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OpenCore: Hackintosh Alternative to Clover (github.com)
494 points by tambourine_man 38 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 165 comments

Hackintosh has a tendency to create amusing technical problems, so I thought I'd share some I've come across over the years.


I had one computer that would only boot if a specific USB Bluetooth adapter was connected. If it wasn't inserted while the computer turned on, I'd get a kernel panic during the bootup process. However, I could unplug the adapter after boot and everything would be fine.

I didn't notice the problem until several months after I'd set up the Hackintosh, when I tried to replace my current Bluetooth adapter with a more powerful "class 1" dongle.

(I don't remember how I eventually fixed this.)


I had another computer which wouldn't boot outside of safe mode. I couldn't remember the flag for turning on extra debug messages, but instead of looking it up like a smart person, I guessed and typed "debug=yes". This did not enable any extra messages, but it did cause the computer to boot correctly.

As far as I can tell, debug=yes is not a valid kernel flag. At least at the time, there was no information about it anywhere on the internet. But this computer would not boot without it. Removing the flag caused it to once again get stuck, and adding it back made everything work again.


This one didn't happen to me personally. I was browsing some Hackintosh forum, and I came across a thread titled (paraphrasing):

> Help! Audio only works while I'm moving my mouse!

This might be my favorite technology problem ever.

I’ve personally experienced a variation of the mouse one. For me it was network traffic would only pass if I moved the mouse. I have a screen recording of it somewhere, it was pretty wild. I remember switching from a Mac Pro to an iMac resolved it for me.

I'm still using a Hackintosh (Gigabyte EX58-UD5) I built in January 2010 as my main desktop. Bought a second-hand graphics card on eBay for £50 and upgraded it to Mojave. Everything works fine except sleep which I don't really miss.

At the time I was starting with Hackintosh it was unable to boot every now and then. I couldn't figure out what's going on because months could pass without any issues.

At the end it turned out that boot went right only if my microserver (NAS) was turned on. I guess I had an SMB mount that failed before GUI even started. Couple of weeks after I figured what was going on a new version of macOS was published and I switched - never had similar problem again.

Even now I'm not 100% sure that networking issue was exact cause but it certainly looked that way at the time.

I have had these same kind of problems with regular Macs.

My 2010 Mac Pro won’t boot without a specific type of DVI cable and display. Certain standard USB peripherals (including some mice) don’t work or cause other problems on my 2015 Macbook Pro while they work just fine on my Linux or Windows machines.

This is not just a problem with Hackintoshes.

I use OpenCore but have switched my Hackintosh system over to running in a VM (using GPU passthrough). It's easier for me to backup / make changes this way, and there is only a minor performance hit. This is a Geekbench run from my VM (Core i9 10940x with 4 cores passed through): https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/15395105

I have a Windows 10 VM running on a same system too. It may not be suitable if you require virtualization inside macOS itself though. Nested virtualization doesn't work too well with the Android emulator, in my experience.

If you're looking to create a macOS VM (w/ GPU Passthrough), I've made a detailed guide here: https://github.com/yoonsikp/macOS-KVM-PCI-Passthrough

I believe my guide is better at avoiding GPU driver initialization problems than others. I'll need to update it to support OpenCore however.

Consider taking a look at this Opencore setup specifically configured for KVM and GPU passthrough.



I'm not sure if you know but you have been shadow banned.

> Does nvidia work through GPU pass through as I know hackintosh didn’t support my 1660gti gpu when I tried it a few months ago.

It most likely does not.

As I'm currently thinking about also going this route I do have some questions, if I may. Could you elaborate what your hardware setup is? Do you have two screens, and two powerful GPUs? Or do you use a HDMI Switch for one screen? Basically, how do you cope with the hardware limitations of GPU Passthrough

(I briefly looked into using a single GPU for passthrough, which seems possible but involved rewriting the GPU rom and I'm not going to do that :)

One screen, two GPUs. For the screen I've got an LG 38GL950G, and the GPUs are a Radeon WX5100 (macOS) and RTX 2080 Ti (Windows). I run the Linux host (Ubuntu) headless.

I have the macOS side connected via HDMI and Windows via DisplayPort. Then I switch inputs when through the monitor's OSD for changing the OS (I think there's a way to do this through DDC/CI commands depending on the monitor, in which case you'd be able to write a script to do this, haven't looked into that yet). I have a USB switch for moving all device connections to the OS of my choice.

Also the board I have, an X299 Designare, has several USB controllers on their own IOMMU group so you can pass through each to their own VM.

Does passing through the "boot" gpu work well these days? I remember it not working very well in the past.

It works fine here on Ubuntu 19.10 (kernel 5.3).

I just run the following commands to stop gdm and X after booting:

  sudo systemctl stop gdm
  sudo systemctl stop systemd-logind
  sudo killall gdm-x-session
Then start my VM. libvirt automatically unbinds it from the host and binds to the VM. You're right though, in the past this has been problematic. It is working fine though now at least on my Radeon WX 5100.

You don't need to rewrite the GPU rom! I never set it up fully due to other issues, but I had High Sierra + GPU passthrough working quite well in ESXI last fall.

I would still be using ESXI now, except my (unusual) goal was to run 10.9, and I couldn't for the life of me get GPU passthrough working in 10.9.

The neat thing about ESXI, though, is that it is officially supported by macOS. Only on Apple hardware, of course, but with ESXI the motherboard is all fake anyway, so it works identically regardless of the host's hardware. All you need to do is patch out the Apple hardware check, which is easy.

do you have any resources to look at for setting this up?

I don't! For whatever reason, there is precious little information on the internet for running macOS in ESXI. I got the original idea from another Hacker News comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17766016 And then, this is what you need to enable macOS on non-Apple hardware: https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/files/file/964-macos-unloc... The rest is the same as setting up any other VM in ESXI with GPU passthrough, so you can read tutorials on that.

High Sierra and an nVidia card "just worked" for me on ESXI. (Sadly, Mavericks did not—I could not get the GPU to output anything—and that was the only OS I cared about—but you probably don't care.)

There's a lot more information on using KVM, so you may want to go that route instead. But of course, then then you need to use a Hackintosh bootloader like Clover or OpenCore. It was really cool having everything just install natively with ESXI.

well that's a start at least! thanks!

Nice setup! Quick question: would you recommend getting a Core i9 10940x today or waiting for a 10900K?

I wanted to try this but was worried that the gpu pass through wouldn’t be smooth for basic video playback. How well do YouTube and Netflix play? How smooth does it feel overall? Could someone be fooled into thinking it was a native system?

If you’re passing through an entire GPU, it feels just like a native system

Can i run 3 screens if the gpu has enough outputs? I mean will it work as it would if it was not vm?

Yes. The VM guest operating system's GPU drivers are not aware of the fact that they're running in a VM, and have full transparent access to all the hardware resources of the GPU that's assigned to that VM.

I have another question about this. Can I also use the GPU that is passed-through to the guest from the host, once the guest is shut down?

For example, say I build a linux host with IGP + powerful discrete GPU. Can I use KVM to pass the discrete GPU to Windows if I want to play a game (using the IGP for the linux desktop) but also use the discreet GPU for Linux CUDA programming after the Windows guest is shut down?

I think that generally works these days. When GPU passthrough first became possible, there were widespread issues with GPUs that could not be easily reset and reinitialized after VM shutdown, and GPU drivers don't like taking control of hardware that's been left in an indeterminate state.

I did some searching and it seems that there is indeed a way to bind/unbind the GPU from the host by writing to /proc/bus/cpu, but apparently this is (was?) not always very stable as some GPU firmwares (AMD in particular it seems) do (did?) not allow resetting the device through any firmware interfaces.

If anyone knows if this is still the case and if the same holds for modern NVidia cards as well that would be great! Is GPU reset a documented/officially supported feature on NVidia/AMD these days?

Yes, the VM gets the entire GPU to itself as if it were bare-metal.

Yes, you GPU behaves exactly as if it was outside a VM, so multiple monitors do work.

That sounds pretty nice actually. Really the only pain that I feel with my Hackintosh is the updates (which is why I'm still on Mojave). However, I'm not really sure if I want to trade in performance since updates are a periodic pain but a performance hit is gonna always be there.

OP didn't specify, but I assume they're using a type-1 hypervisor, likely either KVM or ESXI. If you're also using GPU passthrough, the performance loss is minimal—nothing like your standard Virtualbox VM.

Now, whether its actually easier to set up than a bare-metal Hackintosh, I'm not so sure. I tried it last fall, and it took a lot of fiddling to get working. (It also flat-out didn't work for my very specific use case, but that's another matter.) Maybe it would be better at surviving updates, but it's not obvious to me that it necessarily would, especially when Clover/OpenCore are already pretty decent at it.

Yeah, KVM.

Someone setup a repo here with a starter config: https://github.com/Leoyzen/KVM-Opencore

You'll need to build a bootable disk image with the EFI folder there, but that should mostly work out of the box. Only thing I changed was the serial numbers so iMessage, iCloud etc work properly. I think it would be easier to set up a working Windows install with passthrough first just so you know you have that portion setup properly, and then do macOS.

What's your hypervisor os?

Ubuntu 19.10, using KVM+QEMU

For Android I would try to run its emulator on a host machine and make it accessible via network (AFAIK adb works with emulator via TCP connection anyway).

I just built a new hackintosh with opencore, and compared to clover, it was so much nicer. The documentation [0] is excellent; I'm able to grok what each option does rather than just guessing. It also feels so much less janky than clover did. Better filevault support, faster, leave SIP on, etc. It's also better in that one can avoid polluting /L/E /S/L/E, which will also allow users to keep running kexts even after Apple deprecates third-party ones.

[0]: https://github.com/acidanthera/OpenCorePkg/blob/master/Docs/...

Ditto. I built one last week. Everything was straightforward and the documentation great.

My only criticism of the state of building a Hackintosh is the amount of cargo cult advise out there. Figuring out my Audio took longer than it should as finding the layout-id for my ALC892 was buried in threads where everyone kept parroting “use ID 1, 2, and 3 or just keep trying numbers until it works.” My board needed layout-id 7 and it took a while to find out that I could use IORegistryExplorer to search for “HDAS” (my ACPI device name) and read the value from the table listed.

> My only criticism of the state of building a Hackintosh is the amount of cargo cult advise out there.

Absolutely right. I think the issue behind this is that many people are repeating advice without understanding why it matters because it worked for them. So, you end up with people cargo-culting SSDT overlays, boot arguments, and other miscellaneous settings. This is somewhat inevitable with something technical, but it's exacerbated by a couple things:

1. many people in the Hackintosh community are very gatekeep-y. While others are very nice, I remember a few years ago being told to "go read the entire ACPI standard and the come back!" Reading about stuff is important, but it's pretty hard to figure out what the correct stuff is to read.

2. A lack of a centralized documentation repository (this is being fixed by OpenCore and others) to explain when different pieces of advice apply or don't. This is especially important on laptops where there may be some obscure quirk of one's particular hardware revision that is much easier found if everyone puts documentation in the same place.

I mostly gave up on hackintosh a few years ago because of all this, but have found it so much better and nicer as of late. Big thanks to the acidanthera guys who seem to be driving a lot of this change.

These are true. But also, I think some of the weirdness is that a lot of people only do this once, struggle, and then move on. So the forums are full of people trying to find others with the same problem which none of them understand.

I think that the main issue is people who lack technical expertise and just want to install macOS but do not want to buy Apple hardware. They don't understand technical manuals and they'll spread gossip knowledge.

I agree, that's always the biggest problem is how much time you have to spend researching what tweaks you have to make for a specific piece of hardware. It seems like there's not that much effort in making the process automatic and more in making the process flexible. I'd rather it either work without any configuration on my end, or fail in predictable ways so I could contribute fixes. For example, for each specific iteration of hardware, there'd be a github issue and everyone with that hardware could swarm it and build an automated fix. There's too much one-off patching that goes on in the hackintosh process these days.

Having said that, I do really appreciate all the work and I think it's great that hackintoshes exist. I just feel like a lot of good research and work is thrown away because it's hidden away within forum threads instead of inlined into the solution.

I was planning on building a hackintosh today (my mac mini just isn't fast enough these days). I'll give Open Core a try. It's been a couple of years since I last built one.

> There's too much one-off patching that goes on in the hackintosh process these days.

I've been a Hackintosh user for more than a decade, and it has always been this way. On the whole, it's much easier now than it used to be.

I don't know why the bootloaders aren't better at detecting your system and automatically configuring themselves, but I assume it's a legitimately difficult problem, or someone would have done it.

KextUpdater tracks/downloads releases for the kexts you have installed from their upstream repos. I was in the “never update a working hackintosh” camp for years but this tool changed that.

That's neat, but it doesn't get around the initial setup process, which is what I thought (?) the GP was talking about. You need to know which kexts to use, what weird bootloader options to set, etc etc.

I've actually never been in the "never update a working Hackintosh" camp. For better or worse, I've always installed point releases, and I can't recall a single time when they've broken something. (Whole version upgrades are a different matter, but I'm cautious about those on real Macs too!)

Initial setup I’ve always done with as much disabled as possible — ideally zero custom kexts — so I certainly may have read GP through the wrong lens!

Not that "initial setup"; the initial setting-up process of getting your Hackintosh from "a stock install where most things don't work" to "customized with drivers and patches that make everything work." That's the time-consuming part; and that's the part that could be automated. It's the thing that MultiBeast tries (but mostly fails) to do.

I think there hsould be a place where people could list their hardware and their settings/kexts for successfull builds.

And you could just input your hardware and get a list of settings and kexts for your build.

Or like dynamic documentation like the stripe docs, but then for your hackingtosh...

Hoping to setup one myself this week

Good luck! One thing I think has really tripped up past attempts is there are a lot of variables that can make a difference:

What version of macOS are you running? What are your BIOS settings? Does sleep work? Do CPU C-States work or is it always using full power? Do all the ports on your GPU work, or only some?

Somehow, these things all need to be tracked, and users need to be able to see both exact configuration matches and ones that are just similar.

> It's also better in that one can avoid polluting /L/E /S/L/E

I haven't used OpenCore[1], but just to be clear, Clover can do this too!

When Clover first came onto the scene (replacing the even older Chameleon/Chimera), bootloader kext injection was my favorite feature. It's great to have Hackintosh kexts separate, particularly in a place where updates can't touch them.


[1] Partly because Clover works and I'm used to it, and party because I want to run Mavericks, and I'm not clear how compatible OpenCore is with old OS's.

Hi, I looked at the guide - it seems there are no step by step instructions there.

Do you think this a good guide given that you just walked through the experience?

I am looking for a solid step-by-step guide that explains what USB to make etc


Or this one:


The link from this article should probably be this one instead.


This is the actual website with links, sidebars, etc and will give you the step by step instructions your are looking for. Just be very careful to read every word carefully. It is very easy to breeze past a very important point.

I thought I was going crazy because people kept linking to documentation that didn't look thorough at all. Protip for those on mobile: On the top left corner, there's a gray button (really hard to see over the gray background!). If you hit it, a sidebar containing what you actually want to read will show up.

As another data point - Building a hackintosh is so much simpler now than it was 5 years ago.

The reddit forum at r/hackintosh is pretty helpful for getting started and has a nice repository of builds.

AMD Ryzen CPUs are fairly well supported now. My current system is a 3700x with radeon 5700xt gpu. I use OSX for my daily work, and Windows 10 for gaming. It's a great setup for $1000. My OSX geekbench specs beat out the latest standard 16" Macbook Pros.

For developers - One thing to note is that Docker is not supported with AMD hackintoshes. There are some workarounds but they seem fragile. Otherwise, everything else works great for me. I am mostly on cloud based apps/tools. Others also pointed out that Adobe, and vmware has issues. virtual box works.

This here says Docker with virtualbox is a thing.


Yep, this is also how you run Docker on OS's which predate the addition of HyperVisor.framework.

How is the stability of Hackintosh?

What about updating to newer OS versions (minor and patch releases)

Is that experience better?

I haven’t looked into it since 2010

I did run into some stability issues with the latest 10.15.4 release. But I was not running this latest version of OpenCore (0.5.7) that supposedly works better with 10.15.4. I upgraded before 0.5.7 was released. I have a backup that I can test with before fully committing.

That being said - I had to rebuild my machine to downgrade to 10.15.3. Luckily, I had a spare backup to work off of and things are great again.

Stability and other misc notes for 10.15.3 and below:

* Stable system, no kernel panics

* Sleep does not work (it's a desktop anyway, so not an issue for me).

I don't have USB-C or TB-3 on this system. There are expansion boards for this, but since they aren't common on hackintoshes yet, you're likely going into untested waters. For example, to run the LG 5K display (TB3 only), you need a specific motherboard with a TB3 connector, a usb-c pci-e card, and a lot of frustration to get up and running. I'm sure it's a huge PITA.

> Is the experience better?

I mainly did this because I wanted to have an all-in-one machine to play the latest games with on Win10 and do work in OSX. For my daily work and coding (mostly JS/Python these days), I haven't had any issues. For the price, it can't be beat!

> I mainly did this because I wanted to have an all-in-one machine to play the latest games with on Win10 and do work in OSX. For my daily work and coding (mostly JS/Python these days), I haven't had any issues. For the price, it can't be beat!

So it’s stable enough for pro-dev work and gaming. That’s exactly what I’m looking for.

How are Xcode build times? (Or whatever IDE you use)

The hackintosh beats my work laptop (mbp 16") in pretty much every way.

Hackintosh geekbench CPU scores: Single 1252, Multi-core 8025

See these geekbench charts: https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks

This is essentially my exact setup. Anytime I need docker support I run a Linux vm in vagrant/virtual box. Nice having 64gb of ram and nvme2 ssds.

also Adobe software requires patches, which is a little bit more of a dealbreaker.

To be honest quite a few apps don't seem to play nicely without the Intel-specific instructions present. REAPER won't run at all, Cubase crashes unless you remove the surround panner VST, Pro Tools would crash on launch last time I tried it (but this may have been fixed since)...

Unity wont bake lights on Ryzen Hackintosh too using Progressive GPU/CPU. Also VMWare won't run because of lack of Intel specific VT-x support, same with Docker for mac, Virtualbox runs fine though (it finds amd-v).

ah good to know. So at least never an AMD hackintosh for me. Are this problems completely gone with Intel hackintoshes?

There aren't any inherent problems with Docker, VMWare, Unity games, or Adobe apps on Intel Hackintosh machines, if that's what you mean. Apps just work, and when you do encounter a bug in some app, you can be quite confident it isn't because you're using Hackintosh.

I expect AMD is always going to have some oddities because no AMD CPU has ever been used in a real Mac.

How is it even possible to make AMD hackintoshes? It seems a bit like magic to me because I'd expect that while the basic instruction set may be the same, there must be so many intel-specific extensions and differences in the details. Apparently I'm wrong about that, which is cool!

... But then again AMD laptops are almost impossible to hackintosh because of the integrated GPU not being supported, apparently.

Similar differences exist between Intel generations too. They write code to handle missing features because of that. It may not take advantage of AMD-specific features though.

Notably, Hackintosh also doesn’t work between Intel generations. I wanted to downgrade to 10.9, but my Skylake machine couldn’t run anything below 10.11. I had to build a new machine around a Haswell cpu and motherboard.

Now, the Skylake machine was able to run 10.9 in VM. (And much older than 10.9—-I got Tiger to boot in VMWare, although it liked to randomly kernel panic. I don’t quite understand why VM’s are different in this regard.

Thanks for the information. I'm a SW developer but I also do semi-professional photo editing sometimes (so Docker, VMs and Adobe products needs to work for me). Now I know in which direction I need to look for!

I was a little bit confused what Clover was referring to— "Clover EFI is a boot loader developed to boot OS X (Hackintoshes), Windows and Linux in legacy or UEFI mode." (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Clover)

If anyone has an Intel NUC that they were thinking of turning into a hackintosh, there’s a really great guide/set of documentation out there for a project called HaC Mini[1] which is based on OpenCore. This was my first exposure to OpenCore after being a long time Clover user and it was very good!

[1] https://osy.gitbook.io/hac-mini-guide/

The latest i9 NUCs look like a great Mac Mini replacement if they're Hackintoshable. Although they seem to be quite pricey.

The NUCs with CPUs comparable to the one that the Mac Minis offer are a lot cheaper (since they're a few generations old). Around $500 or so if you bring your own memory

Cool this was what I was looking for: basically confirmed system build that works rather than struggling to assemble a bunch of parts and making them work.

What issues did you run into, or was everything supported onboard?

My particular NUC (the NUC8i7HVK) is precisely the one targeted by the HaC Mini project, so everything worked really great out of the box.

That wasn’t the case a few months ago though, when graphics acceleration, sleep, and even USB didn’t work! It was really thanks to the authors of this project who got everything working. They even have technically detailed explanations about how they reverse engineered some of the drivers to get everything working correctly.

This seems to be a more generally useful link?


It has links to other parts of the guide in the sidebar.

Introducing something as an unconventional first-in-class piece of software is not very descriptive IMHO.

I think this would be better described by the problem it solves, which I am guessing has to do with MacOS refusing to boot on non-Apple UEFI code, which I presume the Hackintosh community has not been able to obtain?

Saying it's better than Clover also doesn't help anyone who isn't already familiar with the problem.

Yep, the intro is super weird.

I’ve been using a Hack Pro for several months with OpenCore. It took a bit to learn my way through the docs as they were not terribly clear when I started but once I was up and running it was nice.

I was largely happy with it, as the machine was extremely fast and very, very quiet. I also had FileVault running too along with SIP. However, the main issues I had were stability - these machines are generally nowhere near as stable as a regular Mac as there are many small issues which over time can become big (restarting on wake from sleep, unreliable internet, disconnecting from iCloud, etc).

Depending on your use case, these may not be an issue. However, Opencore was vastly better than Clover and if you want to try this I’d start there first.

My OpenCore-based Hackintosh has been rock solid with the sole exceptions of Sidecar (iPad as an additional monitor) Apple Watch Unlock, which sometimes work and sometimes doesn’t. I currently do not care enough to put much effort into it. Everything else works perfectly: iMessages, AirDrop, iCloud, etc.

This is not to discredit the parent comment, but rather to stress the importance of choosing your parts for maximum Hackintosh compatibility.

I built my PC to be a Hackintosh. I choose the build parts that were most compatible. Trying to Hackintosh arbitrary PC builds is above my tolerance threshold.

If you don’t want to mess with your Hackintosh all the time, go this route. If you don’t want to have to mess with your Hackintosh at all, buy a Mac.

What resource(s) would you recommend for identifying compatible parts?

Right now, I'd say become familiar with the /r/hackintosh subreddit and it's accompanying Discord. You can suss together a "golden" build there.

I specifically recommending avoiding anything on tonymacx86 across the board. One, their methods involve a lot of ill-advised hacks and two, their hardware builds often lag and are specced with the aforementioned hacks in mind.

The tl;dr version of parts selection:

- Get a non-oddball Intel CPU, such as a 9700K or whatever,

- An AMD GPU (an TX 580 or 5700XT),

- A Z370 or Z390 motherboard from a reputable manufacturer, such as ASUS or Gigabyte.

- A fast NVMe SSD, because that's what macOS expects these days.

- For AirDrop and certain other macOS features, you'll need a well-supported BT/wifi card.

When I built my system, I specced an 8700K, an ASUS Z390-I Gaming, a Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+, and a Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD. I had to swap out the mini-m.2 intel-based wifi card from the motherboard and installed a Dell DW1560 and that was a little annoying, ut it's a one-and-done thing. And dang has my system worked great.

You mean OpenCore is not as stable? Hackintoshes in general have become really stable, at least on the "recommended" hardware from sites like TonyMacx86.

I've had a Clover Hack Pro as my primary workstation for at least 4 years now -- and it's more stable than my 2018 Macbook Air.

It's more that any hackintosh isn't perfect, and you'll notice some glaring flaws.

For me, it restarted on wake about 15% of the time. But every time that happened, it was always jarring. In addition, I would occasionally get some crazy graphic glitches which required a force restart (I was using the internal graphics on an i9 chip, so it should have been perfectly stable - but wasn't).

However, iCloud worked perfectly (along with handoff, copy/paste between devices, etc.). But in the back of my mind I knew that I was running a machine that had code not from apple on it, and that would always be a small but real risk.

I bought a Mac mini i7 1tb and dropped 64gb of ram in it. I get practically the same performance for the same price in parts, plus a T2 security chip. The only price I've paid is slightly more noise under load, which happens infrequently.

If I had it to do again, I would have gone with the Mac mini instead, but it was a good learning experience and taught me a lot about the lower levels of the system.

My main workstation was a hackintosh back in 2012 and I remember it was extremely stable for my use. Did not use iCloud nor Wake from sleep though, and it was pre SIP (OS X Lion).

It's too bad Apple is blocking Nvidia from releasing graphics card drivers for the more recent OSX versions.

I have been a hackintosh user for the last 3-4 years. I was shocked when I had problems with the GTX1060 I bought. I am using High Sierra because of this.

IIRC AMD hardware was the one without support for a long time. It is weird how it changed all of a sudden.

I gave up waiting and switched to an AMD card for the native macOS support. No regrets.

Everything works flawlessly out of the box and I no longer have to wait for Nvidia drivers before installing updates.

I just used this to build a Hackintosh earlier this week. Took a while to go through the docs and figure out which files and config settings I needed, but install was smooth and I haven't had any problems.

I wonder if the VT-d disablement is required for the rootkit to work. Ideally you'd have VT-d in macOS for virtual machines, but then again you also don't have Thunderbolt so maybe it's simply not complete enough to enable 'everything'. (and if you really need everything you should probably just buy a Mac anyway)

I think the story is something like macos fails to parse the DMAR table properly, or something along those lines. If you drop the DMAR ACPI table you don't need to disable VT-d. If you disable Intel Virtualization support from the kernel via the dart=0 kernel flag, you don't need to disable VT-d.

> If you disable Intel Virtualization support from the kernel via the dart=0 kernel flag

So that is what dart=0 does!

I have Googled this, many times, as with several other weird kernel flags. Not even because I want to fix something, but because I'm curious about what's happening!

Every time, without fail, all I ever find are random forum threads of people saying "this flag fixed my computer", or maybe "You need to enable this flag because it makes your PC act more like a Mac" or some such. It's so frustrating!

Its hilarious that they kept that name. As I recall, "DART" was the IOMMU on G5 (Device Address Remapping Table maybe?)

You actually can have thunderbolt, as long as it’s on the board. There are plenty of intel boards with it and even a couple amd boards now. I expect with the next generation being royalty free it will be much more prevalent.

But if you disable Thunderbolt in the UEFI interface macOS can't re-enable it, can it?

After putting together various hackintoshes through the years I have to agree. The Mac mini is actually a really versatile machine and most compatable option for triple booting macOS, Windows, and Linux with zero hacks and native performance. I use the refind bootloader and it works great with zero compromises like disabling virtualization or janky drivers.

Has anybody tried getting this to work under Proxmox (specifically) or KVM?

I previously used to use this guide for Proxmox - which uses Clover:


However, it seems like OC might be easier.

Somebody there suggested this (apparently non-open-source) EFI making script:


but I can't even seem to get that working.

Another poster on this thread suggested


which seems like it could work - curious if other people have tried it and what their experiences are?

I run OSX under KVM with clover.

I’ve used this guide: https://github.com/kholia/OSX-KVM

Interesting, I'll have to look at it. My T480 Clover hackintosh needs a rebuild because battery status broke and it hangs randomly every 15 minutes-3 days. It may have something to do with the Samsung 970 Pro 1TB. I have no idea about DSDT, so I'm going to have to dive in and debug that mess.

What guide did you follow for your setup?

Every time I see OpenCore I feel like trying to make a Hackintosh again, but then I remember that my GPU is an Nvidia one and that it will never have drivers on any recent macOS releases.

My laptop is another contender, but that has an Intel wireless card so that will never be supported either. The network card issue can probably be worked around through some virtualisation, but the laptop CPU is too old to do IOMMU properly so doing a KVM Hackintosh is impossible as well.

No Nvidia drivers is very frustrating. I built a Hackintosh in mid 2017 with a GTX 1080 and it was a dream. Accidentally killed my build and didn't have time to figure out how to fix it, so I was using my hardware as an Ubuntu server for a lot of data processing and machine learning. Finally turned it back into a Hackintosh again this week and was so bummed to find out Mojave and Catalina don't have Nvidia drivers.

Granted, it's still way better than the mid-2012 MBA I was using, but I wish I could still use that GPU.

Personally, I would just throw High Sierra back on the machine. It's the best of the semi-recent macOS releases anyway.

It's going to go out of support when 10.16 is presumably released this fall, but... I don't know, live a little!

You might just be able to pop out your Intel wireless card and install a compatible broadcom card. They don't seem to be too expensive so could be a cool project during this time.

For anyone with an nVidia GPU, at least on my desktop I can just use my integrated Intel GPU while leaving my nVidia 2080 in the slot for Windows.

Works like a charm. Just a simple boot flag required with WhateverGreen.

What is current state of Hackintosh this days? Is it stable?

I set up my first Hackintosh in 2011 while on Spring Break in High School.

It was the most difficult computing project I'd ever done up until that point--partly because it was legitimately more difficult back then, partly because I was using a pre-built Dell instead of a custom machine with parts targeting Hackintosh, and also probably because I was a stupid teenager who didn't know what he was doing.

But once I was done, it was absolutely stable. Everything worked[1]. I installed every point release update[2] through the normal software updater without problems. This was actually my first experience with OS X, and I completely fell in love with the platform.

Many people who haven't used Hackintosh seem to assume it's an unstable mess, and it certainly can be a mess if you don't set it up correctly, or attempt to use not-quite-compatible hardware. But my experience has been that if and when you set it up properly, Hackintosh can be every bit as stable as a real Mac.


[1] Except for sleep. Getting sleep working on Hackintosh is very doable but usually annoying, and it's not needed on desktops.

[2] Ie 10.6.5 ==> 10.6.8. Upgrading Snow Leopard ==> Lion almost certainly would have failed had I tried it, although such upgrades are sometimes possible nowadays with Clover, and I assume OpenCore.

Thank you for this comment. I was looking for anything here that might be relevant to me, and it looks like we both had hackintosh builds at the same time / version of OS X. In fact, it was the Snow Leopard->Lion upgrade which turned me off from the whole scene. Great to know things have evolved beyond that in a positive way.

To be clear, whole version upgrades have still always been a crap-shoot for me (with Clover, haven't used OpenCore).

Total aside, I can't remember for sure if I ever upgraded my High School Hackintosh to Lion. I think what happened is I got it working, but decided I didn't like Lion as much, and restored an image of my SL install.

>on desktops.

how about on laptops? not sleep itself but hackintoshing a laptop? i really want workspaces on whatever laptop i use but i don't want to pay through the nose for a macbook - i have a loner 2013 mbp right now and even those are still selling for like $800.

Fully working Hackintosh laptops are possible, but much harder. You can't mix and match parts for compatibility, and there's actually a lot of extra hardware that needs to work properly--e.g. you don't need a driver to change monitor brightness on desktops.

You need to make sure you get a laptop that other people have Hackintoshed successfully--and make sure you're clear on what exactly "success" meant for the other person. Does internal wifi work, or do you need to keep a USB dongle perpetually plugged in? Is the battery life terrible because OS X can't switch between the dedicated and integrated graphics? Etc etc.

I've never done it, although it's actually something I want to try in the near-ish future. I really want a tablet that can run OS X 10.9...

I did it with a Dell XPS 15 last summer and it was easier than installing Windows. Sleep worked fine, the wifi card was the only thing that had to be changed.

So this is a genuinely surprising attitude to me. You appreciate the software features and hardware stability of a platform, yet you do not want the creators to be paid for their work?

I mean, it must be obvious that doing these things well apparently costs tons of man-hours and someone needs to be compensated for it? How do you maintain that degree of cognitive dissonance?

I don't disagree with this sentiment, but Apple laptops can be limiting in a lot of ways:

* Want a keyboard with more travel? (Or, until recently, one that just won't break.) Too bad.

* Want USB A ports? Better track down a 2015 MBP.

* Want a touch screen? Go buy an iPad.

So, basically the same reasons you'd want to build a Hackintosh desktop.

Back when OS X releases were sold, though, I always made a point of buying and using a physical disc. I'm sure they weren't priced to truly cover development costs, but I felt like I was doing something.

Everybody has their pet peeves. Mine is upgradeability.

You can't get a Mac laptop where everything isn't soldered in. You can't get a Mac desktop with built-in expansion options under $6k.

I don't begrudge Apple their design choices. I'm even willing to pay a substantial markup for their hardware. But deliberately crippling systems to prevent them from remaining useful over the long-haul is really unfortunate and wasteful.

Apple is a pile of cash that has a few developers on hire. Most of the developers who made the Mac really great left Apple years ago, and the Mac's been a third-class citizen at Apple for over half a decade. Some guy deciding not to pay for Mac OS, for whatever reason, isn't going to break the bank at Apple.

Apple could make nothing from the Mac and it'd still be more than worth it for them to continue maintaining it because of the benefits it brings to their mobile ecosystem.

> you do not want the creators to be paid for their work?

Er, no, likely more like "I have what hardware I have, and zero money to buy better. I would like to find the way to tune my existing hardware [e.g. by installing different operating systems] to give me the best possible experience that I can without putting any money into it, because I don't have any. When I have money, then I'll actually buy the thing I think is the best; but for now, a simulacra of it will have to suffice."

You know, the same reason college students pirate Photoshop instead of using GIMP.

It's a shame that they do not have a cheap baseline Mac anymore. When I was in college, I bought my first Mac (2007). I didn't have a lot of money, but I bought a Mac Mini for 499 Euro or thereabouts. It was also relatively cheap to upgrade memory afterwards. I actually bought the Mac Mini because my brother and I were experimenting with Hackintosh. It didn't work on my computer, but it did work (somewhat) on his Dell laptop and he was raving about it.

With the Macbook Air 2020, they finally have a laptop that I can recommend again and isn't much more expensive than the MacBook I bought later in 2007 (which was a base model white MacBook, just above 1000 Euro).

The new Mac mini is a decent machine too and while it’s not quite at 500€ it’s still relatively cheap.

I was considering buying that thing but before that decided to see if I could get macOS running on my old desktop, which turned out surprisingly well. Basically everything except sleep and WiFi works.

I’ve now ordered a compatible WiFi card (my dorm doesn’t have ethernet) off AliExpress for 50 dollars. That should be it for a usable Mac workstation. The Hackintosh experiment ended up saving me a few hundred euros.

lol at the accusatory and indignant tone.

1. apple is a hardware company not a software company. to wit: they do not sell mac os and if they did i might buy it.

2. i don't care a lick about any other features or "stability" (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22845629). i simply said that i appreciated the workspaces feature. can i buy this feature ala carte? i would gladly. can i pay the devs that built it for their work? i would gladly.

3. i maintain my cognitive dissonance the same way you do when paying a 2x markup for commodity hardware.

edit: man every day i can't help but feel more and more that people in tech (at least as this site reflects) are some of the most self-righteous.

I'm with doteka on this. I think techie entitlement is a bigger problem than self-righteousness. As Kyle Mitchell (kemitchell on HN) put it recently in his essay "No Thanks" [1]:

> From outside software looking in, “software freedom” walks and talks a lot more like “coder entitlement” or “coder privilege”. In short, a hacker on a tear should never hear the word “no”. Not when breaking into offices to steal parts for a train set. Not when contending with a printer they didn’t develop or pay for. Not when building the next hot web or mobile app … again. Not when building a war cloud or optimizing a baby-photo reinforcement schedule for grandma.

Do we not realize how entitled and selfish we are?

And no, I've never done a hackintosh, either virtual or physical.

[1]: https://writing.kemitchell.com/2020/04/17/No-Thanks.html

I read the full essay. I don't think his points are wrong, but I think his conclusion is. It's not that "techies" are entitled, just that most of the world isn't going to understand the benefits "software freedom". That doesn't mean they shouldn't care.

A few months ago, I read Cory Doctorow's short story "Unauthorized Bread"[1]. It's an exceptionally preachy story about a refugee in near-future America, but the point it gets across is this: closed computer systems are a tool for the powerful to control the powerless, and the consequences will be felt by both tech-enthusiasts and technophobes alike.

Personally, what I want is for more people to become adept at using their computers, so they become capable of taking advantage of open platforms, and with it, agency over their lives. That's one reason I was volunteering at Girls Who Code before the Coronavirus shut everything down. I don't necessarily expect all the 10 year olds I work with to grow up to become programmers, but if they're comfortable making quick edits to a python script in order to better accomplish a mundane task, that's a really powerful skill!


[1] https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/01/unauthorized-bread-a-...

>Do we not realize how entitled and selfish we are?

jesus christ what are you talking about. i should feel morally obligated to a corporation? or maybe tim cook himself? this isn't a moral quandary or question and never will be. you people have deeply internalized a relationship to money and corporations that is perverse. like any good business person would say: it's not personal it's business - if they want to prevent me from using their software in a way that violates the EULA or whatever then cool they can try to stop me (note: they have in the past and will continue into the future and so the world will turn).

re those poor poor apple engineers: apple's market cap is 1.24T (that's a capital T for trillion). oh no will someone please think of them and their margins! i'm (100-epsilon)% sure that not a single apple engineer will ever suffer any hardship from a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of their customer/user base building hackintoshes.

Apple definitely isn't hurting right now.

But my question with piracy is always, where do you dry the line? Is pirating Photoshop okay? What about Affinity Photo? What about Omnigroup, which makes fantastic software, but also has to charge a lot of money for it, and was forced to do a round of layoffs recently?

What if the app is made by a single developer, but you don't like his or her politics? Or what if it's a single developer charging too much? How do you determine what "too much" is, and are you really able to be a fair judge, given that you have a personal financial stake in the outcome?

As a Hackintosh user, I don't have all the answers. I tell myself Hackintosh is okay because I used a real Mac to download the installer, but that's still a moral judgement I'm not able to make impartially. I do try to avoid pirating all forms of digital media, though, even when it means there are products I simply cannot use due to lack of finances.

> But my question with piracy is always, where do you dry the line?

this has already been hashed out during the late 90s and early 00s in the context of media piracy: software and media are non-rivalrous goods. me pirating the good does not prevent anyone else from purchasing. it is not a loss to the developer or content creator because i was never going to purchase it in the first place.

> but that's still a moral judgement I'm not able to make impartially

there are zero moral issues implicated here. property is outside of morality.

> it is not a loss to the developer or content creator because i was never going to purchase it in the first place.

How do you know that you were "never going to purchase it in the first place"? There are lots of products where I initially looked at the price tag, thought "that's ridiculous", and walked away—but eventually came back and bought it, sometimes kicking and screaming.

Again, I don't think I can make a fair judgement about what I "would buy" when I have a financial stake in convincing myself one way. And I don't think anyone else can actually do it either.

> Again, I don't think I can make a fair judgement about what I "would buy" when I have a financial stake

i'm at a loss for to how parse this let alone how to respond to it. who else but you "can make a fair judgement" about whether you'll buy something?

i don't have shifting perspectives on whether i'll buy something - i either decide to buy something or i decide not to buy it. if i decide to buy something but i don't have money for it i save money and buy it eventually.

to drive home the point: i pirate movies instead of going to theaters. if some movie that i was interested in seeing never gets released on some torrent site i do not buy that movie i simply do not watch it. on the other hand i do buy books even though i could pirate them easily.

> who else but you "can make a fair judgement" about whether you'll buy something?

I can make a fair judgement when "not buying" means I don't get the product.

You can pay these devs by purchasing one of the machines the software comes bundled with, that’s what pays their salary.

Apple is an integrator, they are not in the business of selling you just commodity hardware. People who buy their products do so in large part because the experience is better than what they would get buying the same hardware from random Chinese OEM 274.

But if you’re on the commodity hardware spiel: I challenge you to match the specs of any laptop Apple sells in a laptop by another manufacturer (and actually match, not replacing NVMe ssds with some random SATA part etc) and come anywhere near 50% or even 70% of the price.

>not replacing NVMe ssds with some random SATA part etc) and come anywhere near 50% or even 70% of the price.

this has been done over and over again. i'm not going to go through the tedious process just to have you ultimately declare victory anyway when i can't source their superduper proprietary butterfly/centipede/tarantula keyboard or their retina/cornea/myopia display.

I used to use Desktops[1] when I still used Windows. I’m not sure whether windows supports full screen apps these days so it will be slightly different experience.

[1]: https://superuser.com/a/177046

They are more stable than ever right now - probably because the development community has grown in numbers.

I've been using a hackintosh as my main productivity desktop since about 2014. Details on my latest build here: http://stephenvescio.com/blog/building-a-2019-mac-pro-hackin...

This really sinks the value proposition or a mac tower. You are getting comparable performance for 1/4 the price... I had the old mac pro, and I did love the quality of the build and ease of drive installation.. But still.

"Single-core score: 1,121 Multi-core score: 11,769 The scores for my Hackintosh with an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz are:

Single-core score: 1,259 Multi-core score: 10,515"

I switched to linux for the most part at this point (My work machine is still a 2015 MacBook though..) I had a hacintosh tower 8 year ago but I was always nervous about upgrading it.

Nice article, however, you may want to think about changing the color scheme of your website, the gray text on a gray background makes it a bit hard to read.

Thanks for reading and the recommendation. You should see a white background! I am still tweaking the style for all browsers/devices.

FWIW I run firefox with javascript disabled (actually uMatrix) and I see grey on grey as well.

Thank you!

Oh it seems as if your theme is using prefers-color-scheme to detect if the user is using dark theme and setting the background based on that. If I change from dark to light theme in system preferences, the background of your website also changes.

It works very well. I have a Clover Hackintosh (not OpenCore) on my [edit: cheap pre-built generic] desktop (i5-7400, iGPU, macOS has its own SSD). It works great, even allowing me to upgrade from Mojave to Catalina and forget that it's not a real Mac. My monitor always looked pink, but if I change my monitor's input color format to YPbPr it works fine. The patch that I used to fix that in Mojave is broken in Catalina, but I don't really care.

Aside from that, it works just like a real Mac in basically every way.

I've had my Hackintosh for six years now and it's been fairly stable. It's sometimes done a bit of freezing up after a boot and I'm used to something failing after I've had the system running for a while. Like after 30-60 days of uptime, the audio stack might just stop working and I need to reboot the computer to get audio back. Not really a big deal and I'm really happy with how much computer I got for a thousand euro back in 2014.

I think this is a difficult question to answer because MacOS is built for specific hardware configurations, and Hackintosh has to build unofficial support for all sorts of non-standard configurations. Your experience with a hackintosh really depends what hardware you're trying to install it on.

There are people who publish hardware ‘QVL’ lists for Hackintosh builds — stick to the list and it’s smooth sailing. Venture off the list and you end up on page 16 of some forum convinced you need to dump your DSDT tables to edit some voodoo magic.

I’ve been on developing on Hackintoshs for work full-time (both desktop and laptops) for many many years now with minimal hiccups. 4K HDR touchscreen laptop in 2018, yes please!

Echoing this! Hardware makes all the difference--for the smoothest possible setup, follow a path that has already been documented.

Where can I find something like this? I have been trying to get my new system working and it's a bit frustrating.

There are two routes I’d recommend:

1) Many of the reliable community sites post buying guides; without wading into which I find reliable just search for “hackintosh buyers guide 2020”, “hackintosh compatibility list”, etc.

2) My now-preferred route is following developers on Github who post their hardware and EFI folder. It’ll be obvious which repos are from engineers who depend on it for their day-to-day based on stars/forks.

My current laptop I found out about from a blog (#1) then stumbled into a flawless and well-maintained repo (#2) — best of both worlds!

Mind sharing what laptop and setup guide you used? I'm still on a MBP 2012 for work which I like, and I'm thinking ahead to my next work laptop -- looking for similar ports/etc as my MBP 2012 (doesn't need to be latest specs, and I'm a creature of habit).

Tri-boot Catalina/Win10/Ubuntu19 on Dell XPS 9650 (i7-7700HQ, 32gb RAM, 1tb NVMe, touch 4K UHD w HD 630 & GTX 1050). Two caveats are WiFi card needs replaced for iCloud (30$ on eBay) and fingerprint scanner only works under Win10.

Re: guide -- DuckDuckGo/Github/Google is your friend -- this model in particular is rather common, but which guide is right depends on your comfort level.

This is a good walk through for the Dell XPS 15 9650:


Linus Tech Tips does one every few years, the last one was pretty recent I think. As far as I remember, almost everything worked really well. Notably, Facetime was really hit-and-miss.

Do you recall the issue? Was it FaceTime specifically or all-things-iCloud? The latter is one of the most common last-mile issues since you need to present Apple servers with hardware identifiers that iCloud agrees are real (i.e.: from your old MacBook gathering dust).

Just to add to this: it's not strictly necessary to pull an MLB from a real Mac, although that can certainly be a shortcut.

If you present Apple with computer information that makes sense, and you do it right the first time, they'll usually accept it as real. I've done this around five times now and it has always worked. I can actually enter my made-up serial numbers on Apple's website, and they show up in the system as real computers[1]!

The serial, MLB, hardware model, etc all need to match, and you need to get it right on the first try! Apple seems to get suspicious once you've fed them weird data.

[1] When I tell people this, they always ask if I'm sure I didn't collide with a real serial. The possibility that this happened--especially every time I've done it--is incredibly small, so I'm quite sure that isn't what's happening.

This is fascinating to me. Surely Apple has a databases somewhere of all the S/Ns of all the computers they've ever sold. Why would they accept a made up one and insert it into their database?

I've long wondered that too! I have to assume that, for some kind of manufacturing reason, Apple either doesn't have such a database or doesn't trust its accuracy.

If anyone with more knowledge of supply chain dynamics knows why this might be, please feel free to chime to chime in!

I think it was all things iCloud, and your explanation for the issue does ring a bell.

It's good, just make sure to get a GPU vendor that Apple is currently maintaining a good relationship with.

This will give so many opportunities to people who can pay their 10x monthly income to a buy 2-year-old mac :))

I think Apple had a stupid idea to become more luxurious and hire Angela Jean Ahrendts for 100M. God bless they realize, if they go for volume and price aggressive (as Steve Jobs said), more people can benefit.

I want hackintosh to work so well that indirectly, it will force Apple to develop way cheaper computers for the whole world.

Apple appears to be headed in the direction of making their own processors for their desktops and laptops, so this Hackintosh business isn't going to last much longer.

That's assuming that they completely abandon Intel, which would mean that the Mac Pro would not be offered with a 28-core Intel Xeon W, but rather with an ARM processor that has comparable performance (or not offered at all).

But even if Apple shifts to 100% ARM, Hackintosh community still has whatever number of years that Apple still has to support the computers that they are selling now / selling until ARM takes completely over.

Two years ago i took my very old 2009 gaming pc bought fastest processor for the socket (LGA1156) on ebay for giggles (20usd) and put hackintosh on it.

Took a weekend to figure out but after that became pretty solid. So solid in fact that it became my main machine. I don't know what am i missing but i cut videos, make screencasts, work in blender... it all seems just fine.

I am doing this professionally not as hobby its my main workstation.

Now i was probably pretty lucky and for soundcard i need to use external one (i would anyway). But i am pretty sure if you buy right components you will get as stable mac as original and you will be done in two hours not days like me.

I wonder if OpenCore would enable me to (a) passthrough an i915 GPU but not an AMD GPU; (b) run Catalina on a Mac that doesn't support it?

I have an ancient macbookpro 8,2 with the defect that eventually leads to AMD GPU failure (it failed, was replaced under warranty extension, failed again same number of years later). I use GRUB iowr.mod and outb commands to disable the AMD GPU on boot so it's not even seen by Linux. But when I boot macOS, at some point during the session something enables discrete graphics and I get a kernel panic. I also get a kernel panic when doing any kind of software update (it's now stuck on 10.13.6).

I’ve had the same problem with 3 different 2011 MacBook Pros

There’s an nvram variable you can change to disable the discrete gpu, details here: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/166876/macbook-pro...

I didn’t go the Linux-live cd route so I have to reapply the fix when nvram is reset but other than that the machines work fine now :)

I haven't looked into this for Catalina, but for most past releases, there are community tools for installing the OS on unsupported Macs (to whatever level of success is possible on your hardware).

That's going to be a lot easier then OpenCore.

I just got a workstation grade Dell machine t7610 to be exact spent more than a week trying to hackentosh it but couldn't for some reason I always got some obscure error and none of the fixes worked. Found someone at GitHub with a similar machine but different graphics card and still couldn't make it work. But that got me thinking maybe there is a place for a tool where you feed it your hardware and it generates the most optimal configuration and image

is it possible to dual boot mac os and Linux/windows or even triple boot?

I search last time no support for rtx gpu card in hackintosh. So I'm thinking to buy second gpu. What is best value gpu that support hackintosh?

My setup right now is amd r5 3600 with rtx 2060 super. I'm currently running dual boot windows 10 & Ubuntu.

Can anyone let me know where do I start if i'd like to try this out?

Caveat: I am using the Pentium G4560 CPU. Is that a deal-breaker?


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