Getting Your Feet Wet With Hackintosh/Printable version

Getting Your Feet Wet With Hackintosh

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A Grey Area, Legally Speaking



While I attempt to inform you and all other readers about the legality of installing Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware in a Hackintosh setup, I am not responsible nor held liable for any sort of monetary, emotional, etc. loss that you may suffer as a result of you following this book or your attempt to follow this book. In addition, I am not liable for any criminal or civil charges incurred against anyone or party as a result of reading, following, or attempting to follow this book. The information in this book can be publicly searched and located on the Internet through a search engine, and is only amassed here for readers' convenience. The legality of building or using a Hackintosh may vary by your country of residence, so it is strongly recommended that you seek local guidance over this topic if you have qualms about the issue before you continue any further.

How It All Began


The Hackintosh (or "OSx86", as it is now affectionately referred to) movement first began in 2005, when Apple made the transition from the PowerPC architecture to Intel's x86 architecture. With that, somebody asked the trivial question "Can we port it over to non-Apple hardware?" Naturally, Apple had installed many checks and "gimmicks" throughout the system to ensure that this didn't happen, but with enough time, workarounds were found. Mac OS Leopard (the first release after Apple's transition) very quickly became a Hackintosh favorite, with higher end computers moving on to Snow Leopard, Lion, and now Mountain Lion and at the time of writing, even 10.9, Apple's OS X "Mavericks" developer preview.

Several well-known Hackintosh lawsuits have gone down in history, the best known one probably being Psystar vs. Apple. In a nutshell, Psystar was convicted of encouraging its users to attempt the OSx86 hack, in some cases even distributing the operating system to customers. Eventually, Apple filed a lawsuit against Psystar, saying that Psystar's actions were a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) under US law. Psystar was eventually banned from distributing the operating system.

Fortunately for most of us, installing a Hackintosh for the average Joe is just a violation of Apple's EULA (End User License Agreement) -- which basically means that you will not be eligible for servicing or customer support at an Apple store -- you're on your own. Psystar was most likely penalized for illegally distributing Apple's operating system, which was a legitimate violation of the DMCA. As long as you obtain your copy of Mac OS X through legal and legitimate methods (and there are some rather sketchy ones out there), you should be in the clear. However, you should still be weary that OSx86 is a grey area in terms of legality and ethics.

Also a note tools by are better left alone as they aree to simple and add stuff that has been added without the owners consent/recognizing the owner.

Using Pre-built Models

What qualifies as "pre-built model"?


When we speak of pre-built models here, we mean that we are:

  • purchasing a desktop or laptop computer and other components and using it in a Hackintosh build
  • possibly using soft-fixes (most builds require soft fixes anyways)

Where can we find lists of pre-built models?


For finding pre-built model compatibility, your best resource is probably the OSx86 Wiki, with their Hardware Compatibility section. It is recommended that you look into the most stable version of Mac OS X that has been released (i.e. the latest version that is not a developer preview), because updating your software after you choose your hardware and install everything can result in boot errors, and possibly having to start all over again. If you don't find anything you want on the OSx86 wiki, you can always check TonyMacx86, which has an extensive forums family. If you still can't find what you're looking for, perhaps a guide is available for your desired hardware somewhere on the Internet, at which point you should finally resort to a search engine.

Using Known Working Configurations

If you want to live on the wild side of things, you can build your own computer based on other Hackintoshers' prior experience. Many people post their working builds online for other people to use. If you want a rather customizable yet stable setup, using known-working builds are your best option.

Where can we find known working configurations?


Again, we can look into InsanelyMac for help. While it's easy to assume that any Intel PC made in the last few years should work, this isn't necessarily the case, and there are some things which may require tweaking, or in some cases, do not work at all.

This article is not yet completed!