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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

AppleTV Becomes OSX Workstation 140

Posted by Hemos
from the reconstruction dept.
An anonymous reader writes "AppleTVhacks published a full howto install guide with 12 easy steps to turn your AppleTV into a full blown OSX workstation. With a processor emulation, hacker Semthex of hackint0sh.org, managed to get full blown OSX working on a AppleTV. The kernel for this hack is freely available under APSL and opens the legal way to a really cheap Mac Nano. With 300$ difference to the Mac Mini, this is becoming a fairly interesting deal." April Fool's, btw.
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AppleTV Becomes OSX Workstation

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  • by FauxReal (653820) on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:12AM (#18571947) Homepage
    They've gone quite far in a short amount of time opening up the hardware to more use. Now if they can get it to dual boot OSX and the ATV version. Or better yet some sorta mashup retaining the ATV interface so you can browse samba shares and stream any media format you want via the remote. A better (more informational/snazzy looking) music player would be nice too.

    Hopefully Apple won't try too hard to prevent this from happening in future revisions of the hardware. Though I doubt the content providers are all that excited about the news. But then again... the amount of hacked ATVs vs. every other multimedia capable device is rater insignificant.

    I'm sure this will be a hit with the I need a pretty little file server on a shelf crowd.
  • Re:I dont get it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:16AM (#18571963)

    Is there something I'm missing? If that's legal, what's to stop me putting a (legal) copy os OS X on any common-or-garden x86 box?
    Nothing.

    The problem with this (for me) is that you have to install the Intel version of OS X. As far as I know you can't get the Intel version without buying an Intel Mac (something I don't have). So basically you'll have to wait until Leopard before you can buy an Intel version of OS X.
  • Re:I dont get it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Splab (574204) on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:27AM (#18572067)
    You should also note that while they may say that you are only allowed to run it on their hardware you bought the license for the software and you (at least here in Denmark) are pretty much in your own right to do damned well whatever pleases you with said license.

  • Don't play dumb. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:33AM (#18572121)
    People have jumped through a lot of hoops to attempt to justify to themselves running the hacked Mac OS X on non-Apple systems, coming up with ridiculous sophistries like "What if I have an Intel iMac, but want to only run Linux on it, and then want to use that same OS X license on my Gateway laptop???"

    ...

    AppleTV is an interesting case, because it is an "Apple-labeled" product, which is what the Mac OS X license agreement [apple.com] stipulates. And that's the key.

    The license agreement specifies that Mac OS X can only be run on an Apple-labeled computer. And that is Apple's right. Now, you can ignore it, or ignore legal frameworks that may (or may not) enforce license agreements within certain countries/jurisdictions, and so on, but that's why running Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware is "illegal". There are NO prohibitions to doing things like hacking the kernel, etc. It's open source, and you can do with it what you wish regardless.

    But there are still some interesting considerations:

    - There is no way to legally get a standalone, retail copy of Mac OS X (Intel) for AppleTV, unless you make arguments about transferring an abandoned license from another Intel-based Mac. (And no, there is no conventional Mac OS X license that comes with AppleTV, either explicitly or implicitly.)

    - Technically, you could purchase and run Mac OS X Server 10.4.x (Universal) and legally run it on AppleTV - there would be no prohibitions to this.

    - Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) will be the first version of Mac OS X to have a legally purchasable standalone retail Intel version (actually, Leopard will be Universal).

    But there are some other things to think about:

    - Even when Leopard ships, at retail pricing, it's still $299 + $129 for AppleTV + Mac OS X. It's $171 more for a much more capable Mac mini. However, $171 may be enough to get people to consider this.

    - This will really be interesting if Leopard can run unmodified on AppleTV (i.e., without a hacked kernel).

    - This will still be relegated to the hobbyist/experimenter/hacker crowd, as you need to disassemble AppleTV in order to do this, image drives, have another Mac handy, and so on, not to mention that the warranty is likely void while OS X is installed on the machine (which of course is reversible, etc.)

    So while this is all very interesting, please consider the fact that there are no legal ways to get Mac OS X for it currently.

    This post is obviously not for people who think EULAs are BS, or that since it's an Apple product "it's okay", or that since it has some stripped down OS X on it already, "it's okay" to also install OS X from their friend's iMac, etc.

    I'm simply raising the legitimate concerns surrounding licensing on AppleTV, some of which get interesting with Leopard since it is, indeed, and Apple-labeled computer, and Leopard will be available standalone.

    There are also no prohibitions on using a modified kernel, but one very interesting question might be, does Apple consider AppleTV a "computer", since that is what the Mac OS X license agreement explicitly states?

  • Re:I dont get it? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AnyThingButWindows (939158) on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:42AM (#18572193) Homepage
    And if you guy buy an apple dial-up modem, and put it on your Hackintosh?
    Thats Apple hardware. It doesn't say that % of system has to be be Apple Hardware.
    It doesn't say that the machine in question has to be an Apple. It says "Apple Hardware".

    So yes. A hackintosh is legal, as long as you have a piece of "Apple Hardware" on it, such as an Apple Keyboard.
  • by Heliode (856187) on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:51AM (#18572269)
    There are already projects underway to add all sorts of functionality to the Apple TV. Check http://www.awkwardtv.org/ [awkwardtv.org], esp. the wiki: http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Main_Page [awkwardtv.org]
    The patchstick project (enabling SSH without opening the case) and ATVfiles (play divx movies on the file system, and files not in the iTunes library) look particularly interesting.

    I've been keeping a close eye on this from the beginning and I find it amazing how quickly they are figuring things out. It almost looks like this thing was made to be hacked. This thing might even replace Xbox Media Center one day.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Monday April 02, 2007 @08:55AM (#18572319) Homepage Journal

    The thing is, the AppleTV does actually run Mac OS X, just with some unnecessary components removed and the Finder replaced by a FrontRow type application. So it can't be that hard, in theory at least, to run the real thing.

    At worst, it may be that the components that are encumbered by DRM in the regular Intel version of Tiger (Dock.app and Finder.app IIRC, they're tied to the "Don't steal Mac OS X" kernel extension) will not work on the AppleTV version. That presents a challenge to hackers, but as there have been versions without that crippling in the past, I can't see it being a permanent issue.

    So if this is an April Fools, it's about on the same level as "Linus has just released Linux 2.6.22" or "Microsoft is preparing a service pack for Vista".

  • by tecker (793737) on Monday April 02, 2007 @09:29AM (#18572647) Homepage
    Would this not be an amazing MythTV frontend [mythtv.org] Albeit low in power it could probably with some things added or the optimizations do HD content and would work wonders for SD content with no troubles.

    An important addendum applies to all of you wishing to use HDTV with a PCHDTV card. Playback of HDTV is *very* computationally intensive, and requires a Pentium class processor of at least 1.3GHz or equivalent in conjunction with a graphics card with accelerated drivers, according to the documents at http://www.pchdtv.com./ [www.pchdtv.com] Pretty much any system built in the last two years with an nVidia graphics card will be fine.
    {emphasis mine}. All the geeks out there looking for some way to get things working and not have the big silent or loud slimline pc for watching tv.

    If this thing could do HD content with MythTV then it beats the pants off of the Hacked Xbox because the XB isnt know for HD ablities. I would think that people would be rejoicing to know that a small silent machine has been potentially identified for MythFrontending.

    And while the main page Mirrordot page is all there [mirrordot.org].
  • MythTV? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot AT keirstead DOT org> on Monday April 02, 2007 @11:05AM (#18574019) Homepage
    Anyone know if you can run MythTV under OSX? This thing would make a great myth frontend.
  • by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@hoFO ... m minus language> on Monday April 02, 2007 @11:58AM (#18574811) Homepage Journal
    You hit the nail on the head! This is the PERFECT Myth front-end and with a USB tuner maybe even a full on box. the problem I see with Myth right now is getting the damned thing configured for whatever silly hardware you dug out of your closet or buying all new hardware to match some recipe and then still finding out you have to swing a dead cat to get it running! XBMC on the old XBOX works great for a reason and that reaosn is that the damned platform is dead nutz STANDARD. Now per haps MythTV would work better on a Mini snice it's a good bit more powerful but this box is TINY, made to hook right to a TV, comes with a remote, and is low power. What's not to like?

    To be honest running the aTV Os on a Mini has actually been more interesting to me than OSX on the aTV because what I want is a capable HTPC type thing that can play MY content just like XBMC has been doing for me forever. Where XBMC falls down is the old 733mhz Celeron and 256meg of RAM in the old XBOX. 1080HD content need not apply, especially since the video drivers aren't accelerated on that box :-( sadly the aTV doesn't look like it's going to be quite capable of 1080 either, if I'm proven wrong I'll buy one. For now though I've just bought an XBOX 360 that has turned out to have ancient firmware on it and am going to be priming it to boot Linux here soon. That platform looks even better for Myth but I think it's a far longer road before anyone gets there - right now it's not even sound capable :-( Whichever gets done I'm there, neither box exactly breaks the bank here...
  • by notretard (1083267) on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:39PM (#18577267)
    Go and test it yourself, it is not a joke :o

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