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Everything That's Wrong with Hackintosh (martinhering.me)
57 points by mpweiher on Dec 28, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 80 comments

TL;DR: a Hackintosh isn't good for his use case. He's actually one of the few remaining categories that Apple is specifically targeting.

Item one: He tried to use an AMD video card. That's mistake #1 right there. In spite of AMD being the default OS X graphics, it's a royal pain to make an off the shelf card work in a hackintosh, while nvidia just works. Check the 'why not AMD cards' thread on tonymac...

Item two: he seems to want the advanced graphics capabilities that are still a good reason to buy a genuine mac in the first place. Better to buy a real Mac in this case.

Item three: he hasn't hand built a PC in 20 years. And since he's doing video work, he's probably not very technical either. If you're familiar with messing with a unix-like operating system at a lower level, it's fairly easy to fix all those little problems.

Now if you're a programmer doing native code, I'd still recommend doing a hackintosh; Apple has no hardware for you, so you might as well roll your own. For desktops, that is. Also get an apple made macbook pro for portability. Maybe the one without the emoji keyboard though.

> Now if you're a programmer doing native code, I'd still recommend doing a hackintosh; Apple has no hardware for you, so you might as well roll your own. For desktops, that is. Also get an apple made macbook pro for portability. Maybe the one without the emoji keyboard though.

There's one more use case that infuriates me: CI. Are we supposed to buy outdated and underpowered Mac Minis, outdated and overpriced Mac Pros, stuff clamshell'd MBPs into racks, or horizontally slide in iMac Pros even?

The fact that we collectively have to hack hypervisors to merely flick a flag and be able to operate a snapshottable macOS on server-class, rackable hardware at non-trivial scales is just beyond ridiculous. That license requirement is inane.

You can buy 1u Mac mini server racks explicitly for this purpose. But yes, the specs of the mini are a joke.

The TLDR is it takes a lot of time and effort to get it running. I've spent a long time getting OSX to work on a laptop and at various times in virtual machines.

It's a lot of time and effort and takes a certain masochism.

> Now if you're a programmer doing native code, I'd still recommend doing a hackintosh; Apple has no hardware for you, so you might as well roll your own. For desktops, that is.

What's wrong with the higher-end iMacs? (My nitpicks are no dealbreakers: Glossy screen, height is not easily adjustable, I've heard of thermal issues.) The iMac always seemed like the only line of Apple computers where updates are both frequent and well-received.

Thermal issues, they're not designed for 100% CPU usage for long periods. They may throttle and not catch fire, but they're also noisy at 100% CPU because they have a laptop cooling system. Please don't tell me about the redesigned cooling system on the new iMac Pro unless it's been proven to remain silent while, for example, building Qt from source.

Lack of storage. For my use case at least, which involves a lot of VMs and large source trees. Please don't suggest external storage boxes.

Shit video card for taking gaming breaks ;) Or the monitor is too big for the video card, I'm not sure. Please don't suggest a separate gaming PC, considering how much Macs cost they'd better play games well.

Exactly the reasons I have a hackintosh at home:

1. It has a form factor that suits my needs for space and cooling

2. It has a 1080Ti which I can use for ML or Games (though primarily games)

Though I have to say - your use case is a bit extreme. If you need excellent cooling, lots of internal storage space and ultra smooth gameplay then maybe a mac is not what you need?

I'm a (sort of independent) software developer, and a Mac enables me to do software on the 3 major desktop platforms and both major mobile platforms on the same machine. It's a no brainer really. I can make it run on whatever the customer wants.

And Apple used to have a system that fit the bill pretty well - the pre trashcan Mac Pro. If the promised expandable Mac Pro comes out and they don't make it unusable for one dumb reason or another, I may abandon hackintoshes.

Seems like you're making a lot of assumptions about programmers who write native code.

Not at all, I'm describing my use case.

And to add another example, a friend of mine is working on a 5K iMac (non pro) on a normal-ish desktop application. He has to use external storage for testing, because the application has to manage large document libraries that don't fit on his internal SSD. Also, he's always mentioning that the iMac gets noisy when he's doing a build.

5K iMacs and the iNac Pro are amazing for their price. You can’t build anything to drive 5K to such a nice monitor otherwise.

And their fans/heat management is great for 99% of developers.

Many of us like our screens and computers to be separate, and like having expandability in the latter.

TL;DR : hackintoshes are a total shit-show in all but the simplest of use cases (no need for decent hardware support or any software upgrades ever)

> while nvidia just works.

Huh ? He specifically mentions why he didn't go NVidia : NVidia doesn't "just work" on a hackintosh. It requires installing a new closed source NVidia "web driver" for EVERY new macOS point release, because it absolutely refuses to start if there's the slightest build number mismatch, and NVidia can take days to catch up. One day, they may just get tired of it and stop supporting older cards or macOS versions.

Also, that driver refuses to install before you've actually upgraded macOS, which means your first reboot will be in super low res non-accelerated compatibility mode, and you'll have to painfully navigate to the installer in this environment then reboot a second time.

>Item three: he hasn't hand built a PC in 20 years. And since he's doing video work, he's probably not very technical either. If you're familiar with messing with a unix-like operating system at a lower level, it's fairly easy to fix all those little problems.

No it isn't, at all. I'm a systems engineer, lived and breathed Linux since 1996, including 8 years as my primary desktop OS (Slackware, Gentoo, custom kernel builds, you name it) before switching to the Mac.

I made the mistake of building a Hackintosh last year to save on an iMac's cost, and I want those dozens of hours (and counting) of my life back. The argument the author makes under "price" is spot on : if you're not a student with way more time than money, it's just not worth it. If you bill by the hour/day, don't even THINK about it.

I've now got a 80% working setup after carefully choosing compatible components (including a Z97 Asus mobo, an insanely fiddly to get working Thunderbolt card, and a custom PCI card with original Apple chips for BT/Wifi). But I've given up on getting all USB ports working, or iMessages/Facetime, or sleep/wake which is sure to freeze the machine (it also sometimes reboots out of the blue). The PC also doesn't wake my monitor up half of the time when first booting macOS, and I have to hard reset it.

Part of your journey is to "inject" kexts, pass kernel parameters with magic constants, sometimes provide binary patching instructions for drivers in a Clover plist config file. There's no single guide that takes you through all of this. Everybody has their own different thing. Even the attempts at UI tools (Clover configurator, Multibeast) to generate those config files don't attempt to hide any of the complexity.

And don't get me started about built-in audio : first, you need to pick your kext between several variants of AppleHDA available from zip files hosted on mega.com (or random Github repos when you're lucky, with no context at all given in the READMEs, when there's a README). Then, you need to find out which of a few dozens audio I/O "layouts" is appropriate for your motherboard, and manually pass that as a kernel parameter. The tutorials disagree between each other, there's no standard way of doing it, it feels like the worst hours of Linux on the desktop.

I'm also usually an enthusiastic early OS upgrader, but I've been holding off upgrading my machine to High Sierra for months because a quick search on tonymacx86.com shows the gigantic bag of hurts this is going to be (new kexts to inject, careful with APFS, etc)

I'll finish with a self-explanatory quote from a macOS High Sierra upgrade thread on tonymacx86.com :

Some audio codecs will require an addtional patch (AppleHDA)

If you are using target codec 0x11d4198b, you may need to also zero out codec compare 0x11d4198a (a new supported codec in 10.12).

eg. in KextsToPatch: Comment: 0x11d4198a to zero MatchOS: 10.12.x Name: AppleHDA Find: <8a19d411> Replace: <00000000>

And a helpful recommendation for an easy and "foolproof" way to upgrade to High Sierra (tl;dr : make a second OS installation from scratch on a spare disk (you have that right?), "fix it until it's bootable", then attempt a High Sierra upgrade on the first installation, compare and contrast the two and cross your fingers) : https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/it-is-unclear-how-to-upgr...

> I've now got a 80% working setup after carefully choosing compatible components (including a Z97 Asus mobo, an insanely fiddly to get working Thunderbolt card, and a custom PCI card with original Apple chips for BT/Wifi)

Careful what you wish for. I have no Thunderbolt and no wifi on the desktop (it's immovable so I use a network cable). I would never try to get TB working on a hackintosh. Nor iMessage/FaceTime. For those I have a Macbook Pro.

Audio works out of the box. All USB ports but one work out of the box. Sleep works out of the box.

You're saying you bought a Z97 Asus mobo. You bought one that you liked just because it had a chipset that usually works, or a specific board known to work 100% from tonymac's compatibility list? If you had to patch kexts, i think it's the former not the latter.

And High Sierra... I don't have that even on my laptop yet. Waiting for a few more patches. After it works fine on my laptop I'll consider upgrading the hackintosh.

And yes, I switched to OS X after 10 years of Linux as my primary OS. I've installed Slackware from 80 floppies and hand compiled my kernels because back then it was the only way to get the right drivers in. I still make a lot of my money by doing custom ARM linuxes for various devices. On VMs on OS X :)

I've been using a Hackintosh for the last 7 years. (For work)

At most I've spent a day to get some quirks of new hardware to work, but all of the 3 upgrades I've done throughout the years has basically worked directly.

And with Clover bootloader, it's even easier than it's ever been.

The key is to pay attention to what hardware to use, the tonymacx86 buyers guide is great for the most part but sometime the recommendations are too early so you might have to live with a few quirks like USB testing and limiting.

Right now I'm using an Gigabyte Z170-HD3, Intel i5 6600K, 32GB DDR4, 1x M.2, 6x SSDs and 2x HDDs and Nvidia 1080 Ti without a hitch.

I'm even using MacOS on my new HP Envy 13 without any issues.

> And with Clover bootloader, it's even easier than it's ever been

And it's about to start getting far more difficult too. In my opinion, we've reached "peak hackintosh". Now with additional features which run on ARM chips and custom hardware complementing macOS more and more, it's going to become increasingly untenable to replicate the full experience going forward.

TouchID & TouchBar with BridgeOS on the MacBooks was the first step. Hey Siri on the iMac Pro is the next rung up. How long until we see FaceID on the Mac, or much further down the road, macOS running on ARM?

My current Macbook has TouchID. It's just about the most useless thing they could do to a programmer's keyboard. The keyboard action sucks too. I wanted to go with the most recent release though, so I kept it.

::message typed from a glorious clicky-clicky keyboard with well broken-in MX blues::

Having ran Hackintosh for 6 years as my primary development workstation, I have to disagree. All the points are true, and it's been very frustrating. However, to me OS X is the only really viable OS at the moment (Unix base that runs mainstream software well like Adobe and MS Office), and I'd rather run that on a machine that I know, can upgrade, repair and take apart if needed. And Hackingtosh is that, and if it runs, it runs smoothly. 6 years of 32GB memory, quad core Xeon, GTX 770, 34" ultra-wide, and plenty of native IO and storage ... try beating that at the price point of a Mac Pro or iMac. But maybe 2018 will be finally the year I drop OS X altogether and use Linux on a laptop and my workstation. OS X is slipping, and the hardware is not what I need from PCs anyway. Windows is still a no go, though.

> runs mainstream software well

I don't need commercial software so I never tested, but it was my impression that the commercial version of Wine (codeweavers) could handle most things?

> but it was my impression that the commercial version of Wine (codeweavers) could handle most things?

I recently tried it with a couple Windows only apps (after having not tried it in 4-5years) and sadly was still essentially unusable. Admittedly the apps I was trying were silver or bronze category, but still doesn’t change the fact it was one small step above unfunctional.

Haven't tried in years, so it might be better now. But, last time I tried it was more of a hassle and frustrating than setting up Hackintosh. Trade-offs, I guess.

A long time ago I was a Linux user, and my then girlfriend was sick of Windows and curious about how "computers work", so I (barely) guided her in installing Gentoo (and once that was done we moved to Ubuntu for simplicity). She hated KDE but quite liked GNOME and XFCE. But then, I tried to install either Tiger or Leopard on a Dell XPS 12" laptop. No WiFi, VESA mode, but enough for a quick demo. She came back from class and instantly fell in love with Mac OS X, so much so that the very same day we bought her a 13" BlackBook. Soon enough I couldn't stand having to endlessly fiddle with and fix Linux as an OS and bought myself a 15" MacBook too, so that I could focus on fiddling and building actual things instead of merely making the OS behave.

Some years later, I was handed a Dell XPS 8300 desktop at work. Turns out I couldn't stand Windows, and I was constantly running a Linux VM in it, so I might as well jump to native. But it was a crapfest: unstable graphics driver which randomly failed to initialize, constant tearing that couldn't be dealt with, seemingly random CPU performance issues, GPU/screens that wouldn't respect DCC, power off then instantly power back on, endlessly blinking, AHCI glitches that would spam dmesg, not to mention your typical pulseaudio and bluez mess. And one day, just for kicks, I hackintoshed the thing. It booted right away, with zero glitches, full GPU support, and only ethernet and audio missing, which was quickly fixed by installing kexts that are basically ports from either Linux or FreeBSD drivers. To sum it up, Mac OS X was behaving much better than Linux on that specific non-Apple hardware. I was stumped. The productivity gain was astounding for me, so much so that I kept it around, and used it with increasing frequency. Soon enough, coworkers started to notice and asked me if it was a Linux theme or something. The word spread that Mac OS X was a good thing and that it integrated well into our work environment, the hackintosh was quickly retired in favour of legit Apple hardware, not just for me but for many people in the company as it became a possible option for whoever wanted to have one as a work machine instead of a PC.

I can understand Apple going after people trying to turn money on hackintoshed hardware, but I sincerely hope they continue to turn a blind eye on this, because enthusiasts hacking the shit out of this is definitely good for them.

I recently got myself a GPD Pocket, which is a great little laptop with many of the same ethos as Apples' MacBook product line .. unibody, great screen.

Interesting keyboard. (Takes some getting used to.)

Well, I blew away Windows and put Ubuntu Studio on it and its now my main goto computer - replacing the very expensive MacBook Pro I typically use.

I think that there is really no need to go the Hackintosh route, except for "access to MacOS software" (fair enough), if all one wants is a nicely-designed, comfortable, convenient machine. The GPD Pocket + Ubuntu Studio experience has been just as friendly as it ever was on MacBook, and I think that if the next iteration of the Pocket gets a bit bigger, with a nicer keyboard .. then it'll be goodbye MacBook addiction, hello "switched to Linux on GPD Pocket2" ...

Seriously, the only draw for me is the resilience of the hardware. Apples competition need only produce a unibody MacBook-like experience, hardware-wise, and distros' like Ubuntu Studio can handle the rest.

Were you a Linux user in the dark days of hardware fiddling?

My perception is that there are getting to be two kinds of Linux users these days:

1. People who relished in the technical challenge of maintaining a Linux machine in the olden days and would use Linux no matter what.

2. People who installed it for whatever reason in recent times on compatible hardware, and literally have no idea how it’s any different than MacOS or Windows from a difficulty perspective.

My perspective nowadays is that Linux is a cake walk... but I started with Yggdrasil, Slackware, and the BSDs in the 90s.

Hackintoshes seem like a lot of work to buy oneself into Apple serfdom. The idea that people can newly encounter Linux in 2017, and not be turned off by usability, hardware compatibility, or software availability is pretty exciting to me.

I've been a Linux user since the day Linus posted it to the minix-list. I too remember Yggdrasil. ;)

We've come a long, long way.

The title is odd in that it sounds like there's some expectation of a process here that is failing.

The conclusion fits with what I've found as a natural progression of my approach to tech as I've aged.

Late teens to early 20s had they been a thing I absolutely would have invested time in building a hackintosh and enjoyed the time spent solving the problems. Nowadays (40ish) I wouldn't even build my own gaming PC anymore. I want to exchange money for something that works as I expect when I need it and have done with it and at best swap a GPU or SSD sometime.

> Nowadays (40ish) I wouldn't even build my own gaming PC anymore. I want to exchange money for something that works as I expect when I need it and have done with it and at best swap a GPU or SSD sometime.

I think I go in phases. In my twenties & early thirties I was very wrapped around the notion of efficiency and opportunity cost. I wouldn’t have dreamed of building a computer, or a shelf, or anything else.

But a couple of years ago I decided to build a PC for gaming—not because it was cheap or easy, but because I thought it sounded like fun. I took advice from excited people much younger than me, and had a blast talking pros and cons of this stuff with randos (presumably teens and millennials) on the Internet.

In the end I probably did save a little money, but the kick I got from doing something I hadn’t done since you needed to remember that the red side of a ribbon was pin 1, would have been worth it at a much higher price.

So, Hackintosh? If you’re purely trying to have a functioning computer for a reasonable price? Probably not.

However if part of what you’re looking for is a challenge, then I think it’s okay to just own that and know that you’re paying for an experience.

> In summary, I would never recommend to anybody to build a hackintosh unless he has the time and energy to make it work.

The name HACKintosh kind of tells you that, right? Sorry, but this was a pointless and non informative post.

I ran a Hackintosh from 2009 to 2013. It was extremely stable, but a bit cumbersome when doing updates. Things might have evolved since then.

Updates are very stable, especially now that there's Clover which mimics Apple's EFI much closely, but it's always an odd bet that some component of the OS won't change its behaviour and rely on something surprising, notably App Store, Messages or FaceTime breaking every now and then because they changed how hardware authentication works.

The fact that things are hardly documented except in forms of either step-by-step blind-handholding recipes or unscientific "hey I pushed this and pulled that and it works now!" forum posts doesn't help.

Don't use Hackintosh unless there's something you really, really can't do on Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora, you're just creating a very annoying stick for your back.

I have been using a hackintosh for around 6 years. I was never able to upgrade past 10.9.5 with my current build.

I had some long forgotten Bitcoin I found so I did this.


Took around a hour to get OS X installed. Only real catch was audio. But that only added another 30 minutes.


Everything works great. No problems with stability.

The funny thing is I initially installed windows on this build. I wanted to make sure everything worked. That was more difficult than getting OS X installed.

I do not recommend using a hackintosh if it pays your bills. It will eventually break and there might not be a fix.

> I do not recommend using a hackintosh if it pays your bills. It will eventually break and there might not be a fix.

Or do it like me, I have a hackintosh but also a genuine macbook pro - which i need anyway because a desktop hackintosh isn't portable. If the hackintosh acts up, I have the laptop to keep me in business while i figure out a solution.

If it pays bills, you should probably think about hot spares anyways. (It may suffice to know that you can buy a replacement from the local Apple store, but it would make me nervous)

I thought about building a Hackintosh a few times over the last couple of years but honestly, since the Fall update of Windows 10 came out, I stopped thinking about it.

WSL offers a very reasonable Linux environment under Windows nowadays.

And since it's a Windows box, you are still free to build it up from components yourself.

I have a feeling a lot of people build Hackintoshes because they like assembling their own box (with the freedom to upgrade when they want), don't want to pay the 400% Apple tax and want a nice development environment. I'd say it's worth looking into using Windows 10 + WSL, because you can do Linux based web development, audio / video editing and gaming all with 1 machine, without compromises.

I disagree on the WSL part. As someone who has been trying (in earnest!) to do the macOS -> Windows switch, I have to say WSL has been a letdown. Files you create don't get proper permissions. That requires fixing, every time, if your workflow involves moving files from WSL to a deployment target. This is only one of the issues I encountered.

At this point, if you're wanting to use WSL for something like Chef development, you're better off having a full Linux VM on your Windows machine, or just sticking with macOS (in spite of it's apparent decline in quality).

If you're testing a Chef run, you probably don't want to use MacOS because your target deployment OS is likely some Linux variant.

You are right about file permissions, it's the one downside I've noticed but luckily it's a non-issue. You can just chmod your files and folders in your deploy scripts/recipes/playbooks. This is a good practice anyways and I would do that in any case.

Also in any case, if I were testing deploy scripts I would always do that in a VM or staging server even if I ran Linux natively, because you wouldn't want to corrupt your development box with project specific deploy infrastructure.

Oh yeah, the permissions also don't bother you in development. For example I can just cd into my development files (which are outside of WSL) and run VSCode on it without sudo or any tricks, and it all just works. They are accessible from within WSL too without using sudo (even tho they are owned by root:root according to WSL while I'm logged in as my user).

> WSL offers a very reasonable Linux environment under Windows nowadays.

Some of us find Windows itself to be the unreasonable part.

Always check tonymac his best buyersguide before building. https://www.tonymacx86.com/buyersguide/december/2017/

nvidia cards is a way better idea than AMD for a hackintosh. Indeed I also would never recommend building a hackintosh (built 3 myself). It is not for the faint-hearted, you will fail numerous times, and even when you are done, chances that everything breaks after a minor update is always in the realm of possibility. The price you can't beat tho, a RAM or SSD upgrade for a real mac is just absurd.

What I would really like is a Hackintosh VM that I can run in the cloud for the few times that I need test something on macOS.

There are hosting companies out there but I'd rather spin up an EC2 instance or equivalent.

There are osx vagrant images for doing exactly this...

Yes that's the only ones that I have found so far.

Unfortunately they require virtualization to be enabled within the AWS or GCP VMs. Those have just started to appear and are only available on the most expensive instances.

While I can see that the author says that if they had just put the time it took them into getting it up and running and bought an iMac Pro instead, one thing to keep in mind that is that you can upgrade your hackintosh. Over the years, I have had three different graphics cards, added more memory and added three hard drives. In the four years I've been running my machine I've yet to feel the need upgrade the mobo and CPU as overclocking has given me all I need currently with headroom left to go faster if I need.

> There is really no good alternative to a 5K LG dispay at the moment.

Oh please. I have been using 1920×1080 displays for a while and there's nothing wrong with them. To claim that 4k is not good enough and you absolutely need 5k, that's just ludicrous.

I agree with the conclusion that a Hackintosh misses the entire point of a Macintosh, but for different reasons.

I'm not an Apple fanboy. I have owned 3 MacBooks in the past, but lately I have switched over to Lenovo laptops running various flavors of Linux.

That being said, Apple's hardware is undeniably well engineered and aesthetically pleasing, to a degree IMHO unrivaled in the industry.

It features a deep integration of hardware and software, meaning that they are developed by the "team next door," that allows Macs to excel in areas considered "difficult" in other OSs, such as battery usage and fast and reliable standby/wakeup. This level of integration between hardware and software is again unrivaled, except in the smartphone and tablet industry, which closely followed Apple's lead with the iPhone and iPad.

Finally, Apple's software has traditionally been very user-friendly, intuitive and bug-free (IMHO this was true 10 years ago, less so now.)

This is what people are paying for when they buy a Macintosh and it's something a Hackintosh misses completely (except for the last point, I guess.) Not the 5k display.

The author is doing video editing work. The point of the 5k screen is to have a 4k video displayed at 1:1 pixel and controls displayed alongside it. I.e. the author may be part of that small subset of people that actually want 5k in order to do their job.

Since I use a beautiful 5K Dell display every day, I also thought it was a bit overblown. Maybe it doesn't work with his AMD setup, but it is definitely supported on nVidia. It is a bit complicated by 5K requiring DisplayPort MultiStream.

I would still be buying Mac Pro computers regularly except that they haven't released a proper one for 7 years.

I have built six hackintoshes total:

Mini Dell 9 (Snow Leopard, my first Mac ever)

HP Probook (Lion)

Desktop #1 (Mountain Lion)

Desktop #2 (Mavericks)

Desktop #3 (W7/Yosemite dualboot)

Desktop #4 (W10/Sierra dualboot, my current build and probably the last new build I do for a while since you can now upgrade MacOS on a Hackintosh without doing a complete reinstall)

The best thing you can do when you build one is to look for people who have had successful builds and get the same parts (namely motherboard, CPU, and GPU, with all 3 being equally important). Laptops that are deemed hackintosh-friendly by the community are a safe bet, since you can compare model numbers and get something that is going to be extremely similar parts-wise, if not identical, to what lots of other people are using.

The most time I've ever had to spend on a build was the equivalent of a full workday. With my most recent build, I was never able to get sound working normally, but I did find a workaround with a $5 USB adapter from Amazon.

My most recent build was also the first time I could actually afford to spend $3k+ on a real Mac desktop. Sadly, the options offered by Apple were laughably bad at the time that I built it. I could have spent $4000 and ended up with something worse than what I spent about $1200 on.

For comparison, after reinstalling MacOS High Sierra on a (supported) MacMini6,2 Server that has been bought with two SSDs in RAID, I have been unable to get the OS to load again. I had to resort to breaking my filesystem in two (/ and /Users) and fiddling around with fstab and who knows what else just to get a working machine. Apple Support has been anything but. They just don’t care anymore.

This is all off-second-hand, but I believe you have two options.

1. Use the old partitioning tool from 10.10

2. Drop down into a terminal and use diskutil

I love the old partitioner, one could create a RAID10 root partition on install in like 10 seconds.


Or try booting the 10.10 installer, creating the raid array then exit and continue with 10.13 Donner Party of 6.

Now that OSX runs in VMWare, you can test all of these scenarios from your laptop before taking it to the Hackintosh.

I was able to format the drive and whatnot... the problem is that High Sierra steadfastly refuses to kid from as RAID array (despite having been upgraded on one and working from it previously), and APFS-formatted volumes are a real bloody pain to reformat.

Now I’ve got a bootable system (as I mentioned, with two filesystems, an ignored /etc/fstab, and my user account with a customised home folder that requires booting into a utility account and then exiting) but my permissions are so mucked-up Excel doesn’t work (much to the perplexity of Microsoft), Mathematica’s fonts are broken, and iTunes can’t download music (despite my account recursively owning my music folder).

It’s... miserable.

I believe your second /Users partition is marked as an external disk that doesn't respect permissions.

In the finder, open the inspector panel for the drive (command I) and uncheck [] Ignore Ownership.

Will still require chmod/diskrepair pass.

That's very interesting and I really appreciate your interest and support, you've done more than anybody has since I got myself into this situation on the 20th of November.

I have two SSDs each with an individual (encrypted) APFS volume. One (labelled Radix) is the boot volume and ends up mounted on /. The other one (labelled Usor) is meant to mount on /Users, but on account of being encrypted, gets ignored by automount (despite having a valid /etc/fstab entry) and just lingers, until I log in into a utility account, allow it to decrypt and mount, log out, and log back in as my user. My user has the home folder set to /Volumes/Usor/User/james and then it all works. But as lament, half the stuff is broken.

As soon as I get back to the office I'll have a look at whether the ignore-permissions flag is set or not (I reckon it isn't, but it is worth checking). I've faced more path-blocking absurdities in this enterprise than I have in the past ten-plus years of Mac usership.

I have almost no experience with APFS. I did run ZFS on my Macbook which required have / and /Users (on ZFS). It worked, but the performance was terrible. Sending snapshots to another machine was magical.

I am much quicker to capitulate defeat in the face of unique setups like this. Or at least experiment with a VM and keep my work machine more main path. You will hit bugs, it looks like you already have.

Yes, author, but now you learned! Also, next time, you can build a Hackintosh in a shorter time.

I'm also kind of amazed at the "4K display is not large enough" section. That would be a screen about 4 times the size of my current monitor, is working quite well for me. I suppose it's like thinking "640K is all the meomory anyone would need in a computer".

He forgot the largest problem with hackintosh - running unsigned code from an untrusted developer. Who’s to say what’s in that Clover boot loader binary or the random Kexts you need to install? As a toy, it’s cool, but anyone doing anything sensitive (banking, coding for profit, etc) is taking risks that are completely unnecessary.

My hackintosh experience is similar to my (decade long) Linux on the desktop experience: always tweaking to get something working a little better. As the author notes these are fine experiences if you want to learn about hardware and your OS, but if this isn't your goal there are better options.

His last comment about demoting it to Windows only is very telling. All the hackintosh issues go away the moment you switch to Windows or Linux. He's really complaining about how hard it is to try to do a hard thing. Hackintosh is, as the name suggests, a hack. Not a commercial alternative

I hope the new Mac Pro comes out next year and comes full circle. Hackintosh seems to get most of its user base from pros who want to go back to buying powerful upgradable Mac hardware.

yeah would be nice, but even vague horizon that is shrouded in mystery

Back in time I installed OS X ( Mountain Lion ) on an i7 / 16GB desktop PC.

Was working quite nice, but missing some core functionality like iMessage / Cloud sync.

Biggest benefit of this was the >feeling< of freedom for upgrading and replacing hardware components.

That was long time ago and things got worse on Apple side for upgradeability.

I'm right now stuck with MBP 2011, because I don't want to spend fortune on top-class MBP with Max RAM and Max HDD ( If you can't upgrade, better take those anyway ).

This was my experience as well. I'm guessing the iCloud / app store integration stuff is even more screwed up now than it was when I built a Hackintosh. Not saying it didn't work, but I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get there.

iMessage is actually relatively easy to get working, I haven't had a problem with a Hackintosh I built 6 months ago. Still ended up moving to a MacBook Pro later on just not to worry about future updates breaking it.

For me the biggest drawback of hackintosh is its os. Installing it for fun is ok but keeping it on your pc for any extended period of time is pure masochism for me.

My gf has mac book pro with osx high sierra installed. Connecting it to any kind of network drive is purgatory and a continous one as you can transition between afp, smb and nfs protocols and each one has its own unique set of bugs dating back a decade or more still present in latest version of os.

The author casually asserts there are no alternatives to the LG 5K when the Dell UP2715K AFAIK is just as good -- and it just needs two normal DisplayPort inputs.

The UP2715K can also be had at reasonable prices now that many people are upgrading from MacBooks with Thunderbolt/DisplayPort to USB-C. Mine was 500€ second-hand, love it! (No idea if it actually works with a Hackintosh, though)

What...? You assert a cause-and-effect without any proof whatsoever -- and it's hard to find one since USB C is happy to work as DisplayPort with a relatively cheap dongle.

Point taken. I have seen quite a few of them online earlier this year, but I might have been lucky. I did notice some people having trouble with adapters, but I guess most people will have it figured out by now: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2016-macbook-pro-and-de...

I have a Dell P2715Q and an LG 27UD58. Both are solid 4k displays for under $500 new.

What about virtual hackintosh?

My use case is building multiplatform apps with xamarin, and so I need a machine running osx somewhere for the apple build, and to verify performance on an actual ios device.

I had a 2016 mbp but spilled wine on it, so now I've only got my shoddy older macbook that limps along at best. I do, however, have a 2017 NUC with plenty of storage and ram, but that's my main dev box so I'd rather keep it linux...

You can build and set up a Hackintosh in a day og you just follow Tonymacx86’s guide. It has a list og builds with working components. Just buy them, set it up, install Mac OS and it just works.

I really never understood overclocking, firmware replacements or hackintosh cultures.

Either get the product or buy something else.

As a software engineer, there is a lot to be learned from overclocking, itself. Understanding hardware is important for any non-trivial job requiring performance, that's not immediately related to how well database optimizer understand your SQL.

Even more if you build try your hand at stress tests.

I had enough electronic classes on my enginnering degree to understand hardware all the way down to designing our own little CPUs.

I don't see what overclocking teaches about how gates work.

It has been long time since von Neumann architecture doesn't represent any modern hardware, so the knowledge how individual gates/transistors work is not as applicable.

However understanding memory latency, cache hierarchy, sleep states, PCI lanes, core layout&temperatures, etc is actually very useful when your concern is performance.

All of which are part of good electronic lectures.

I haven't mentioned anything about von Neumann.

or built it yourself... hence hackintosh

You can build any computer yourself, no need to try to hack OS X to run on it.

That is not what the UX is all about.

Is the author somewhat notable?

The premise: I read on the net and watched youtube is quite strange to judge if something is viable or not. Personally, with my own PC built by myself (but not installing macOs), assembling the hardware (and overclocking) should be nothing difficult.

The only take for me: if you attempt building hardware for an OS with limited support for the said hardware, you might be in for a surprise - which doesn't come as a surprise.

Maybe he should ask for his money back. He seems very entitled. This kind of integration and polish is what Apple does, and he didn't pay for that service or spend too much effort learning how to fix things himself, so don't complain about it.

He made a previous post about why he was switching from his official Apple devices to a Hackintosh. The TLDR is that Apple didn't make any computers at that time that could keep up with his 4K video production workflow (the iMac Pro wasn't released yet and his iMac 5K wasn't able to provide realtime performance).


Author of blog entry basis theory on all hackintosh projects being new builds. The majority of hackintosh projects are done with existing hardware that was otherwise underused or spare, therefore negating the purchase cost of new hardware.

The final paragraph of the blog entry reeks of Apple fan boy.


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