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Seeking Introduction to Hackintosh Concepts


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I am brand new to this. I'm trying to run Snow Leopard on a Dell E6500 laptop.


So far I've had a few failed attempts, and one attempt that is partially successful. The partially successful attempt was accomplished using "Empire EFI" and a retail Snow Leopard DVD (10.6 unfortunately).


The purpose of my post is not to request specific help with this effort. Instead what I'm finding is that my searches lead down so many forking paths with so many new terms and broken links that I need to take a step back and say, "OK the real problem here is that I do not understand what I'm doing and why."


So what I'm looking for is a good introduction to all of the concepts I need, and what all the different programs and pieces do so that I can actually start getting a grasp on this. Is there a good, "Introduction to Hackintosh" article that would answer questions such as:


How does a Mac boot?

What is Chameleon and what is it's function?

What is Boot 123 and what is it's function?

What is Empire EFI and what is it's function?

What is iAtkos?

Does iAtkos contain Chameleon?

Does Empire EFI contain Chameleon?

Does every hackintosh use Chameleon?

What is a kext?

Where do kext's reside?

In a hackintosh, how does the boot proceed? i.e. is Chameleon involved in the booting? In what part of the process to the kext's get loaded? Why does my machine seem to have different characteristics when I boot it from Empire EFI than when I boot it straight from the hard drive (i.e. from the Chameleon screen?)


It's not that the information isn't available for me to understand these things, I'm just having trouble with the fragmentation of the information.


Any advice is welcome.



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Well, I'm glad you want to learn. Not sure there is really a encyclopedia of hackintosh, a lot of what you ask comes with experience and reading any and everything including, some of which may not be correct. I'll try to answer some of your questions, but keep in mind, I'm as capable of being wrong as anyone else on the internet and I'm gonna give brief answers when some could easily fill a page or ten.


1. Similar to a PC, it's the lack of a PC style BIOS that is the bigger difference

2. Chameleon is a bootloader, it bridges the gap between the PC BIOS and the Mac EFI. Think of it like Bootcamp, but the other way around

3. Same as #2

4. Same as #2 & #3

5. a "distro", essentially a OSX install DVD, with a bootloader, and some common settings and hackintosh extensions pre cached to help it boot on a wider variety of systems, then some more specific hackintosh extensions available to choose to include during the installation.

6. Yes

7. Yes

8. Pretty much, 99% are Chameleon based or at the very least borrow knowledge developed as part of the Chameleon project

9. In function, it's the same as a driver in windows. The kernel is the heart of OSX, it's the code that does stuff. Kexts are the abreviated file extension used for "kernel extensions", they extend the function/capabilities of the kernel, so it can do more stuff.

10. In System/Library/Extension sometimes abbreviated as s/l/e, or in a cached version of the kernel with the needed extensions pre-linked into it, that you don't need to worry about. Chameleon is also able to pre-load extensions located in /Extra/Extensions

11. Chameleon is bootable from BIOS, which it does. It is then able to emulate a EFI, pre-load certain extensions and emulate/pass on other settings and hardware properties to Darwin(OSX's oem bootloader) so it can finish the boot process thinking it's being booted on a real Mac with Mac hardware. You'll see different characteristics partly because there may be different default settings already applied, and different versions of Chameleon used as the basis.

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