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Open source tutorial for Hackintosh installation (github.com/huangyz0918)
191 points by huangyz0918 on May 15, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 215 comments

I just built a Hackintosh on what perhaps might be the closest modern equivalent to an old-style MacBook Pro not made by Apple, the HP Spectre x360, and while the process of getting it up and running requires some technical knowledge, it was something I was able to do, start to finish, in less than a week. (Even the touchscreen works!)

I've used Macs for 15 years, and I wanted to keep using Macs, but I had a real problem with the fact that Apple has let its upgrade cycle become so lax, has fostered a lack of upgradability, and hasn't done enough to support an ecosystem of creatives that have been very passionate about their products over the years. That speaks to a company not listening to customer needs—one that is trying to translate a mobile business model to desktop users. It speaks to a company that walked away from its users, not the other way around.

If Apple's not going to make its machines more upgradeable, it should at least, for the love of God, upgrade its processor architectures without having to have a keynote every single time. They do so few keynotes in 2018 that it's messing up their ability to release products.

I'm much in the same boat as you (haven't built a hackintosh but contemplating).

Its more than just being "lax" though, their product vision has fundamentally changed under Cook. What they've done to the MacMini is a perfect example:

Around 2013/14 they saw that Mac Mini's were becoming powerful enough to start syphoning off market from Mac Pros (not in video world, but in music production world). So, Cook did what "operation types" do...hobbled the MacMini and released a slew of upgraded iMacs to reach a higher price point.

The days are gone where Apple designs "the best product possible", now its largely devices to tick boxes in a marketing feature matrix. While operationally it seems clever -- even logical -- it does ultimately undermine the brand long-term.

Oh, the mini...

I've got the quad-core, dual drive 2012 mini doing server duties. Because CPUs haven't advanced that much since then, it still keeps up pretty well. Even about to turn it into a low-end gaming box for the kids with an eGPU (works via patching the eGPU detection to allow original Thunderbolt and not just TB3). I'll be very sad when it dies.

A modern version of that Mac with better integrated graphics would be fantastic, but as your post says... that would eat too much into the Mac Pro and iMac sales. Blergh.

Wuldn't it be easier to just instal linux then?

Yeah, but then you have to use Linux.

That's why I use Windows. It's got better file and window management than Mac, more software, more hardware and more hooks to let me do what I want.

Not only that - it's way, way easier to setup my dev tools for things like Node.js, Python and Golang... I just run a couple of graphical installers and I'm done. On my Macs, I have to look up the secret incantations every time and do all sorts of configuration to make the Macintosh OS even usable.

> Node.js

I'm not sure where your downloading your software, as there is (and has been for at least the last 4 years) a graphical installer on the downloads page for osx:


Maybe I just haven't paid enough attention when doing this, but nearly every repository of every package for node has the default instructions for *nix command line. One of my most used packages is `n`, and the first line after the description is

"Unfortunately n is not supported on Windows yet"

It's main alternative, `nvm` also has:

"Note: nvm does not support Windows"

and suggests an alternative specifically named `nvm-windows`. When you have to specify the operating system in the name, it's typically the "off-brand".

I bet you don’t use the graphical installer on your Mac though do you?

Why is that? What do you do instead?

> I bet you don’t use the graphical installer on your Mac though do you?

Your mind reading skills are terrible. I'm not sure who or what gave you that impression.


Again, from the node site, clicking on install with package manager, both windows and osx lead off with "simply download the installer" before listing alternatives.



OK fine. I see a lot of people using homebrew.

What about python? You have to replace the built-in one don’t you?

> OK fine. I see a lot of people using homebrew.

Its been the defacto standard for package management for a while, and it works on top of the base OS thanks to /usr/local having priority in $PATH

> What about python? You have to replace the built-in one don’t you?

If Python 2.7.10 doesn't suit your needs, yes.

$ /usr/bin/python --version Python 2.7.10

$ /usr/local/bin/python2 --version Python 2.7.15

$ /usr/local/bin/python3 --version Python 3.6.5

Same with Bash:

$ /bin/bash --version GNU bash, version 3.2.57(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin17) Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

$ /usr/local/bin/bash --version GNU bash, version 4.4.19(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin17.3.0) Copyright (C) 2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

With Python it is a bit annoying with variables but other than that not a big deal. I started out with Bash v2 so that's my reference point. Sometimes its annoying for portability reasons.

Rumor is Apple doesn't like GPLv3. I don't see it as a big problem but that is thanks to the efforts of Homebrew package maintainers.

> Its been the defacto standard for package management

While I agree that it's a standard for package management, I don't think that using a package manager is the defacto standard. I've yet to see any onboarding docs that use brew install, for the reasons I stated parallel to your comment.

> I see a lot of people using homebrew.

The major reason I don't use homebrew and don't recommend it is because it's an absolute pain to use a version manager due to where brew stores its binary files.

I don't use python very frequently, so I don't really think much about it much when installing. I'm pretty sure I installed it with anaconda, but can't remember. As I mentioned above I doubt I used brew for the same reason.

I typically only use brew for installing linux commands that are absent from osx or for one-off uses of something random. Looking at my brew list, it's things like phantomjs or rethinkdb. I'll uninstall them with brew and use their installer if I actually end up using them.

I don't take issue with someone liking windows. But this reads like it was written by someone technically challenged - which is probably why you've been down voted


My Macs have all crashed more than my beautiful and stable self-built Windows boxes and just about every time I get in front of one of my Macs, I have to restart it for updates.

I’m pretty meh about telemetry. At the basic level where I have it set it just sends them some information about my drivers. Big whoop.

Speaking of clicking though, I can actually operate the entire Windows OS with just the keyboard. You could try to do the same thing on a Mac but it doesn’t really work very well. For instance, open a window from one of your menu bar utilities and then switch away from it with the keyboard. Try switching back. With Apples window management you can’t do it unless you replace it with something better.

A week? How many hours total?

Working around a full time job and other responsibilities, I maybe invested 10-15 hours into the project. It required a hardware upgrade (the WiFi card needs to be of a certain kind of model, and I had to wait on that to be delivered), some patching of the DSDT (which I had no experience with, though I pulled it off), and general troubleshooting. I was able to work through a series of guides online, which helped make the process somewhat less painful (though the devil's in the details, and there were a lot of details). I would say the biggest time suck was the troubleshooting.

I'm not a programmer or an engineer, and I've done little in the way of repairs and upgrades to machines beyond upgrading the RAM, but I was able to figure it out.

Among the biggest time sucks: I did run into some headaches involving the Intel graphics card not booting properly sometimes, but it took me a while to figure out that's what it was. That probably was a big part of the reason it didn't take me, say, three hours.

So because you think that Apple isn't listening to your needs, you can take the OS that they created and use it however you want to?

I am honestly surprised at how many people in this thread don't seem to care about Apple's right to decide how people use the software that they licensed from Apple.

This site is called Hacker News, right? Certainly, taking a piece of hardware I own and making it do something it was not designed to do properly fits the description of "hacking," right?

I appreciate Apple's value as a company as much as the next guy, but this was not a decision made lightly. If they want $100 from me over the right to run their OS on my computer (as I believe they used to charge during the PowerPC days), fine. But their failure to give consumers the option, in this and so many other cases, highlights a big frustration longtime users have with the company nowadays.

I'm sure Apple knows about the Hackintosh community, and I'm sure they follow it. I also know they have done little to stop it. As a user, I want them to care about my needs as much as they do about their bottom line. They used to.

I understand that people are usually driven to build a hackintosh out of frustration with Apple's hardware offerings.

That doesn't change the fact that it's against their licensing agreement. Anyone who wants to be able to sell their software in the future (or write software for a company that sells software) should care about that and have good reasons for violating it if they choose to do so. Many people in this thread seem to accept that it's a morally okay thing to do without thinking about it at all.

The site may be called Hacker News but it's full of mainstream software developers, many of whom work for companies like Apple. It's also (as far as I know) always been more focused on the startup scene than the hacking scene. You would think that people who's goal is to build their own business would care about this sort of thing.

Our software business is not dependent on shrink-wrap EULAs and neither is Apple's.

HN is an international community. In Germany for instance, Apple's EULAs are not the same as in the USA, and installing on a hackintosh is not a violation under German law, IIRC.

I'm not a software developer, I'm a technology enthusiast.

a "disgruntled customer"

I care as much as Apple does, which is to say, not at all.

I got my license fair and square out of Apple's App Store with the purchase of a Mac. I then put it on a flash drive and installed it on another PC. Didn't fail any license check whatsoever since Apple has no interest in making any.

It's right there in section 2B of the EULA that you're only permitted to install it on Apple computers. Why would they put that in there if they didn't care?


Why would they not implement a license key to macOS installation if they did care? iTunes EULA forbids users from developing missile weapons with iTunes, but I sincerely doubt that Apple actually cares about this fine point.

Also, as a document, macOS EULA is worth to me as much as a piece of toilet paper.

So your stance is that companies have no legal right to decide how their software is used by those who license it? Their only option is to make such uses impossible?

That seems like a strange stance to take. Why shouldn't companies have legal protection over how their software is used? I can lease a car. Why not software?

Lease a car yes, but Ford has no right to tell you how to drive once you have purchased one of their cars.

If I purchase a car from Ford, then yes, they have no right to tell me how to drive it.

If I lease a car from Ford, then they absolutely have a right to tell me how I can drive it. It's not my car - it's their car. Most car leases do stipulate how you can drive it. At the very least they have a restriction on the number of miles you can drive.

If someone has purchased a copy of MacOS from Apple, then I agree that they can do whatever they want with it. The thing is, no one purchases MacOS from Apple. They only lease it from Apple. That's why Apple has a right to decide how it's used.

there's a disconnect here though because ford offers you the option of direct purchase. you don't have that with macos. i'd be willing to bet people who use hackintosh would be willing to buy a key and do things the right way if apple offered, but they don't so they find alternatives. it's the same kind of argument used with media piracy: make something easy enough to buy and use legally, and people will spend money on it. make it convoluted and require hoops, and those same people will find workarounds

I'd be willing to bet on that too. I think offering a license key to put MacOS on whatever hardware you want would be really popular. I'd probably buy one myself.

That said, convenience is a good argument for why things like media piracy and hackintoshes happen but not an argument at all for whether or not those actions are morally justified.

I don't have a fiber in me that feels bad about having a Hackintosh. I'm an Apple customer. There's two MacBooks in my home. And going by the poll on tonymacx86 [1], >60% of the voters do own a Mac. Why would Apple want to come after these people, apart from legal trademark protection faffing?

I'd say I have more of an incentive to buy a Mac if I can run it on all of my computers. If I ran a Linux distribution on my desktop, I'd buy a nice Windows machine and load it with the same OS.

The problem is that Apple does not sell the hardware that I and a lot of people want to have. I think I paid around 1000 euros for my computer in raw parts. I think I could pay like 1400 euros for a same kind of machine if it had an Apple logo on the side and had guaranteed updates, which my computer doesn't. But I can't pay that. I can't even pay double to get that kind of a computer. It doesn't exist.

[1] https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/do-you-own-a-real-mac.59/

If Ford switched from selling cars, to only leasing cars... and there was any sort of lock-in to a Ford ecosystem, you would have something pretty similar.

If Apple wants to claim it leases MacOS with the sale of a Mac, that's fine but it's horrible anti-consumer and If they ever attempted to enforce it, i'd expect legislation to knock it back. It's probably already unenforceable in much of the world.

If it's truly a lease, it should also have a time limit when it reverts ownership back to Apple... surely otherwise it's just a one-off payment for permanent rights to use MacOS.

But on what principles would the legislation be based? You can't just declare something anti-consumer and call it a day. Apple charging more than other companies for their computers can be considered anti-consumer - should that be illegal too?

The point of legislation and regulation in this instance would be to balance the needs/desires of both the consumers and the company. Saying that Apple's only option is to give consumers full rights to do anything with their software goes too far in the direction of the consumer in my opinion.

this comparison isn't particularly interesting, because you're comparing dissimilar things. a leased car is a physical item that has inherent costs in manufacturing and distribution. bits have asymptotically zero cost there. a leased car has to be recovered and released or sold. this doesn't apply to bits. etc.

>this comparison isn't particularly interesting, because you're comparing dissimilar things

The differences are not relevant to the point - which is the concept of ownership versus leasing.

>bits have asymptotically zero cost there. a leased car has to be recovered and released or sold. this doesn't apply to bits. etc.

True, but I think you mean copying bits, not creating unique bit sequences.

the "concept of ownership" is a bit too reductive given the contextual differences at play, because the context directly impacts practical matters like harm, customer autonomy, etc.

virtual and physical items are rather distinct in nature, and comparing them is often useless.

Why would you ever compare two items if they were identical?

why would you ignore category errors when comparing two items?

Because there is no agreed upon basis for you to claim a category error. Or at the very least, two reasonable people can agree that the basis of the classification is an opinion.

sure, and understanding the category distinctions and how each person applies them leads being able to address things like wilsonnb's comment "That seems like a strange stance to take."

> I am honestly surprised

Oh, sweet summer child. You have no idea. Welcome to HN, where this is the norm.

And don't for a second believe Apple hasn't benefited from this attitude in the past. Quite the contrary, some could make the argument that not caring about copyright helped bring Apple to where it is today.

I'd like to hear that argument. My guess is that it has something to do with iTunes and music piracy but I'm not sure.

Ive come to accept that nerds only care about copyright when its about GPL'd code, and not music/movies/proprietary software.

I could see how someone is more frustrated by theft from the commons than one of the wealthiest multinationals in the world.

The fact that Apple actively takes measures to prevent MacOS from running on foreign hardware (including virtual machines) really annoys me. If I want to publish a cross-platform app for iOS, I literally have to buy a device just for compiling and uploading the archive. That's not the case for any other mobile platform I've ever seen.

This is even more ironic considering the good reputation of being open that Apple has for some people, and tries to promote through marketing.

The fact that Apple actively takes measures to prevent MacOS from running on foreign hardware (including virtual machines) really annoys me

I tried a Hackintosh VM in VirtualBox recently, just to play around, and it was surprisingly easy. AFAIK all that distinguishes "non-Apple" from Apple hardware is an "SMCDeviceKey", a short identifier in the BIOS, and a few other (mostly cosmetic) version strings. With a VM, all you need to do is set those and boot from an ISO --- there are instructions around to create one from the appstore package. No modification of the OS itself was needed; it thinks it's running on a real Mac.

> I tried a Hackintosh VM in VirtualBox recently, just to play around, and it was surprisingly easy.

I'm sure people (I) will appreciate some links. Thanks.

Yeah, I did it too a while back. I don't remember the details, but some changes on the VM were required. Even if fairly minor, it was quite clear they were necessary solely because MacOS actively checks for those flags and refuses to boot otherwise.

Apple's a hardware manufacturer and one of its USPs is the software that it bundles withg its hardware. It's sad that you're annoyed. But not sad enough for Apple to change its business model.

Or alternatively... think of the Mac, not as a computer, but as a dongle.

Which raises an interesting question....this may sound extremely farfetched, but what if we took the "dongle" concept to its logical conclusion? The Intel Compute Stick already exists; what if Apple sold its own compute sticks with macOS installed on them so that way one could have a portable macOS experience?

In a way, we already have this, already in a much less compact form: the Mac Mini. Ever since its introduction in 2005 the Mac Mini has been marketed as a device where you "bring your own keyboard, display, and mouse." It was always intended to be a drop-in replacement for a PC, kid of like today's Intel Compute Sticks and Intel NUC's. A PC "dongle", if you will.

But imagine if this "dongle" could be connected to a PC that could boost the power of the Mac Mini, which is necessary for some users since the Mac Mini is (sadly) not user-serviceable? If it's possible to offload the computation of a Mac Mini to a PC, then it's possible to treat the Mac Mini as a macOS dongle. It may not be the ideal solution, but I'm sure that Apple would charge near-Mac Mini prices for licensing macOS to PC users if Apple ever opened to the idea.

It's a farfetched idea, but it may provide additional options for macOS users who don't want to switch to Windows or Linux.

I think the logical conclusion is that your iPhone becomes your portable mac desktop. iOs is a modified version of macOS, there are rumours of Apple potentially switching MacBooks to Arm, along with the "merging" of macOS and iOS apps that's also apparently in the pipeline...I can't see how Apple isn't planning to offer a phone that can connect to a keyboard/mouse/monitor to offer a desktop experience. I'm sure it will require a very expensive dock, maybe even with some computing offloaded to it (eGPU, extra cores, etc), but I'm confident it's coming!

Apple doesn’t want its software running on hardware it doesn’t control, period.

My dream product from Apple would be a bare "Mac" in the form of an mATX motherboard paired with a macOS license. They could even make it very clear that they won't offer AppleCare or full Genius Bar service for it—a product for developers, hackers and gamers who are willing to self-support.

I'd like that too.

Thing is, how does Apple prevent something like that from cannibalizing their other sales?

The most obvious choice would be pricing them high enough (think: nearly as much as full Mac) so that nobody could profitably build and sell Mac clones.

The second most obvious choice would be to release them in such low quantities that nobody could base a Mac clone business upon them. But that would just result in them going for a billion bucks on eBay and you'd probably wind up paying more for one than if they just picked the first strategy.

The third most obvious strategy would be to cripple them in some obnoxious way so that they couldn't compete with Macs and were useful only as hobbyist devices... limiting them to 1GB RAM or something.

All those strategies would suck for, well, you and me.

One posssssssssible option would be to release a hobbyist iOS board. Sort of like all those hobbyist Android boards from China. It's a lot less likely that you'd be able to craft a "hobbyist iOS board" into something that could possibly compete with an iPhone.

One way to restrict sales would be to require the sale to be performed via the Apple Store app on the customer's iPhone, with a limit to the quantity purchasable on a per-iPhone-per-year basis.

Not offering any kind of general product support (other than required for warranty support) would also be a significant inhibitor for many people.

In the G4 days you could do that through authorized distributors who would sell you the boards directly as “replacement parts”. It was completely possible to build your own beige box Mac running on a real Apple board.

> licensing macOS to PC users

Never gonna happen. Mac's are very secure, performant and polished exactly because Apple controls its hardware. Done right because they can. Amen :)

> That's not the case for any other mobile platform I've ever seen.

Try to target Windows devices from other OSes, or getting console or embedded OEM compiler SDKs for anything other than Windows.

But you don't _have_ to buy a Windows device, and may just use a virtual machine.

Yeah, plus maybe GGP has never _seen_ a Windows mobile :)

I've used Windows Phone and Windows Mobile, and published for both. While you still need Windows for compilation and packaging, you can at least do so in a virtual machine quite effortlessly, as rhaps0dy pointed out.

Whilst macOS requires an Intel chip to run you can still create a VM easily enough, just as long as the host is Intel. The license, however, says you aren't allowed to do this.

No: you can do so on a Mac.

I don't think Apple cares. To block hacks is super easy, just check serials or block kexts, yet here we are running them.

Well, there is a kext called DontStealMacOSX that does rudimentary decryption…

Lol, I bought Snow Leopard CD back in the days $30 something :))

Have they renamed it since Sierra?

I was on mobile, so I didn't get the exact name right. It's actually "Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext".

My experience running a hack for 6 years:


- best desktop OS there is reg security and privacy

- my hardware, BD-RE and 4TB drives, full size GeForce

- 1/4th the price


- learning curve is a bitch, but done once

- updates can be tricky, thanks to Nvidia :)

- for IT pros / hackers only

Result is indistinguishable from real iMac, sleep and all works.

Once you'd settle your clover.config, it is mostly painless. I even have FileVault on my volumes :))

yeah maybe we can focus on the clover config in this repo :)

How can you possibly claim a proprietary operating system is better with regards to security and privacy than Linux distros, FreeBSD and OpenBSD?

Nothing beats openbsd, lol. I was talking desktop OSes, and Linux is not one, imho, apps wise.

There are a lot of people have posted their configurations and successful installation guides in GitHub, but they are hidden very deeply so that many newbies cannot find the configuration the same with their machine. It’s a great pity:( So I came up an idea that why not to build an index which can collect some basic knowledge about operation system and successful Hackintosh configurations together? Maybe we can add some systematic guides in it too. It’s just a new repo, but I will do this step by step.

Since your repo is not software but only documents I would suggest that instead of the Apache license you use the Creative Commons CC 4.0 BY license.


Thank you,it sounds good !

Apple used to be pretty aggressive with shutting down repositories of knowledge on building Hackintoshes. I'm not saying this is still the case but it might explain why locating guides and configuration requires a great deal of effort.

> locating guides and configuration requires a great deal of effort

Not that. It is difficult because everyone and their dog made a 'guide'. Sifting through the noise requires science skills, same for all IT stuff. Be a Pro :))

One reason is that there are kexts specific to each piece of hardware as well as the osx version. With 3 primary hardware components (mobo/cpu/gpu) there are countless combinations to put together. When I set mine up, I couldn't find any specific guide that matched my set up. I actually couldn't find ANY that used my specific mobo. I frankenstein'd it together with a combination of easily 10+ guides. Had I been more motivated, it would have been perfectly reasonable to write up a guide myself.

I remember when PearPC was made and people started to get excited about making a Hackintosh. I didn't have a fast enough internet connexion back then to download the required software to try it, but I heard that it was generally not a good experience. But I certainly had dreams of running OSX on my PC hardware.

These days I use GNU/Linux and have no desire whatsoever to try MacOS.

The more Apple is failing to deliver hardware to the high standards they used to do, the more Hackingtosh's popularity is going to grow.

As a Mac user disappointed with Apple's current direction with its hardware line, there are some risks with using Hackintoshes:

1. It requires considerable more work to set up and maintain a Hackintosh system than using Linux or *BSD, and it's completely unsupported. When I researched this last time, there were three sore points: (a) Upgrades between even minor point versions could sometimes mess up installations, (b) finding compatible hardware can be difficult (especially in the case of laptops), and (c) using Messages and iCloud on a Hackintosh could risk getting locked out of those accounts.

2. Installing macOS on a non-Apple product is a violation of the macOS EULA. Because of this, a Hackintosh may be a liability in professional environments.

3. Apple could make moves, intentional or unintentional, that could disrupt or even end the Hackintosh ecosystem. In the early days of Hackintoshes Intel Atom processors were supported, which resulted in people installing Hackintoshes on netbooks such as the Dell Mini 9. This ended when Apple stopped compiling support for Atom processors. A more serious showstopper would occur if Apple abandons the x86-64 in its Mac lineup. Then the Hackintosh community would be stuck with whatever is the latest version for the x86-64 architecture.

With the right hardware, installing macOS is easier than installing Windows. I've been using hackintosh on and off for the past 10 years and if you buy tested hardware, installing it is a breeze most of the time, something that I cannot say about installing Ubuntu, which I do before going the hackintosh/windows route. I've had a very hard time to get Ubuntu/Arch to play well with my multiple monitors setup, including one 4K.

The biggest downside in my opinion are the updates, as they're mostly guaranteed to break the setup.

Overall, I recommend to at least try it, having a beast of a PC AND macOS cheaper than Apple can offer might be worth for some, it certainly is for me.

Again, I want to emphasize that's necessary to have the right hardware.

If Apple stopped supporting x86-64 everyone with a current Mac would be stuck on the last version, not just people with Hackintoshes.

4. Installing a Hackintosh often requires installing binary kexts of questionable origins. It is beyond me why people give some random person on the net ring-0 access.

People do that all the time, though, for software like drivers or network extensions.

I agree with your first point. But something must be said when people still forge on creating a Hackintosh system despite the considerable effort required to do so.

I wholeheartedly agree. I wish one of the following three things would happen:

1. Apple notices the popularity of Hackintoshes (as well as certain long-time Mac users switching to Windows or Linux) and makes Macs that fit their needs in order to win these customers back.

2. Apple legitimizes the Hackintosh by selling licenses for PC use.

3. A competing operating system with a well-polished UI designed with time-tested UI practices and is built on a stable and secure foundation emerges for generic PCs. I have a dream of an operating system with a Mac OS 8/9 interface with a foundation that is highly influenced by Lisp machines, the Smalltalk environment, and Apple's OpenDoc component UI.

Apple have noticed high end users complaining, hence the iMac Pros and upcoming new Mac Pros.

Outside that, there is no perceptible loss of users. The much maligned Macbook Pros with butterfly keyboards and the touch bar are selling like there's no tomorrow.

> A competing operating system ... for generic PCs.

Never gonna happen. Mac's are very secure and polished exactly because there is no PCs and only Apple hardware. Think Secure Enclave and EFI. No freaking vendors and their requirements, done right because they can. Amen.

>Mac's are very secure and polished exactly because there is no PCs and only Apple hardware.

This seems obviously false, given the untold thousands of people running Hackintoshes (i.e., non-Apple hardware) with no reported security issues. I've run a Hackintosh for 5+ years and I've never had a problem with security. As for polish, my selected hardware is far better than what I could get from Apple, at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the nearest comparable (but still inferior) offerings from Apple.

I'm talking desktops. Laptops might be a different story. For desktops, Apple engineering has been lagging and just generally underwhelming for at least half a decade now, and I don't think they have the interest or even the ability (culture, etc.) to regain their hardware chops.

> false, given the untold thousands of people running Hackintoshes

ROFL :)) Had you read above? I'm running one myself. Your 'false' refers to what exactly? My statement was that there is no point for Apple to release MacOS for PCs. They will not be able to lock it down security wise.

BTW, how did you secure your hack from booting from install USB and resetting admin password on the main drive? Or from booting to Recovery partition and do stuff?

Asking, because you said you never had a problem with security, well, I Am the Problem, I will access your hack tomorrow :D

Cool, just got your home address ! www.youtube.com/watch?v=76wSk1j02_4

A good start might be to just implement the Platinum UI in Pharo and work from there.

I doubt it'll grow to compete with Apple on any measurable level. It's still way too 'hackish' for many Apple users to even consider, and them receiving a hackintosh system still requires more effort than they are willing to spend to maintain/update it.

NVMe SSDs sitting on 4x PCIe lanes, having 2GBytes/s write and 6 GBytes/s read speeds. I would not call it failing ;)

We don't have to beat a dead horse, but a significant chunk of MacBook Pro 2016/2017 and MacBook 2015/2016/2017 users (including me) have had issues with the new keyboard (keys get stuck). Current MacBook Pros a maximum of 16GB RAM (yes, I know, Intel is to blame) and insane prices for upgrades to the base model. In older MacBooks, you could just replace the memory and hard drive. The current MacBooks and MacBook Pros only have USB-C connectors and a stereo jack, requiring dongles for VGA, HDMI, USB-A, MicroSD, etc.

The MacBook line has regressed in quite many ways the last few years. The 'current' Mac Mini and Mac Pro are from the stone age. Heck, the current Mac Mini was a downgrade in many respects compared to the Mac Mini 2012.

I have been a Mac user since 2007. But frankly, the whole line has gone down the drain, unless you can drop a few thousand Euros on a 27" iMac with an SSD and a reasonable amount of memory or the iMac Pro.

The Dell Precision workstation that I bought 3-4 years ago second hand for ~400 Euro is more than twice as fast as my 1700 Euro MacBook Pro, has three times as much memory, and is expandable (added a 512GB SSD harvested from my 2012 Mac Mini).

FYI: you can still buy the MBP 2015 which was the last iteration before the 2016 version. Mine doesn't sport a force feedback touchpad and has the slowest CPU of the 3 versions available but other than that its a great device. The touchpad is apart from the force feedback one (which I tried out in a demo store) the best touchpad ever, hands down. Nothing comes close. And the force feedback touchpad actually has a disadvantage: it is so large that my hands accidentally touch it while typing. And well, the butterfly keyboard sucks if not for one reason alone: too loud. Mine has left 2x TB2, 2x USB-A (1 left, 1 right), magsafe, audio out, and right HDMI, SD (I'm using a microSD adapter which fits perfectly to close the port against dust). It doesn't have VGA, but I don't need that. It also doesn't have the nifty battery indicator my MBP 2010 had. Its lighter as the MBP 2010 though. Approx 2 kg vs approx 3 kg. But I cannot replace the HDD myself, or the RAM. Which I both did with the MBP 2010. I bought the MBP 2015 as soon as I found out the MBP 2016 was a big step back & I saw a deal for it.

> unless you can drop a few thousand Euros on a 27" iMac with an SSD and a reasonable amount of memory

even then, you need some good luck if you want the machine to last. if one of the HW components goes bad it will cost a lot of time and money to repair. iMac parts can be quite scarce and expensive. and working on an iMac requires more patience and skill than working on a typical home-built PC.

I disagree. Name a laptop that beats the shit out of specced macbook ? Not that monster 'gaming' ones, please :D

I didn't state that other laptops beat the shit out of a specced MacBook (though I am sure they exist). If I need performance, I will use a workstation or a server, they pack Xeon CPUs, CUDA-capable GPUs, etc. Moreover, their CPUs don't throttle under high load. For me, using a Mac for high-performance computing is a long-passed station.

My criticism was that MacBooks have become bad laptops for their price. They have a limited number of ports with USB-C, which is not well-supported yet. They keyboard has serious problems, which I don't assume to be a fluke, since I know multiple persons with stuck keys. They are not expandable. And macOS has regressed quite a bit in the last few years. Some of these problems are acceptable in isolation, but regressions are piling up.

Then there is crap like that the first generation of Apple's USB-C multi port adapters didn't actually support USB-3.0 transfer speeds, but contain a USB 2.0 hub. Back then I dropped 160 Euro on two adapters (this was before the MBP 2016-related price drop) to use my MacBook with existing screens, projectors, and USB devices. They give you a whole lot of crap about the transfer speeds, but sell you USB 2.0 adapters (!).


Again, I have been a Mac user for 10 years. In that time I probably bought 5 or 6 Macs, since for some time I used both a Mac Mini and a MacBook. For may years, they were so far ahead of the competition, it was not even funny (excellent suspend support in 2007, MagSafe, battery indicator LEDs, OS X was simply better). I was a strongly advocating Macs among friends and family. Unfortunately, I just can't do that anymore. The risk is too big that they get a flawed keyboard or that they are too frustrated with the 1/2/4 USB-C ports.

'bad laptops for their price' - market says they are OK for the price :)) Look in 5 years, you'll resell your macbook for half the price. Dell laptop? You'd have it in trash bin 2 years ago.

I careful with my stuff. Whats the price of changing keyboard by apple?

> Look in 5 years, you'll resell your macbook for half the price.

I would not buy a 2016/2017 MacBook out of warranty. When the keyboard eventually goes bad, you're looking at a $700 repair

> macOS has regressed quite a bit in the last few year

Curious what was the regression, honestly

Just to name few random regressions that I ran into the last year or so:

- Location services steals focus from XQuartz.


- Emacs (non-X11 version) regularly triggers a bug in the display server that freezes it hard. Haven't been able to debug it further. I have mostly stopped using Emacs on macOS because of this bug.

- Every few reboots, my Mac freezes and I have to do a hard reboot.

- Every few days or so, sound stops working. I have to do a sudo killall coreaudiod and then everything is fine again. Well, except the volume control in the system tray, that comes back after a couple of hours.

- Some monitoring tools, like htop freeze macOS:


- Keynote doesn't open some older Keynote presentations correctly anymore (e.g. things converted with PDF2Keynote).

Also, longer-term: Spaces was much nicer for power users than Mission Control. The Mac App Store seems to become slower all the time. Airport Utility is pretty limited compared to the older version. The killed genuinely useful Pages features like linked text boxes when they rebased on iOS iWork (they are finally back after years). Etc.

I guess I don't have to mention the embarrassing security bugs that we had since the High Sierra release.

Those are fair concerns. I got some of these issues as well, and others as well. AFAIK though the htop bug got fixed, and I agree with auslander that these are open source products (you're on your own w/them; don't blame Apple unless its clearly a bug in macOS which it looks like it was with htop). I do think 10.13 had some security disasters (and those regressions are widely known, documented, and discussed including on HN). Apple's focus moved from macOS to iOS. macOS appears an afterthought.

Emacs freezing the display server or location services hijacking focus are macOS bugs, not bugs in these open source projects.

I can accept that the location services bug is not fixed, since it primarily affect XQuartz. But an application should not be able to crash the display server.

> security disasters

would you argue that Windows is More secure? Yeah, there is Gnome and plethora of Linux desktops, but we're talking mass market. And I Am interested in enumerating the disasters, is there any not patched yet? Genuinely interested, as I'm a user :))

XQuartz and Emacs is open source, not MacOS. Checking other stuff ... lol, compare your grievances to windows folks and you'd have a nice grin all over your face forever :))

> my Mac freezes ... sound stops working

reinstall Mac OS fresh, erasing the drive. 99% you hacked your OS badly.

XQuartz and Emacs is open source, not MacOS.

But these bugs are in macOS. An unprivileged program should not be able to crash the display server.

reinstall Mac OS fresh, erasing the drive. 99% you hacked your OS badly.

No, I recently did a fresh install (along with the usual NVRAM, PRAM reset, etc.)

I don't understand what you are "disagreeing" on. What OP is saying: The new Macbooks are very expensive, and it has quality issues (keyboard). Neither is it user serviceable. Most of the product line is also out of date.

It's not about performance, which in the terms of Apple's latest hardware (that is, only part of their product line) is perfectly fine. Yes, a specced Macbook is fast, but that does not relate to anything by OP.

Pretty much any professional laptop would let you configure it with 32 GB RAM and 4K screen and boy that screen makes a difference.

These days I'm one of those who uses MacBook because they have to, not because they love to. I remember getting my first MacBook ~12 years ago and being really happy while using it.

Now, it's rarely pleasant; to repeat what countless others have said:

a) This is my third MBP since 2016, other 2 died with keyboard issues (and I could not afford waiting for repairs). This third laptop already has "right arrow" and "C" keys skipping 20% presses.

b) Dongle hell: heck, I have to get a dongle to connect the latest iPhone X.

> Dongle hell: heck, I have to get a dongle to connect the latest iPhone X.

They have thunderbolt 3 lightning cables available.

Dell's XPS range, for example.

Can be configured with more memory, a better display, better port selection, is user upgradable and is still very light and compact...

Yeah, no. That device has coil whine (one reason not to get a butterfly keyboard is because of the noise), and the brightness cannot be adjusted manually. The keyboard isn't terrible, but the touchpad isn't as good as a Mac's. The Precision is better, but also more expensive.

Interestingly though, I did see XPS line being supported in this hackintosh guide as well as the Xiaomi Notebook Pro.

Haven't experience coil whine myself from my XPS 13 9333, or my XPS 15 9560. Dell seem happy to replace the entire device or mainboard if you do get one that has an issue though.

I was under the impression the reason not to get a butterfly keyboard was because they are prone to failure due to dust and crumbs?

I'm not even sure what you mean by the brightness cannot be manually adjusted? The screen brightness obviously can be manually adjusted, and every XPS laptop I've owned has at least 3 levels of keyboard brightness controllable via F10, software, and can even be set in the BIOS.

Precision isn't really better, just different, since you can get one with (older) Quadro GPU rather than a GTX card, and a Xeon rather than Core CPU. The chassis, display, support, build quality is otherwise identical.

I've been very happy with the Dell XPS 9650 thus far. I've used it as my primary development machine for nearly a year. The 4k screen is simply gorgeous; Linux support is fantastic, with everything working out of the box with Ubuntu (particularly 18.04).

I also use a 2017 MacBook Pro with touchbar for iOS development. And while I've long recommended the MacBook Pro to others without hesitation, that began to change sometime in the past 2-3 years.

The MacBook Pro screen actually looks blurry by comparison to the XPS 4k. Text isn't as sharp, and the colors are less vibrant (although the P3 color space is a nice improvement). It's a bit disappointing that Apple has yet to fundamentally improve upon the once unbeatable 2013 MacBook Pro "retina" screen, despite a few tweaks along the way.

However, the XPS 9550 definitely suffered from the annoying coil whine. Moreover, I was never satisfied with the touchpad, especially the palm rejection. There was even a slight delay after tapping, which was just enough to be frustrating during daily use. The fans also came on more than expected, likely due to lackluster power management support for the novel Skylake architecture.

And perhaps strangest of all was the repeating "W" key issue. Without rhyme or reason, the "W" key would sometimes repeat, as if being held down (despite not being stuck). Interestingly, there were BIOS updates to address this issue, and based on the Dell's forums, the "W" key issue has affected numerous laptop models over the years.

Fortunately, it seems that Dell has finally managed to iron out these growing pains with the 9560. After purchasing it, I quickly upgraded to 32GB of memory, installed a Samsung 960 Pro SSD, and swapped out the Wifi chip for a better performing Intel model. You'd be hard pressed to find a better spec'd machine for linux / software development.

I'll be curious to see if Apple can up their game with the 2018 MacBook Pro.

i agree.

and i think one must consider the tradeoffs on both sides.

on one hand, there's the effort required to create a hackintosh in the first place and the challenge to keep it running as software updates arrive.

on the other hand, the time, effort and cost to repair a recent, flaky Mac can be considerable: multiple trips to the Apple store to convince the geniuses that there really is something wrong with the hardware that cannot be fixed with an OS reinstall. multiple days of lost productivity waiting for geniuses to take a look at it and (maybe) try to fix it. the high costs of scarce Mac replacement parts in the after market. the ultimate trip to an independent Mac repair shop that actually knows how to fix the thing.

Or just let this hype driven company finally die so we can get on with things...

I am surprise that almost no one seems to be discussing whether it's right or wrong to be installing MacOS on non-Apple hardware.

I'm pretty sure it's against apples EULA. Shouldn't we as software developers care about that kind of thing?

Oh no what will the poor most valuable company in the world do if we violate their made-up rules? It's an existential crisis, isn't it?

Why should software have a EULA and not a screwdriver or a tractor or a pair of socks? "I bought it and I'll do what I want with it", why is software the only thing that isn't sold?

Just because rich software dudes made up some rules doesn't mean they can make us follow them. lol.

Isn't this place called hacker news, don't hackers bend and break rules all the time, in the pursuit of knowledge and better technology? Even the founders of YCombinator (one of em) made the most infamous worm in computer history, that's hardly "following the rules".

And then Apple decided you couldn't install any software on your own computer (aka phone) unless they both approved it and you give them a 30% tithe on top of what the author makes. Fuck 'em. Build more Hackintoshes; do whatever you want. I'll keep on using open source since it's no-effort, free, and non-patronizing w/r/t my software sources.

The internet only stops being the wild west when you turn in your guns and buy a plow (that can only be used on Apple-approved sharecropping projects).

So when people violate GPL or other open source licenses, it’s ok to ignore that too right? This is morally equivalent: one can’t expect “made up rules” of open source to apply to anyone if “made up rules” can just be arbitrarily ignored.

GPL is about distribution, completely different kind of license than EULAs.

Sure, if you can handle the heat from the GPL Police.

I'm not entirely convinced open source licenses are a better idea than just making all open source public domain, with no restrictions at all.

>Oh no what will the poor most valuable company in the world do if we violate their made-up rules? It's an existential crisis, isn't it?

Just because Apple is the most valuable company in the world doesn't mean they shouldn't get the same rights that every other company does.

>Just because rich software dudes made up some rules doesn't mean they can make us follow them. lol.

They actually can make you follow these rules, or at least attempt to, by suing you and anyone else who violates their EULA. They probably won't, and even if they do the courts might not hold it up, but they can certainly try if they want to.

>Why should software have a EULA and not a screwdriver or a tractor or a pair of socks?

I'm perfectly fine with socks and screwdrivers having EULA's. There are several reasons they don't and software does.

1. People will buy another company's socks and screwdrivers, because they are all pretty much the same. OS's are much more complicated and differ from each other more.

2. It's much harder to check if a physical object is violating it's EULA than software that is (almost always) connected to the internet.

3. Software can be easily copied an infinite number of times and is therefore more prone to certain kinds of misuse than physical objects.

>Isn't this place called hacker news, don't hackers bend and break rules all the time, in the pursuit of knowledge and better technology?

This place may be called hacker news but there are plenty of people here who are just software engineers, not hackers. Anyone who wants to be able to license or sell their software, or get paid for writing software that will be licensed or sold by someone else, should at least question the ethics behind making a hackintosh.

>People will buy another company's socks and screwdrivers, because they are all pretty much the same

This sounds like someone who has never experienced the difference between a pack of the cheapest socks Walmart has to offer and some nice hiking socks from REI.

Or someone who has never experienced the difference between whatever screwdriver Harbor Freight sells, and a nice ratcheting, magnetic screw driver with swappable bits and a built in light.

>why is software the only thing that isn't sold?

You'll get it if you try to start a business selling software ;)

The best way to protest is to use non-EULAed software instead of breaking the EULA (which I admit, might be unenforceable anyway). Much like using Public Domain/Free stuff to protest copyright. If you keep using copyrighted stuff all you're telling the creators is that their product has a super high demand. And all they're going to wanna do is find a way to reduce violations.

But then again, if it was impossible to pirate Windows, would everyone switch to Linux?

It goes against Microsoft's EULA for people who build their own PC to buy the OEM version of Windows for it instead of the full retail version.

In my experience, nobody shows a lot of concern there either.

Yes it seems like most people tend to not care about this kind of thing and assume that as long as it's a large company getting the short end of the stick, whatever an individual person does is okay.

What they are doing is not particularly reasonable either. They have their reasons, we have ours.

Tutorials like these help people who have more time than money. While I don't use or encourage the use of this kind of software, for some its their only option to get started.

There are plenty of reasons beyond money. Some people have multiple computers. I don't feel like being forced to buy apple hardware just to keep my home and work dev environments the same. My custom desktop dual boots windows and osx while I use a macbook for work. The few hours it took to set up is probably equal to one month of typing errors from swapping environments.

I guess that's where we disagree. I think it's quite reasonable for Apple and Microsoft to decide on what terms you can use their product.

I do sympathize with people who's only option for starting out with iOS or MacOS development is a hackintosh, though. In an ideal world that would not be the case.

> I think it's quite reasonable for Apple and Microsoft to decide on what terms you can use their product.

Fair-use trials have gone to the supreme court and the companies always lose. And I agree with them: Once you buy a product, it's yours to do what you want with.

Anyway, even if you were correct and it was reasonable for Apple and Microsoft to decide what I can do with my personal property...they do plenty of other things wrong that I can justify "stealing" from them.

Also, here's the EULA for my comment: By reading this comment, you must agree with me.

I'm familiar with fair use as it relates to a defense against copyright infringement. I don't see how that relates to the issue at hand. Can you link me to information on some of the supreme court cases you are talking about?

There's no Apple hardware, if we're talking about computers. There's Intel CPU, Intel Chipset, Toshiba SSD, Kingston RAM, etc. The fact, that Apple puts their logo on top, doesn't make it somewhat special. And the fact, that Apple doesn't enforce its OS usage tells, that they are OK with that. They could easily make hackintosher's lives a nightmare: checking hardware IDs, etc.

Saying that it's okay because Apple doesn't stop it does not hold water to me. They shouldn't be required to stop it if it's already against the EULA. There wouldnt be much point in disallowing it if they had already made it impossible.

Anyways, there is Apple hardware. Apple hardware is hardware that is sold by Apple. I understand that they dont manufacture it.

The real issue here is that when Apple sells you a Mac, they include a copy of MacOS and say you can use it on that hardware. People with hacintoshes are saying "no, we can use it on whatever hardware we want". My question is, who's right?

Some people are also saying "I don't have a Mac and therefore Apple has never given me a copy of MacOS, but I pirated it anyways". I think that those people are fairly obviously in the wrong because of the piracy involved.

checking hardware IDs, etc.

The OS does do that --- search the Internet for "SMCDeviceKey" to learn more. I think Apple deliberately makes the check trivial and, since Hackintoshing is a tiny minority (potentially of users who might eventually buy hardware from them), doesn't push too hard on it lest it backfire --- the SMCDeviceKey protection is quite similar to this:


The enforceability/validity of EULAs is debatable.

Yes it is but I don't see why the part of Apples EULA saying you can't install MacOS on other hardware would be ruled unenforceable or invalid.

Even if that part is invalid, only people with actual Mac computers would be in the clear because that's the only way to get a copy of the OS. Apple won't sell it to you by itself. Anyone else making a hacintosh also has piracy issues to contend with.

> only people with actual Mac computers would be in the clear because that's the only way to get a copy of the OS

I have a real Mac and a hack. I can legitimately download OS, and I paid for Snow Leopard CD years ago and still have it. Am I in the clear?

It depends on whether you think Apples EULA is valid or not. It's never been ruled on by a court as far as I know.

The closest we got was the Psystar case which Apple won, so there is precedent that third parties can't install MacOS on a computer and sell it to you. I suppose it's also precedent that at least some of Apples EULA is enforceable.

Personally, I think that the EULA is valid and hackintoshes are a violation. Even so, it's unlikely that Apple will sue you for it.

> unlikely that Apple will sue you

Agree, very unlikely, its not Oracle after all

> that third parties can't install MacOS

Well ... I'm a First party :D

I'm curious about your opinion. I own a 2012 MacBook Pro and I've swapped out the ram, hard drive and battery with non-official components. I'm technically running macOS on non Apple hardware. Do you disagree with this, morally?

Conversely, it's unethical for a company of Apple's size to fail to cater to its user base in a way that would make something like a Hackintosh desirable. It's not like they don't have the money to support its userbase.

I don't consider that to be unethical. I am curious as to how you came to that conclusion.

How is it unethical? Are they not adhering to the terms of purchase?

I think there's a degree of unspoken contract that comes with buying through a single ecosystem like this. You're buying into an ecosystem that isn't supported by other hardware providers because it works well. By failing to upgrade the hardware on a regular basis—something that, specifically, can be said about the Mac Pro, and to a lesser degree about the Mac Mini—the company is failing to follow up on its end of the deal in supporting that ecosystem.

It's egregious in Apple's case because the company is not struggling and the user base of macOS is still large enough that there's no reason for it to ignore that user base. The business model works, and it's not outdated; it's just not as attractive as the iPhone business model.

The issue is less about them adhering to the terms of purchase and more about them failing to give its users a path forward. People have spent thousands of dollars on software that only works on macOS, and to change their operating system because the technology isn't keeping up creates a real conundrum in professional environments. IT departments spend real money on these products and a lack of an upgrade path is a big problem.

There are apps I use on macOS that have deep integrations with iCloud—which means Apple makes money off of my use of that third-party app. I can't switch from that tool very easily, which means that I'm tied down to their ecosystem. In an age where computing goes beyond the product you buy, ecosystem neglect is a real problem.

You're not buying the current MacBook Pro. You're also, hopefully, putting a downpayment on the next one. And that's where Apple is falling short.

Yeah we do. it's not wrong.

That's a pretty weak statement without any justification for why you think it's not wrong.

I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say if you are interested in saying it.

Does anyone know a good virtualbox virtual machine version of a hackintosh ?

Try https://github.com/kholia/OSX-KVM with qemu, it works on Debian 9 with a backport of buster qemu https://packages.debian.org/buster/qemu

There are macOS VMs available VMware Workstation, but they don't support graphics acceleration, making them pretty much unusable for more than very basic tasks. I highly recommend dual-booting macOS (this is fairly easy to accomplish), or, if you're on a Linux box, run it in KVM and use graphics passthrough with a supported graphics card.

VMWare Fusion can install MacOS images with a few tweaks. I don't know about virtualbox though.

Isn't VMWare Fusion a Mac app anyways?

Yes, and the only legal way to run macOS in a VM is when you run it on Mac hardware running macOS.

Yes it's not legal, same as Hackintosh.

What makes you think so? You're only allowed to run macOS on Mac hardware. You're doing that if you run it in a VM.

Argh, brain fart right there. Yes it should be the VMWare Workstation not Fusion.


edit: sorry I just realized you wanted for virtualbox. This is for KVM.

There are vmware images already installed in The Pirate Bay

I would have been more happy if PureDarwin had taken off or a true uKernel had incorporated Apple OSS in their code base.

For people in need of hackintosh this is a solution but why not have the real thing or a community version (like good ol Gnu-Darwin).

It is apple to blame here, the could have taken the FOSS direction and do a Darwin-EL (Like RHEL) for FOSS community, even with a fee. MacOS is definitely not for me though they have done an interesting work in the kernel and this is what I would like to try instead of BSD or Linux.

The GUI? Far from my tastes.

Hackintosh is good but I think most people just want a macOS system, they don't really care about how much they can learn from hackintosh installations.(e.g., bootloader, dsdt, kexts adaptions). This repo may be more suitable for those geeks and those who want to understand the computer OS better. So it will focus more on the technologies and theories (if one just want to install macOS and get no interests in hackintosh, he should turn to tonymacx86 or some other forums)

For those who run Hackintoshes - do you use a custom boot loader or kext to bypass dsmos.kext? Have you reviewed it to make sure it doesn't install backdoors, key loggers, or introduce other undefined or unexpected behavior?

I'd be much more interested in a tutorial for setting up PureDarwin on generic x86 hardware (and qemu if needed) as eg. a build and CI server for Mac OS/Mach-O command-line and other non-GUI apps.

Can hackintosh machines develop iOS apps and sign apps using XCode? I don't think macbooks or the apple desktops are the best machines at all, but the MacOS is too valuable to leave for Windows.

Yes many Hackintosh users are iOS developer, I built my first Hackintosh in order to develop my iPhone apps too.

If you want a low cost, relatively low effort Hackintosh, look into running macOS on one of the lower-end ThinkPad X220 or X220 Tablet laptops that you can buy second-hand, following this guide:


Granted, the lower-end x220 and x220 Tablet machines are nowhere near as strong as the MBP you’d typically buy.

Perhaps even an higher-end (stronger CPU, more RAM) version of the x220 or x220 Tablet might be worth it?

Another thing about this vs MBP is battery life. Apple did a really good job of optimizing MBP for battery life. You won’t get the same kind of battery life on the x220 or x220 Tablet. Also, speaking of battery, when you buy secondhand you risk getting a bad battery, so be prepared to shell out for a replacement battery.

I bought an x220 Tablet with an i5 CPU and 8 GB of RAM second-hand and put macOS on it. I also bought a compatible mini-PCIe WiFi card like the page I mentioned above suggests and switched the one that was inside for that. Switching out the WiFi card in the machine is a nice opportunity to clean the insides of the laptop of dust anyway. ThinkPads are very easy to disassemble, service and put back together, that is a big part of their appeal for me and many others.

However, I’ve only booted the system and tested it a little bit to confirm it works, because I haven’t had time to play around with it. I did have some problems with the mouse pointer or keyboard when I tested it. That problem might be because I haven’t yet installed the suggested BIOS.

So before you decide you decide to go with x220 or x220 Tablet, talk or read about what others that are using it are saying about the performance and check if anyone has experienced input problems with the keyboard and mouse and if that is simply solved by installing that BIOS.

There are some people on /r/ThinkPad that run macOS on x220 or x220 Tablet. Likewise, there are some posts about these computers on /r/hackintosh.






Also perhaps someone else on HN do too and would like to chime in here as well?

A hackintosh running on a tablet with touch screen is actually a better mac than the ones made by apple. I wonder for how long apple will cling on to only producing laptops without touchscreens.

I‘m using macOS on an x230t for precisely that reason. Pen works great, even has force sensitivity and served me well in the tutor groups I‘ve held.

I don't understand why Apple don't release macOS for non-Apple devices. Sure, it's a huge undertaking support-wise but it's not like they don't have the resources. I'm a full time desktop Linux user but I'd buy macOS for my laptop in a heartbeat to get a Unix environment with proper commercial apps like Office and Photoshop. I just don't want to pay the Apple premium for the hardware.

I would love to legally use macOS on a PC, too, as I'm disappointed with Apple's current hardware offerings yet I don't want to make the move to Windows or Linux. However, I don't see macOS for generic PCs happening for three main reasons.

1. If Apple licenses macOS for PC use, then this will disrupt Apple's Mac hardware business. The Mac business is designed around maintaining high profit margins on its hardware sales, and it can maintain these high profit margins by being the exclusive source of personal computers running macOS, the differentiator between a Mac and a PC. If macOS could legally be used on PCs, then this means that Apple would be forced to directly compete against the rest of the PC market, where profit margins are very low. Apple has historically avoided low-margin pursuits. Moreover, in the mid-1990s Apple experimented with Mac clones to help expand the marketshare of Mac OS. It ended up cannibalizing Apple Macintosh sales as some Mac users, new and existing, purchased Mac clones that were sometimes a better deal than Apple's offerings.

2. Licensing macOS for PC use will make macOS a direct competitor against Microsoft Windows. Microsoft hasn't had a direct competitor in the desktop operating system market since the days of BeOS, which struggled in the operating system marketplace due to the agreements that Microsoft had with large OEMs; these large OEMs could get Windows licenses at a substantial discount if they agreed not to preinstall their computers with competing operating systems. Now, things are different today; Apple is bigger than Microsoft these days and Windows is not as dominant today as it was twenty years ago. But Microsoft is still formidable, however, and Windows is still Microsoft's core business, even with Microsoft's foray toward the cloud. There's a risk that Microsoft will defend its long-time cash cow by squelching operating system competition from Apple, as macOS running on generic PCs would be a major threat to Microsoft's core business.

3. Apple has a long-standing reputation for quality and polish, and this reputation may be compromised if Apple takes on the challenge of supporting macOS for generic PCs with the plethora of hardware options available. It will take a large amount of resources for Apple to write the drivers for a wide variety of PC hardware. If Apple does not feel that it could recover the cost of developing macOS for generic PCs through license sales, then Apple won't provide macOS for generic PCs.

The short answer is because they are a hardware company. Selling software isn't what they do unless it's in support of selling their hardware.

Do you think the untapped market of people who would buy macOS only if it means not buying Apple hardware is a bigger incentive than what they would lose if people who get cornered into buying Apple hardware became able to get cheaper non-Apple hardware?

And then they buy shitty hardware, everything lags and they blame it on macOS. Hello Windows problems.

Because more people pay the premium when it's the only (legit) option if you want their OS.

Looking at the effort and cost, why don't people just buy a mac? (other then of course the fun of actually doing this)

Short version: Apple doesn't make the hardware that some Mac users want, yet these Mac users don't want to give up macOS for Windows or Linux. For these users, the Hackintosh is a possible solution.

Long version: With the exception of the iMac, Apple hasn't updated its desktop models in years. The Mac Mini hasn't been updated since October 2014, and the Mac Pro hasn't been updated since December 2013, although it is slated for a dramatic overhaul in 2019. Buying a Mac desktop today that isn't an iMac means purchasing 2013-2014 vintage hardware at premium prices. Sure, there's the iMac, but not everyone wants to buy a desktop computer that has a built-in monitor and is largely not user-serviceable (although the 27" regular iMac does have a user-accessible RAM slot).

Apple does update its Mac notebook line regularly. Unfortunately, there is a sizable amount of Mac users who are not pleased with the current-generation MacBook and the MacBook Pro; there are many articles and Hacker News threads describing the complaints that these users have with the line, largely dealing with the USB-C ports, the keyboard (from its feel to its reliability), its specifications (there are many users who need 32GB RAM and more powerful processors, which are not available), and its lack of user-serviceability (even the storage is soldered). There are some people who long for a Mac equivalent of a ThinkPad T480, ThinkPad P51, or even a ThinkPad P71. Apple used to make such machines back in the early days of the MacBook Pro, but Apple's priorities have shifted to making its notebooks thin and light at the expense of other design considerations.

However, despite some Mac users' disappointment with Apple's current hardware lineup, many of these users still want to use macOS, whether its due to all of the software they invested in or whether it's out of preference. Building a Hackintosh is an attempt to stay in the macOS ecosystem without being restricted to Apple's current hardware offerings.

> the 27" regular iMac does have a user-accessible RAM slot

Wow, that's impressive!

Sarcasm aside, I really don't understand how much user-hostile behavior Apple users can stand. Their products seem to be designed in a way that discourages repairs and parts replacement. In some models they even glued the battery in place! Big win for Apple money-wise, a huge loss for the whole environment.

I don’t think it’s about liking Apple, its more about not having any choice. My middle finger is high for Apple’s anti-consumer practices, yet I still buy a Mac because it’s the only machine that allows me to be productive, runs all my software and is overall a pleasure to use. Windows doesn’t even come close, and Linux is even worse.

I feel the exact same way. I've been a Mac user since 2006 when I bought my first Mac: a white Core Duo MacBook. I am disappointed with Apple's post-2012 hardware direction; Apple has been milking its users by moving toward non-user serviceable designs and by neglecting its non-iMac desktop line. Unfortunately I'm hooked on macOS; I can't stand Windows 10 (how I long for Windows 2000, which is why I'm cheering for the further development of ReactOS), and while I could make do with Linux and FreeBSD, my computing tasks are made much easier on macOS.

The time is ripe for a new competing OS: one that had the polish of macOS and enforced time-tested UI guidelines, and one that is not shackled to a specific hardware vendor.

For many people, what you call user-hostile behavior is either a good thing or a neutral, non-bad thing.

Most people don't care about upgrading or fixing their hardware anymore than they care about fixing their dishwasher themselves. They are more than happy to pay for someone else to repair or replace it, which Apple is known to do well if you live near an Apple store especially.

Because Mac hardware is becoming painful and extremely expensive.

When I bought my first Macbook Pro (~2009), I could go for a low-end model, then upgrade the RAM and the disk. The same was true for the Mac Pro, the Mac Mini, and (partially) for the iMac - and all those models usually received an at-least-yearly technological update.

Now the Macbook Pro is non-serviceable, high-cost, shitty features (keyboard and touchbar) laptop; the Mac Pro hasn't been update since 2015 (if I recall correctly) and the Mac Mini since 2014, the latter has no quad core option and all those systems have limited upgradeability.

A desktop hackintosh, if created with components from tonymacx86, is simply, really, totally great. I run one of them for years, and it simply rocked - just reinstall Multibeast after each upgrade, and you're done. Major upgrades take a more little time, but they work fine.

On the contrary, laptop hackintoshes are brittle and require a lot of hand-holding and compromises.

Incidentally, I think that there's a reason for Apple not cracking down on desktop hackintosh users: they don't want to lose potential customers, when they don't offer a product for such people. Many desktop hackintosh users also own a Macbook of some sort, and they would totally buy a Mac Pro or Mac Mini if it didn't totally suck, right now.

> Many desktop hackintosh users also own a Macbook of some sort, and they would totally buy a Mac Pro or Mac Mini if it didn't totally suck, right now.

That is me exactly. If Apple ever deigns to again sell a desktop computer in a normal, user-upgradable tower, I will buy it in a heartbeat, even if it's twice the price of comparable non-Apple hardware, and never bother with a Hackintosh again. I like MacBooks, and although I'm hesitant to upgrade to the new MacBook, I'm hopeful Apple will release better-designed models soon.

As someone living off a steady stream of increasingly ancient Macbooks (the last 5 have been second hand 2011 MBPs), I simply don't give two hoots about recent Mac hardware any more - touchbars, keyboards with the tactile response of a Chinese pocket calculator, no escape key!??!, moronic peripheral ports, soldered on everything, meanwhile I am still attached to the software environment.

What I'd really love is a flexible modern laptop with a chipset drawing on architectural designs from the past decade, and Apple simply don't sell that combination any more.

IMO the 2011 era MBP is the peak of this form factor's design, and any subsequent 'evolution' past it will always be a regression in disguise. I really want this shell with modern guts. The Chromebook Pixel comes close, but that's another walled garden I don't want to buy into.

As much as I'd like to scoff at hackintosh users, a hackintosh laptop might be a viable option for someone like me to finally start breaking the chain.

Windows + WSL is also on my radar, dunno if I could tolerate Windows full time again though.

Touchbars are optional.

Escape key is there it is just a software key. I use vi every day and am fine with it.

Moronophic peripheral ports. Strongly disagree with this one. Moving to Thunderbolt/USB-C is the best thing Apple ever did. I have one dongle for older ports but everything else I can use the same cables. I don't want another generation of 10 different peripheral ports.

Wrong, touchbars are not optional when you want to buy the 15" variant.

I'm using the a new macbook (15", touchbar) since half a year now and have to say that it's the worst apple experience so far.

My biggest complain is with the keyboard. Who thought of these arrow up/down keys? Also the esc key is annoying, although I got a little bit used to it.

> Touchbars are optional.

Not if you want a post-2015 15" MacBook Pro or a performant post-2015 13" MacBook Pro.

There isn't an affordable machine in Apple on which I can:

* attach multiple sata disks

* plug two screens

I don't mind that in my laptops (I'm writing this from a Macbook Air), but I need to be able to update my desktop where I store photos & stuff without buying a new computer just because I want to plug a new 4TB cheap sata drive for my photos.

Your use case works just fine on the MacBook Pro.

Not sure about MacBook but it can drive two displays just fine and so I imagine adding a couple of USB-C drives wouldn't tip it over the edge ?

I ran a hacktintosh for a while because I needed a super powerful editing machine that you just couldn't get from Apple. It worked for a while but man it was a hassle to keep it running right.

Upgradeability is one thing. And dual-booting to Windows for gaming. But I personally use a VM for mac because I only need it for light development.

For only a bit more than building a gaming pc, you can also have another Mac. You just have to be a little bit careful about what parts you select. (This is why I did it)

Because I miss my Xserve which I used for continuous integration of iOS (iPhone OS at the time) apps. I'm not going to hackintosh in a professional setting, but if they expect me to do CI on a collection of iMacs they are insane. I'd love to run a couple of OS X vms on those 32 core EPYC systems for CI.

At the time, I wanted a gaming pc, 2-3 years later I wanted something to work with and Hackintosh worked surprisingly well. Besides some caveats, I am more than impressed.

My system has an i5 4590,16GB ram and an r9 380. At the time, something along these lines would have cost me double. Plus, this PC was a wip.

Have you seen what a spec'ed up Mac costs? Also, almost zero upgradeability. It's a bit of a hassle to install macOS and upgrade it to new major versions, yes, and I wish that was easier. If I was made of money, I'd buy a Mac Pro or a maxed out iMac.

Once Apple moves to arm you will have no choice, hackingtosh won't have anything but an old version of macosx. The only hardware that will be able to run macosx in 2 years would be in house at Apple. For the same reason that while you can build your own Android phone from parts you would never be able to DIY an iPhone.

"Once Apple moves to ARM" is still pure speculation. Steve Jobs also famously sneered at Motorola about the day he "wont need them anymore". Look how well that panned out with the G5

You can run Android on just about anything with minimal effort. X86, ARM, MIPS

Hell. Even the Raspberry Pi supports Android fairly well


Even if Apple moves to ARM, support for Intel will continue for many years. They are still supporting machines from 2009. I would say anyone running a Hackintosh is safe until 2025.

Do you really think that all Macs that you buy today will be unsupported in 2 years?

some people really really dont want their money to go to apple

No. Some people don't want insane amounts of money to go to Apple just for the brand, and then get old or shitty hardware. I'd happily pay 2000/2500 USD for a good 15" OSX laptop - but not for a stupid piece of hardware where the keyboard sucks and the touchbar gets in my way.

yes. not sure how your point makes mine null however.

My mistake. I should have replied to "then they shouldn't buy OS X".

Then they shouldn't buy OS X.

a lot of people dont buy OS X for their hackintoshes

So they engage in criminal activities then.

copyright infringement isnt a criminal act, unless it involves reselling. It is a civil tort, and apple is free to sue.

> copyright infringement isnt a criminal act, unless it involves reselling

Wrong in the USA, criminal copyright infringement requires only that the purpose be commercial advantage or private financial gain; [17 USC § 506(a)] selling is obviously an example of this, but isn't the only possibility.

That depends on the jurisdiction.

On most countries copying software without paying the owner is a criminal offense.

How much the local authorities bother following up with this kind of crime is another matter.

No it is not.

If it makes you happy to pirate stuff, by all means.

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