosh Mac for Under $800

So this experiment proves that OS X can run on standard PC hardware with an Intel or AMD processor, although using some slightly modified drivers.

Interestingly, there is a company in Miami, Florida selling hardware that will run OS X using the shrink wrapped version of OS X.

The company is called Psystar Inc and their website is here.

They offer two models of PC for $399 and $999, and if you buy one, you can choose which OS to buy with it, including Mac OS X.

I wonder how Apple feels about Psystar selling hardware capable of running Mac OS X, especially as it is cheaper than a Mac for the power and options that you get for your money.

Build a Hackintosh for around 400 dollars / euros

Here is the hardware I used for this experiment and the costs in US dollars and Euros, based on prices at June 3rd 2008:



Update 2009-06-07: Boot-132 Looks like it should be a good improvement on what I tried above last year — see here.

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