Welcome to the OSx86 Project! This FAQ provides answers to common questions.
- See this FAQ in other languages.
- NOTE: We need contributors to help finish up the translations! Incomplete answer translations can be found at this older version of the FAQ. We don't have any translated questions yet. Please do what you can!
What is The OSx86 Project?
- The OSx86 Project is a site dedicated to running Mac OS X 10.4 (as well as other versions, ie. 10.3) on your beigebox Intel or AMD PC..
What does this all mean?
- Apple's recent switch to the Intel architecture means that it is easier to get it running on your PC, otherwise countless hours of cracking would have to go into the Rosetta version to get it working, and even harder without the source code. Of course, people decide to crack the OS and get it running on an x86 Intel or AMD processor. More info: Dictionary of OSx86 Terms. .
Do I need Apple hardware to run Mac OS X?
- Not anymore.
- Projects such as OSx86 have succeeded in allowing the intel-based version of Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware largely by bypassing the TPM in software.
- The "Trusted Platform Module," or TPM, is a computer chip embedded inside Intel-based Macs to prevent the Intel-based version of Mac OS X from running on non-Apple hardware. (during installation of Mac OS X, Mac OS X interfaces with the TPM. If Mac OS X finds that the TPM doesn't exist, Mac OS X refuses to install or run.)
- In building your "Hackintosh" however, you may want to keep as close to the hardware configuration of Intel-based Macs for the best compatibility. Intel Macs use (or have used) either a Core Solo, Core Duo, Core 2 Duo, or Xeon processor. For graphics cards, Intel Macs have seen Intel's GMA950; ATI's Mobility Radeon X1600, Radeon X1600, and Radeon X1900 XT; and nVidia's GeForce 7300GT, 7600GT, 8600M GT or Quadro FX4500. . . .
Will Apple sell OS X for PCs?
- No. Apple has repeatedly stated that OS X for Intel will only run on Apple hardware.
- Of course Apple may change its mind at any time. Remember that Steve Jobs stated there would not be a video iPod anytime soon!
- There could be many good reasons for Apple to let OSx86 spread on non proprietary computers. It could boost Apple's Hardware sales via a halo effect similar to the iPod one or simply allow them to up their OS market share. We'll see...
- Of course, this is a big debate within the Mac community, because the release of Mac OS X for normal PCs could lead to many problems. Apple's primary reason for selling their computers is the huge profit margins on the hardware. If their operating system was available on any regular PC, they wouldn't make nearly as much profit from hardware sales. Drivers are not the issue however, as it is the responsibility of the hardware vendor to write drivers that are compatible with any given operating system.
So Macs will be just like PCs, but OS X will only run on Macs?
- Exactly. Apple makes money by selling hardware, so they must make certain that they continue to sell Macs
Couldn't Apple sell a stripped-down version of OS X for x86(_64) systems?
- Yes, only after Steve Jobs sells all his holding shares of Apple Inc.
- But what would be the point of it? Isn't Darwin a stripped-down version of Mac OS X that runs on PCs and Macs?
How does this relate to PearPC?
- PearPC is an emulator that runs the PowerPC version of Mac OS X on a PC. It is very compatible, but extremely slow. As Apple has shifting towards x86 CPUs, there will be no need any more to emulate the CPU in order to run it on the PC, resulting in a much faster solution.
I heard about a DMG/ISO of OS X for Intel on Bittorrent - what is this?
- This is a version of OS X Intel, meant to be installed on Apple hardware only. It will only run on Apple specified hardware, unless extensive modifications are made, meaning that this file is illegal. That means that according to Apple's EULA you may not possess it or attempt to use it. Also, variously depending on the jurisdiction in which you live it is illegal to download it, upload it, give it away or install it..
What if I have this Developer Kit Install DVD? Does it run on my PC?
- No, the original Developer Kit Install DVD or any identical copies will only run on the machines included with the Apple Dev Kit.
The Developer Intel Mac looks like an ordinary PC - is it?
- Basically yes. It has a standard Pentium 4 CPU and an Intel mainboard. Additionally, it includes a TPM module by Infineon. It has a PC BIOS (with BIOS setup and everything) and uses a PC partition table.
- The real Intel Macs, though, use Intel's EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) instead of a BIOS, and use GPT (GUID Partition Table)-partitioned disks instead of the legacy Master Boot Record. There is also a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip present; stock Mac OS X (Intel) will not boot without it.
Does the Developer Kit support x86_64/AMD64/EM64T?
- The developer kit hardware supports x86_64; however, the developer kit's OS (an Intel version of Mac OS X 10.4.1) is 32-bit only.
- Most Intel Macs support 64-bit instructions, with the exceptions being any Core Solo- or Core Duo-based Macs; the Core 2 Duo and Xeon "Woodcrest" processors fully support EM64T and can run in 64-bit mode. Note that Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later is required to execute 64-bit Intel code. (To write 64-bit Intel code, you need Xcode 2.4 or later.)
So the Developer Kit version of OS X intel can only run on SSE3 CPUs?
- Yes. It requires a Pentium 4 or an Athlon 64 (Venice Core or San Diego) if you want Rosetta to work without being patched. It is possible to run with SSE2 without rosetta, but there is no support for PPC code. The kernel can be patched to allow Rosetta to work on SSE2 CPUs by translating SSE3 instructions on the fly. The release version of OS X for Intel as well requires SSE3 to function, but can be patched to work without it as well.
What kind of hardware would be equivalent to the Dev Kit Hardware?
- CPU: must support SSE2 (SSE3 required to run PPC apps)
- Chipset: Intel 915 chipset (others may work if they support ich4 or ich5)
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900
How do I check if my CPU supports SSE2 or SSE3?
- Windows users can use CPU-Z, CrystalCPUID, or WCPUID.
- Plan 9 and Linux users can simply run the command `cat /proc/cpuinfo`, and then look in the flags section for sse2 (SSE2) and pni (SSE3, "Prescott New Instructions"). For other Unix-like OSes, you can usually use `dmesg | less` to see what your CPU supports.
Where is otool on the Dev Kit Install DVD?
- Use pax to extract it from Archive.bom. (Brickster)
- /System/Installation1/Packages/Xcode Tools, in an Archive.pax.gz inside DeveloperTools.pkg (Pip)
- Otherwise, it may be accessible from Xcode.
Where are kernel extensions (kexts)?
- These are essentially low-level drivers for Mac OS X, which control your hardware and filesystems, analogous to .vxd files in Windows, or kernel modules in Linux. They are stored in /System/Library/Extensions; ones you install yourself may be in /Library/Extensions or /Users/username/Library/Extensions.
How do I convert a .DMG to a .ISO/.IMG?
- Install UltraISO, goto Tools|Convert... Then select your .dmg, and leave the output as a .ISO
- Then to turn it into a .IMG, put the .ISO into a emulator like Alcohol 120% or Nero Image Drive
- Then install Transmac, goto Tools|Disk/CD Edit|Save Image of Disk/CD and select the souce Drive, and the Dest .IMG
- Mac OS X
- Start up Disk Utility.
- Click on the Convert button. Select the .dmg file, and then click Open.
- From the drop-down list, select DVD/CD master. Then click Save, and then when prompted, choose Use .cdr.
- When it finishes, change the extension from .cdr to .iso.
Is NForce chipset SATA supported?
- Yes, up to nForce3 is supported. Editing AppleVIAATA kext with your nForce device ID's will enable SATA. Search forum for more info.
- PATA and SATA controllers are now supported on nForce4 chipsets. See this thread on the forum: link
Are Soundblaster (SB) Live, Audigy supported?
- Live USB External "Yes"
- Not yet.
- See the Creative page for more detailed information regarding the various Soundblaster soundcards.
Does printing to a printer connected via parallel cable work?
- No. But there are parallel to USB connectors out there and then you might have luck.
Is XYZ Hardware supported?
- Maybe. Maybe not. There is simply too many different pieces of hardware out there to be able to answer for every one on this wiki. Search the HCL from the main page of the wiki or search the forums for a better answer.
Where can I find a list of supported hardware?
- You can look through the Hardware Compatibility Lists by clicking the links to it on the main page of this wiki. Be sure to check different OS X versions as compatibility is subject to change with each release.
Why doesn't the Developer Kit Install DVD work on a PC?
- The OS X installation DVD works only with the proper TPM authentication.
What part of the OS relies on the TPM module?
- Mac OS X for Intel chips with Rosetta, the PowerPC user mode emulation engine by Transitive. It ensures that you can run applications and libraries on an Intel Mac that are compiled for PowerPC. Rosetta communicates with AppleTPMACPI.kext, a kernel extension that talks to the TPM module. If the module is missing, Rosetta will not run.
But do I need Rosetta to run OS X?
- Mac OS X for Intel does not need Rosetta to start up. However, you will be unable to run PowerPC applications, such as Microsoft Office, Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver, or Adobe Photoshop. However, the new Ad0be Creative Suite (CS3) is a Universal Binary, meaning it does not require Rosetta to run
Isn't OS X or Darwin open source? Can't you easily fix it?
- Darwin (the underlying system) and XNU (the kernel) are open source, but neither the underlying code (OpenFirmware) or the overlaying system (Aqua) are. This makes it difficult at best to modify Darwin to your liking, especially if you're still intending to have the resulting code work with OpenFirmware and Aqua. Font rendering is a part of Aqua and it would not be possible
Where can I find hints on making Darwin do things like mount disks?
- Search at http://www.macosxhints.com/
What is a good hex editor for this work?
- There are many good (and free) hex editors at SourceForge, otherwise WinHex, Hex Workshop and Hex Tool have been recommended.
Does a Live CD exist?
- A live CD is a CD which allows you to boot up an operating system off of the CD itself without having to install or access the computer's hard drive in any way. Most live CDs contain basic Internet and word processing tools, and are especially useful at times when your hard drive does not work. At this time, the closest thing to a live CD for Mac OS X is the BootCD program available from CharlesSoft. Judging by how operating systems tend to work, and how large they are, it is not possible to create a live CD for Mac OS X that is completely compatible with a regular OS X installation, and the CD produced by BootCD is more useful for troubleshooting tasks than as an operating system substitute. There is a similar unofficial Live CD builder for Windows XP, titled BartPE. It is mostly used for system recovery purposes and is again not designed to be a 'production' system.
Recently though, someone managed to build a 10.4.8 Live DVD, using one of semthex's 8.8.1 kernels. This DVD though is not available on the usual places, instead there's a detailed 'How to' written on the InsanelyMac forum. (http://forum.insanelymac.com/index.php?showtopic=32980&st=0)
What is the current status?
- Check out our Main Page for the latest news.
How can I help?
Is it legal to download the Developer Kit Installation DVD?
- Simple answer: no. It is not legal to download it, as the only possible use of the developer kit DVD is to circumvent its copyright protections to enable its use on a non developer machine. Remember that OSx86Project, it's owners and contributors do not condone illegal activity and will not provide information on how to obtain a download of this or any other copyrighted work.
Is this site illegal under the DMCA?
- According to Wikipedia, "The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a controversial United States copyright law. The act criminalizes production and dissemination of technology that can circumvent measures taken to protect copyright, not merely infringement of copyright itself, and heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet."
- Our site is fully compliant with the DMCA. This site intends only to provide a forum for those interested in running OS X on Intel hardware. Anyone engaged in an active DMCA violation will be banned. For more information, review our Disclaimer here.
- If you are either a lawyer or an Apple representative and have any concerns, feel free to contact us regarding any changes you feel necessary.
But aren't you trying to "circumvent measures taken to protect copyright?"
- Absolutely not. This site simply hosts information about the TPM. We do not sanction the use of this information for anything other than educational purposes. Our intent is to learn more about the TPM - not "crack" it.
Note: Many of these translations are incomplete. All help on these pages is appreciated.