The FAQ is set up to answer many of the technical questions that are commonly asked! This is not a place to ask for help. Use the forum instead.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Q: What is OSx86?
A: OSx86 is a collaborative project centered around the installation and testing of Mac OS X on non-apple hardware,
for both fun and furthering ones knowledge about the platform.
2) Q: Is it legal?
A: Installing a legally purchased copy of OSX on your own hardware is not illegal. It is possible for it to be considered a
breach of the EULA, which is a personal contract between YOU and Apple. So while not a criminal offense, you are
responsible for your own actions. This is my opinion based on my experience and understanding, but am not a
lawyer, and my views don't necessarily reflect those of InsanelyMac or the owners of this website.
3) Q: What minimum hardware specs should have to install Mac OS X on a PC?
A: Highly Recommended:
- CPU supporting SSE3 instruction set (for Retail/Vanilla install) or SSE2 (for some Release installs)
- Motherboard with Intel chipset
- ATI/AMD or Nvidia external Graphics Card-see wiki for list of supported cards
There are other possibilities, but they will generally be more difficult, or may not work properly. For more details
please see the OSx86 Wiki
4) Q: What versions of Mac OS X can be installed?
A: In the InsanelyMac Forum, there are sections for the last 5 major update of the operating system Mac OS X,
including Tiger (10.4), Leopard (10.5), Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7) and more recently OSx86 10.8 (Mountain
which is released on 25 July 2012.
5) Q: What is a kext and how to install?
A:.kext is a kernel extensions (extensions of the kernel). Could think of it as serving the same role as drivers under
Windows, ie to recognize and operate a device. The.kext are grouped in the folder /System/Library/Extensions.
To install them properly, keeping it simple, you can use a utility that does the work for you, such as Kext Wizard.
6) Q: What is a kernel?
A: The kernel is the fundamental part of the operating system. It manages computer resources and allows the different
components - hardware and software - to communicate with each other.
7) Q: What is a bootloader?
A: A bootloader is a software component that can be read by the BIOS and can start the early stages of the boot
process, until the point the operating system can take over and finish booting its self. It can also allow for multi-boot,
that is to say, it allows you to use multiple systems, at different, on the same machine.
*The most commonly used by the OSx86 community, is the open source project " chameleon ".
8) Q: What is "vanilla"?
A: When the term is used here, it will usually refer to the kernel (core) and/or .kext (driver) being original and
unmodified. Having a installation "vanilla" not only makes updates less likley to cause issues such as a possible KP
(kernel panic or BSOD for Windows users) or other crashes, and can provide a very smooth and stable system.
9) Q: What is "native"?
A: Programs that do not require Rosetta to run OSx86 on PC (non-powerPC).
10) Q: How do I install Mac OS X on my PC?
A: See Tutorials, available in the InsanelyMac Genius Bar.
11)Q: I get only a grey screen or a grey screen with the Apple logo when trying to boot, how can I fix this?
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A:The cause could be just about anything, in order to get more info on where the boot process has stalled, boot in
verbose mode. This is done by entering the verbose option in the bootloader before picking which OS you want to
boot. If it's set to boot automatically you may need to hit the F8 key to stop the automatic boot selection. In the
bootloader menu you would type:
-vbefore hitting enter
12) Q: I get this message "Still waiting for root device" when booting, what are the solutions?
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A: This is an error that occurs at boot, and often haappens when the disk controller is not properly initialized and
therefore the system does not see the hard disk. All Intel Macs use the standard AHCI controller.
1) Look in the BIOS of your motherboard for the SATA Control Mode option, make sure it is set to [AHCI]
2) If you do not have this option, you will need a suitable kext to enable alternate IDE mode (ATA kexts ... etc)
3) If your devices (HDD, DVD) are IDE, use the jumper pins to make sure your hard drive is set as the master and the
DVD as the slave
13) Q: When I boot, I get the error: "HFS + partition error". Before I booted without problem!
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A: 1) Start theMac OS X installation DVD in single user mode, press F8 to stop the auto boot selection if needed, then
type -s before selecting the DVD and/or hitting Enter (F8,-s). A shortened boot process will start and then stop at a
command line where you can type
2) In the command prompt, type:
fdisk -e /dev/rdisk*(replace * with the number of your hard disk)
flag*(replace * with the number of your OSX partition)
14) Q: What is "boot0: error"?
A: This error often occurs when your hard drive is over 1TB in size and has sectors of 4096 bytes instead of 512 bytes
To solve this problem, you must reinstall chameleon manually. To do this, follow this tutorial by Radiking!
15) Q: How to change the display resolution?
A: temporary: at system startup, type F8 and enter as a kernel flag:
"Graphics Mode"="1280x1024x32"(depends on your resolutions)
permanent: edit your com.apple.Boot.plist and add:
16) Q: How to show hidden files and folders?
A: There are at least two ways to do so.
I) You can use this simple application: ShowAllFiles
II) Open Terminal (/Applications/Utility/Terminal) and type:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles-bool true
Mission accomplished, the hidden files and folders are now displayed.
To re-hide, retype in the Terminal:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles-bool false
17) Q: Retail? / Release?
Installation using the Apple created DVD of OS X, that either comes with a purchased Mac (iMac, Mac Pro ...) or sold
separately. The Advantage of a "Retail" install is that it has no "fixes" or "patches" that are required to be carefully
chosen during the installation process. Of course, you can instead apply any needed fixes once the installation has
finished, if it is needed, so that your equipment is recognized in OS X.
The downside is the OS X installation DVD will not boot on a non-Apple hardware without a boot loader. You can use
chameleon, the media can be a CD or a USB key, on a CD you would swap it for the retail disk at the boot loader's
Also known as a Distro, or Distribution, an installation DVD of OS X which has fixes and patches added by a team of
programmers to simplify the installation for beginners. In general, a "Release" includes: a bootloader that allows you
to launch the installation DVD of OS X on non-Apple machines and once first loaded, "customization"options, a
menu where you choose patches such as modified .kext to be applied depending on your hardware.
Among the most popular, I would mention that JaS, Kalyway, iATKOS.
The biggest difference between Retail and Release is the ability to update the Retail version without risk of conflicts
that may be encountered with various Release fixes/patches. In general, Retail installation requires a degree of skill
slightly higher, as beginners may find a Release instal less difficult, but potential problems can be harder to diagnose
as unlike Retail, you don't have direct knowledge of everything that may have been added.
18) Q: What is DSDT?
A: DSDT (Differentiated System Description Table) is a series of tables that provide information on how devices are
configured to the operating system, which can include the type of audio chipset, video outputs, the number of
processors, how hardware should respond to hibernation, restart, shutdown, sleep, etc..
Coupled with a bootloader (chameleon), you can create a perfectly stable system with a modified DSDT correctly.
19) Q: What is QE/CI?
A: QE (Quartz Extreme), introduced in Mac OS X 10.2, is accelerated graphics via GPU (graphics card). It is used,
among other effects for transparency or 3D.
CI (Core Image), introduced in Mac OS X 10.4 is hardware acceleration via GPU (graphics card). It is used by
Dashboard for rippling effect of water or for 2D.
20) Q: What is "Natit"?
A: Open Source clone Titan Omni started by dm_webd. Made to correctly injecto several values of your graphics card
into .kext (drivers) ATI NVIDIA or Apple so they can be recognized and enable graphics acceleration (QE/CI).
It allows dual display and many other features to work.
21) Q: What is "Aty_init.kext"?
A: This is a generic graphical injector, which allows the default framebuffer for your graphics card to be applied.
It was created by Netkas.
22) Q: What is "com.apple.Boot.plist" / "org.chameleon.Boot.plist"?
A: When you install the bootloader "chameleon", this file is automatically installed in Extra folder located on the root of
your Mac OS X. This is a list with different instructions apply when you start your operating system .
Easily editable, you can edit it with TextEdit and add different startup commands, such as
<key>Kernel Flags</key <string>arch=i386</string>
to start the kernel (core) 32-bit Snow Leopard.
*Mountain Lion does not support running 32bit kernel*
23) Q: What. "DS_Store"?
A:. DS_Store (Desktop Services Store) is a hidden file created on systems running Mac OS X.
This holds and saves custom attributes/view options for displaying folders/files or image files. It is the equivalent of
the desktop.ini file on Windows systems.
By default, Mac OS X automatically creates this file in every folder that is accessed, even in remote files. After
several criticisms on the part of users, these files can be disabled for network folders.
2012-original by fantomas_1