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Idea: Why not Hacking the Bios / EFI?


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Hi folks,


i am quite new to the osx86 thing, but a long time osx user.

as i'd like to remove my mbp from my desk i thought about buying a desktop system,

but unfortunately a macpro is a bit too expensive ;-)


so i thought:

why not trying to build an hardware-a-like system (probably many of you already did that).

but as far as i understand the whole osx @ x86 scene you all use modified osx install dvds.

why not trying to hack the system bios / efi itself in order to get hardware which is acutally recognized

as a legitimate macpro by the installer.


i didn't find any threads discussing this possibility (if there is any).

as far as i know current macpro's dont have a tpm, so if one would clone the mainboard/system bios/efi into a hardware-a-like mainboard he should end up with an "recognized as apple system"?


am i wrong? what do you guys think about this possibility?





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Hi. thanks for your reply. could you provide me with an "keyword" for more research?is there a special "name" for those projects?bestdave



the thing i am talking about is probably summarized with the term MacEFIx86.maybe we should get some media buzz in order to get skilled people to work on it (again) ? :-)

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after doing some research i have the feeling, that some "media buzz" would really be usefull.

we have to combine all the efforts of different people working on efi-hacks.


my researchs showed me, that there are some people working on it, but they aren't working together.

we need something like the iphone dev wiki. we need a efi-hack wiki :-)


another (less good) solution (instead of flashing a mainboard to be recognized as a macpro board) could be to run a virtual efi ontop of the system efi.

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An EFI emulator is a good idea. Some x86 machines with OSX-compatible hardware will not even run the OSX86 installer, due to a BIOS incompatibility. Other people have expressed interest in working on this; for example:

Jun 24 2007

i intend to start working on some kind of efi emulator for bios

Jun 24 2007

kind of already made but doesnt work too well

efi on pc, it's possible

[the above thread is now 13 pages, and work is progressing]

Here is an overview of EFI-related stuff, for those who may consider joining the developer community:



"The Darwin bootloader is used to boot OSx86 as it is compatible with BIOS unlike the usual method for booting OS X on a real Mac using EFI. Barely any motherboards have EFI so using Apple EFI to boot is not a good solution, however there is work being done to boot a virtual EFI partition from BIOS and also to flash Intel EFI compatible motherboards with Apple EFI modules."



How EFI works:



"EFI is an interface specification and it really is more about how to write an operating system loader and an Option ROM than it is about how to make a BIOS that works. The Intel Platform Innovation Framework for EFI is Intel's next generation firmware architecture from the ground up. The core chunks of this code are available under an Open Source license at www.TianoCore.org. Tiano was the developer code name while Framework was the marketing name." —Andrew Fish (inventor of EFI)



Insyde EFI Developer Kit



Intel EFI home page



Intel sample EFI implementation download



Intel EFI Application Toolkit

Effective July 1, 2007 the EFI Toolkit source code will no longer be available for download. Future updates to the EFI Application Toolkit can be downloaded from the open source EFI-toolkit project on the Foundation Code for EFI Implementations site TianoCore.org.



The EFI and Framework Open Source Community is the community surrounding the open source components of Intel's implementation of EFI, officially called the Platform Innovation Framework referred to as "the Framework".



"The grand majority of Intel motherboards ship with Framework-based firmware. During 2005 more than one million Intel systems shipped with the Framework. New mobile, desktop and server products using the Framework, started shipping in 2006. For instance, all boards that use the Intel 945 chipset series use the Framework. However, the production firmware usually does not include EFI support, and is limited to legacy BIOS."



The OpenBIOS project provides you with most free and open source Open Firmware implementations available.


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