Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
OS X Businesses Operating Systems Software Upgrades Apple Hardware

Run Mac OS X On Non-Apple Hardware, With a Dongle 536

An anonymous reader points out Gizmodo's review of a USB dongle, made by a company called Efix, which allows for an effort-free transformation of a non-Apple computer into one that runs Mac OS X. According to the reviewer, the transformation is perfect (aside from a few quirks he describes as "trivial"); the included screenshots sure make it seem that way, too. The dongle costs $155, and works only on a subset of PC hardware. Non-Apple machines running OS X will no doubt make Apple unhappy, though, so, the reviewer concludes, "it's understandable if you wanna approach this with caution."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Run Mac OS X On Non-Apple Hardware, With a Dongle

Comments Filter:
  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:42PM (#25156011)

    You still need a custom hacked Kernel to do it, this removes that need. Even hackintosh's need a custom DVD, this will install with an off the shelf Leopard DVD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:43PM (#25156017)

    This dongle probably emulates apple EFI to allow installation of a retail copy of Leopard rather than a hacked one.

    Their supported hardware list is pretty restrictive...

  • Re:Stubborn (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:48PM (#25156111)

    Like many other posters on Slashdot, you Just Don't Get It.

    Apple doesn't make money on their software. OS X, iTunes Music Store, Final Cut Pro, etc -- all of this things are sold on a razor-slim profit margin. They serve as a reason to buy Apple's hardware, which is where the real money is. If OS X worked on commodity hardware, nobody would buy Apple hardware, and that's why you will never see OS X on commodity hardware.

  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:59PM (#25156269)
    It actually connects to a USB header on the motherboard, which is good (no breaking it off or unplugging it by accident) and bad (not usable if your USB headers are crowded by other components or the case).
  • by lysergic.acid ( 845423 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:00PM (#25156287) Homepage

    you know, i never really understood people's prejudice against mac users until now. but, wow, you're a douche.

    helping people set up their hackintoshes would be a great way to expose some PC users to the benefits or advantages of OS X. someone who doesn't want to take the plunge and invest in a $3000 machine could use this dongle to try out the OS before they commit to a full Apple setup.

    assuming that any hackintosh users must be pirating OS X is a rather condescending attitude towards PC users, and particular PC users who are interested in OS X.

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:05PM (#25156377)

    There is no Apple Premium. There is shortage in variety in Apple Hardware choices. Apples Cost just as much as near Identical System (You need to include all the specs including weight and dimensions). However most people don't need all those specs only a subset of them. Thus can get a system elsewhere for cheaper as they do not need to spend extra to get the 17" screen and a Fast CPU with a lot of RAM, because they don't care that it is 1" thick and doesn't need Firewire, Lighted keyboard... However if you compare a System that has the exact same specs as the Mac (or very close) you find the prices are about the same +/- $100.

  • by CerebusUS ( 21051 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:07PM (#25156401)

    They want me to put credit card information into a standard HTTP page? I'm absolutely SURE I trust them not to do something stupid like store that information unencrypted in a database.


  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:11PM (#25156475)

    someone who doesn't want to take the plunge and invest in a $3000 machine could use this dongle to try out the OS before they commit to a full Apple setup.

    The price of the dongle plus the price of OSX is more than enough to buy a slightly used Mac Mini.

    assuming that any hackintosh users must be pirating OS X is a rather condescending attitude towards PC users, and particular PC users who are interested in OS X.

    Your right its wrong to assume. But he's right, most hackintoshes are built using pirated software. Deal with it.

    helping people set up their hackintoshes would be a great way to expose some PC users to the benefits or advantages of OS X.

    Presumably these PC users are already sold on trying OSX given they are working on a hackintosh. And again, if these PC users are willing to shell out a few hundred bucks on dongles and a copy of the OS to try it out, they can buy a slighly used mac mini, or an older ibook. Or shell out just a little bit more and get an new mini.

  • Re:Intel Only (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:15PM (#25156531)

    The CPU ID is different, the chipsets are different (can't get an Intel chipset for an AMD processor), etc. x86 covers a lot of ground, including a lot of embedded systems that look nothing like PCs.

    Apple builds to one hardware configuration, which is all-Intel. They don't bother writing their software to support anything else, so you can't do trivial hacks to make it work. You can certainly do non-trivial hacks (like writing your own drivers), but it's silly to expect it to work out of the box just because you plug in a dongle.

  • by mr_zorg ( 259994 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:16PM (#25156563)
    Putting aside the issue of whether EULAs are moral or enforceable, this is from Apple's Leopard EULA:

    This License allows you to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so.

    One could argue that in order to test such a product, they must have installed OS X, which requires them to "accept" this EULA which they promptly violated by installing on a PC. Then, apparently, to sell the device ALSO violates the EULA they "accepted". So, they're doubly screwed. If the EULA were to be held up in court, Apple most certainly COULD stop these guys.

    Of course, that's just my opinion, I'm no lawyer...

  • by againjj ( 1132651 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:19PM (#25156609)

    People have been runing OSX on PC hardware for a while now. So, given that -- how is this exciting at all?

    Because, with other methods, you need hacks, and updates require more hacks. The idea here is that you can use a virgin install of OS X and it Just Works.

    It isn't even any more legal than just dling pirated/hacked OSX install DVDs. The way I see it -- there is no advantage to paying $150 to break the law with a stinkin' dongle, when you can download a 4GB DVD torrent and get OSX for free. Both are equally illegal and violate Apple's EULA or whatever.

    They are not "equally illegal". In your case, you are downloading copies of software (copyright infringement), and also the software has been reverse engineered and hacked (which might violate something). Then, in both cases, you violate the EULA with the installation (which isn't illegal). So, actually, buying the "stinkin' dongle" doesn't break the law, though violating the EULA will allow Apple to sue, provided the EULA is legal and enforceable.

  • It sounds cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by Orion Blastar ( 457579 ) <> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:26PM (#25156783) Homepage Journal

    but that iDeneb project [] is way cheaper as it does not require a dongle.

    Others have found a way to hack their BIOS to use the Apple OEM ID and do their own EFI to run Mac OSX to fool OSX to think it is running on a real Apple Macintosh. The nice thing about EEPROMS is that you can flash update them easily, and anyone who knows machine language can hack their own BIOS file into one that can easily pass for an Apple Macintosh BIOS.

    As for people like me, we don't even need a dongle to make our Intel PC turn into an Amiga [] that is even cooler than an Apple Macintosh running OSX, and has a much lower memory footprint so it runs faster than OSX, and has an interface and look and feel like OSX or Vista, but is 100% free, 100% open source, and 100% legal.

    For those who want to pirate OSX, get real, get AROS instead and support AROS developers to develop more AROS drivers and software. Why settle for a monopoly from Microsoft or Apple, when you can be free and use a non-monopoly OS that will run on almost any PC, Mac, Amiga, MIPS, PowerPC, etc system on the market?

    You want an alternative to Windows? Wait until ReactOS [] is done. It will run Windows applications. If you want an alternative to Windows that does not run Windows programs get HaikuOS [] when it is ready as it is a free and open source BeOS operating system. Once OSFree is finished [] it will be a free OS/2 open source OS, but I heard they will make it run under Linux to run OS/2 applications. Support your favorite free open source operating system instead of pirating OSX. Who cares enough about bloatware to pirate OSX or Vista, they are both bloated and buggy! If you want a free OS, get a free open source OS as I listed above when they are finished and out of beta testing. If you can't wait join in their beta program and give them feedback on how to fix it, or join the developers to help them get done faster.

    Boycott Vista and OSX, and get Linux instead and install a Macintosh skin [] on Linux instead of pirating OSX.

  • by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:37PM (#25156989)

    Exploding capacitors

    Quick straw poll for slashdotters:

    How many years have you been using PC-based hardware and how many exploding capacitors have you encountered?

    I'll start: ~20 years, 0 exploding caps.

  • by drasfr ( 219085 ) <revedemoi@gmai l . com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:01PM (#25157399)

    Yeah, I totally agree with that. Apple just doesn't offer enough hardware options to make it attractive. I mean, comeon, either the mac Mini which sucks as soon as you are looking for something that you want expand. The MacPro? Sure, it is a great platform, but very expensive...

    I built a hackintosh out of a quadcore Q6600, 4GB of Memory, two 500GB drives and a 512MB geforce card. My cost was less than a thousand dollars and it works great (plus a 30" monitor), even better than my Official Macbook Pro. Apple just does NOT provide that kind of configuration for that price. The equivalent config with a MacPro is $2850...

  • by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:03PM (#25157423)

    OSX is unsupported on VMware and it runs really really slowly. I'm not sure if this has been improved but the one time I tried it was just too slow to be usable even for testing.

  • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:22PM (#25157709) Homepage

    Oh, and not one single hackintosh user that I have come across in #MacOSX has ever said they are using a boxed copy of the software, the same names always come up - Maxxus, JaS etc etc.

    Actually that's the old method of doing it, individual releases hand made by various guys. The new technique uses boot-132 which allows you to install from an unmodified retail DVD. Basically you make a boot disc that includes any extra drivers or kernels you need for your setup, boot off of it, then swap the CD for the Leopard install DVD and run a normal setup. What people can do now is make boot CDs for OEM machines and you'd only download the ISO which only uses say 50MB or so, then theoretically you buy a legal copy at the store and use that. There's also generic boot CDs that include a ton of common drivers and hardware and will work for most people.

    Just sayin... the copyright infringement aspect of using a hackintosh is now eliminated. As for EULA's, well that's another story.

  • by ya really ( 1257084 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:54PM (#25158119)

    Who says you cant just go out and buy a copy of OSX and modify and run it via hackintosh? All that is needed to get around the install is to emulate the EFI on boot and there's a program out now that does that thanks to some reverse engineering by someone in the hackintosh community. With that you can even run the Apple update. This also works on AMD CPUs as well. Might have some problems running things that use PCI slots, but certain soundcards do have drivers out there. Honestly, I don't give a rat's butt what Mr. Jobs thinks (and his "oh no, you have to buy my overpriced [now pc hardware other than the EFI mobos Intel makes for them] hardware to run my OS). I should be able to do with the software once I purchase it at full price, so long as I am not distributing my copy to everyone else.

    For more information, check out this site []. Their faq will tell you the basics and they also have a list of hardware people have sucessfully installed OSX with here [] as well as a list of sound card drivers for pci if you do a search.

  • by mini me ( 132455 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @06:27PM (#25158555)

    Technically speaking, all hackintoshes use pirated copies of OS X, even if the copy was paid for. Without a valid license, it's piracy. OS X requires the use of Apple-branded hardware for the license to be valid.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @06:54PM (#25158849) Journal
    Lack of upgradability was what kept me off laptops for so long. Then I realised that when I upgraded, I tended to replace the CPU, which meant replacing the motherboard (new socket) and the RAM (faster), and often the hard disk (why not, while the case is open) and sometimes the case (although ATX becoming standard removed that one). The first PC I built had 5 PCI slots and 2 ISA slots, and a lot of them were full. The last PC I built had only one expansion card sitting in the AGP slot and everything else built in to the motherboard. Now I just use a laptop, and upgrade it roughly every three three years by getting a new one and demoting the old one to some other use. Even among geeks, upgrading a computer has become rare. The low cost of new hardware has meant that it's often not much more expensive to replace the whole machine (and much less effort), and the fact that a lot of people can get by with something like a 1GHz P3 means that it's easy to find a good home for the old one.
  • by lucas teh geek ( 714343 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @06:55PM (#25158861)

    You still need a custom hacked Kernel to do it, this removes that need. Even hackintosh's need a custom DVD, this will install with an off the shelf Leopard DVD.

    Not anymore. this is pretty much just a boot-132 [] live cd, on a very overpriced usb flashdrive. I redid my hackintosh this way a few weeks back installed straight off my retail dvd, loading only extra kexts for unofficially supported hardware (and of course dsmos and disabler) off the boot cd..

  • by Knara ( 9377 ) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @07:52PM (#25159567)

    The thing that Macs have that PCs don't get is Garageband. I've used a variety of music programs, and Garageband is UNREASONABLY USEFUL for being a pack-in program. Logic Express is also surprisingly powerful for a low-cost program, and both "Pro" versions (yeah I know that Pro Tools isn't the literal pro version of Garage Band, but it might as well be if you ask me) I think this is the one place where Macs continue to shine.

    However, for graphic design, (i've done it on both platforms) there's virtually no difference between OS X and Windows machines. Get the cheapest of either that meets your system requirements.

  • Apple should be happy to lose a few hardware sales in order to secure their place in software.

    Been there, done that, Apple lost money when they allowed Mac clones [].


Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.