How to: make a hackintosh

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I don’t understand the point of Hackintoshes. To me, Apple’s strength is the quality of their hardware, and one must put up with macOS to use that hardware.

My ideal machine would have Linux on a cutting-edge Macbook. Sadly, Apple’s closed nature makes that impossible, all the more so since the advent of the T2 chip.

My preferring Linux is probably proof of Irreconcilable Differences with the goals of Hackintosh users & developers. I have recent experience with launchd (macOS’s system daemon), trying to automate the macOS’s install, and dealing with the obsolete bundled Unix utilities, and based on that I’d be happy to give macOS to my mom, but certainly not for a power user who’s ready to build their own machine and hack the kernel.

So I just don’t understand that overlap that makes Hackinthoshes a thing.


Price out a MacBook Pro Vs an HP with similar speed and memory.
See the difference?


A low risk way to test the hackintosh waters is to try a Mac VM.


Butterfly keyboards for one


And CPU cores, Thunderbolt 3 ports, display resolution, and NVMe (not SATA) SSD. I’ve done these comparisons and the Apple hardware is usually not out of the range of a well built commodity laptop.

That said, the latest generation MacBooks have lousy keyboards and the Touch Bar is an anti-feature for touch typists. Apple should take a serious look at what makes the ThinkPad Carbon X1 feel so good.


Also: Please don’t - just don’t do it.
I ran a hackintosh for two years, and the time I lost to that demon could have easily paid for a proper mac workstation. The instability, re-installing, learning a whole world of weird-ass dependencies and kext-libraries, troubleshooting obscure driver issues - and more than anything the existential dread (and subsequent forum-crawling) every time Apple release a system update - really wasn’t worth the couple hundred bucks I saved.


For my uses, OSX is the entire appeal (at least since their latest iteration of the Macbook Pro)

  1. It is UNIX. I get to do all the UNIX-y stuff with (what I consider to be) a pretty interface.
  2. Hardware always works (may not be the case with hackintosh)
  3. I can run Microsoft Apps, Adobe Apps, and (uniquely), Omni-group’s software.

Plus, iTerm2 is the best terminal app I’ve ever used, and I do a majority of my work from the command line.
The Macbook Pro Retina is, by far, the best laptop design I’ve ever used in my life. I’m very disappointed that Apple has (as far as I can tell) given up on PC hardware for mobile hardware, but I’d love to be able to continue to use OSX on, say, a Dell XPS-15


At least in my case, macOS is the only really usable operating system. I’m a computational biologist, which means I need a UNIX-based system to get work done. But I also need to use Outlook for mail (work uses proprietary Microsoft servers and other clients can’t connect “for security”), and my experimental colleagues love to send Excel and Word attachments that LibreOffice mangles regularly (I’m sure the fault is Microsoft constantly changing their formats, but still). So I use a real Mac at work and a Hackintosh at home.

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Is that related to applied computational demonology?


Apple products used to be that way and I used them from 1987 to 2017. But no more.

iMacs’ graphics cards are generations behind what’s available on the PC market.

Most iMacs have their components soldered stuck on their motherboards, so, if a part breaks down, you’re going to pay for an entire motherboard with components.

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There’s something curious about a project that you think would have a DIY something-from-nothing approach to it, but instead starts with: choose one of these very particular $1000+ recent-year laptops.


LOL — and step two is “already own a Macintosh.”


And I didn’t even get halfway through the article! :rofl:

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Just like owning a vintage porsche, people build a hackintoshe partly because they always breakdown and need repairs. It’s “fun” for them.


Yeah, this feels like it should be interesting, in a “X Software on Y Hardware is my thing” kind of way, but deep delving into Apple’s desktop software? In 2019? ugh.

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The first Mac I used was in middle school before they became commercially available (one of the benefits of growing up in SV). My first Apple laptop came in 2000, followed by 2002, 2007, late 2011. Apple’s hardware and software quality has tanked this decade, and I made the jump to a high end Lenovo and Linux which has—Apple’s lockout of Linux from the iOS ecosystem aside—been a joy.


No joke. It can make for a fun experiment, but I would never rely on it for anything I cared about.

You need a very precise set of hardware, and things will break all the time (or just not work at all). Unless you’re deeply familiar with the inner workings of OS X, you’re completely beholden to the community to get you out of a jam when things go wrong, and it’s basically a guarantee that they will go wrong.


The plain and simple facts are that using commodity hardware, it’s possible to build a hackintosh at higher performance levels and much lower cost that paying Apples premium. The cost difference is in the thousands, not hundreds. THAT is why people do it. And yeah, it’s a pain; Yeah, it’s worth it.