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SCI/TECH: Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs

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posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 08:02 PM
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The ideal computer world may be coming to a computer near you sooner than you think. Hackers are loading Apple's OS X onto PCs, bypassing the chip that is designed to prevent such. The tweaked version is known as "OSx86." The software is being downloaded using BitTorrent.
 



wired.com
Imagine if your next Mac cost you only $300, and ran faster than any G4 or G5 you've ever used.

That future may already be unfolding: Hackers have found a way to bypass a chip designed to prevent the Mac OS from running on non-Apple PCs, which are often cheaper than Macs.

Some of the hackers are running the tweaked version of the operating system on their PCs natively. Others are using the system with VMware, which allows the Mac OS to support more PC hardware.

Hackers and curious computer users this week have been downloading the tweaked Mac OS X for PCs, nicknamed "OSx86," from several websites connected to the BitTorrent file-distribution system.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Apple stability on the open architecture of the PC could be the combination the world has been waiting for. Of course, the legality of this arrangement is dubious, but maybe the voice of the public could influence the powers that be and such might become available, giving the world more choices when it comes to operating systems. I probably won't be attempting this hack, but it will be an interesting trend to keep an eye on.

Related News Links:
www.macfixit.com
www.apple.com
news.com.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Why Apple and Folly Go Hand-in-Glove
www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 2005/8/12 by GradyPhilpott]




posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 08:25 PM
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Nice post. Here's an example of the instructions as found at:

wiki.osx86project.org...



[...]
Installing
1. Create your virtual machine in VMware. Set guest OS to FreeBSD or Other, give it as much hard drive space as you can afford.

2. Run VMware with the Darwin 8.01 install ISO. Hit Esc and boot from CD.

3. Let Darwin boot from the CD image. All being well, you should see the VMware drive listed above the command prompt.

I'm removing steps 4 through 25 because they're hard and also to make my point: This is not easy. But yes, it can be done.



26. Type the incredibly long command "cp -RLv CoreGraphics /volumes/"untitled 1"/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/" NOTE: As I am unsure of the correct syntax also run "cp -RLv CoreGraphics /volumes/"untitled 1"/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A" (no / at the end this time!) just to be safe. [...] This copies the patched CoreGraphics to the relevant location. [...]

27. Type "./ditto -rsrc /volumes/"untitled 1" /" and in theory you're now copying the PearPC stuff onto the VMware Darwin install. This is pretty much it people..! Takes a long while, particularly from the 6GB image [...]

28. Here it goes..! "reboot". With any luck you'll see the lovely sight of OSX x86 booting up. Give it a good few minutes. Damn thing takes its time. DO NOT REBOOT once it gets to the desktop until you have done the next step, else you've just screwed up as it won't reboot.

29. Get into Disk Utility. Again I assume you know how to do this owning a devkit. Select the osxvol (not the PearPC disk) and run RepairPermissions on it. You can now reboot safely.

30. Erm... that's it! Well done assuming you didn't screw everything up. You now have an OSX x86 install ready for future use. Snapshot the virtual machine before you break it and wait for future developments. [...]

So yes, this can be done, if you own other software packages (or know how to steal/borrow them) and are feeling lucky.

Apple will probably be successful in shutting this down because it's just too piecemeal and they can shut websites down in court, as they have proven. This represents literally their whole business. If this process takes off, Macs will become obsolete and overpriced.

Currently. it's way too hard for the average user, and not reliable.



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 08:44 PM
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The importance of this news is not that everyone will be setting this up on their computers tonight, putting Apple out of business tomorrow. It is the potential over time that has been set up by Apple and Intel already and what it could mean eventually. I think this paragraph says it well:




The impact of the OSx86 hack on Apple's hardware brand could be severe.

The hack shows that Steve Jobs' company will be turning out machines indistinguishable from any other PC, or "white box," said German hacker Michael "mist" Steil.

"Apple wants to avoid the word getting out that (MacIntels) are just PCs, and that (OSx86) works on PCs," said Steil.

Steil made a name for himself hacking Microsoft's Xbox game console. He has seen the hacked OSx86 running on a PC, and has been watching the conversations at the OSx86 Project website. But he said he is not hacking the operating system himself.

source




posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 09:06 PM
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The importance of this news is not that everyone will be setting this up on their computers tonight, putting Apple out of business tomorrow. It is the potential over time that has been set up by Apple and Intel already and what it could mean eventually.

I hear you, GP, but wouldn't most mac devotees continue to pay a sizeable premium to use the Mac O/S properly (on their pricey mac hardware) rather than cobbling together a solution that runs on a PC --a computer which which most Mac users are afraid of? I mean, who is going to use this? Businesses will not, until is becomes much more reliable.

By the time this becomes viable, I'm sure Apple will hardwire an encryption scheme/chip into the macs that some coder will then similarly hack around, producing a similarly complex process like the one above. But really, will it ever reach a practical level?

Also, as mentioned, whomever steps forward to package this installation process and simplify it enough to make it viable, will be immediately attacked by Apple's lawyers.



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 09:21 PM
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All I have to say is this.

If it can be made, it will be hacked.

Nothing on this planet or any other is hackproof, get over it..



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 09:21 PM
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I can't predict the future, but the real news is this:


The hack shows that Steve Jobs' company will be turning out machines indistinguishable from any other PC, or "white box...."


This alone is more important than the hack. I don't think these geeks who are doing this are doing it because it is so practical, but because it shows the world what the world will be like when Apple and Microsoft are running on essentially identical machines.

The hack is not the real story. It's what the hack means.


[edit on 2005/8/12 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 10:23 PM
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The way I see it, Apple has two options:

1) wage an ever escalating war with hackers to keep it at least difficult to maintain a working Mac OS X setup on generic PC hardware

2) go with it, and perhaps someday license OS X to other manufacturers such as Dell as on OS option to compete head on with Windows

I think they'll probably be keeping their options somewhat open for now



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 11:36 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
The way I see it, Apple has two options:

1) wage an ever escalating war with hackers to keep it at least difficult to maintain a working Mac OS X setup on generic PC hardware

2) go with it, and perhaps someday license OS X to other manufacturers such as Dell as on OS option to compete head on with Windows

I think they'll probably be keeping their options somewhat open for now


I agree.

Option 1 is probably what they will do, based on history.

Option 2 might be the goose that laid the golden egg, but it could be just the opposite if a massive shift of computer users to OS X led to an all out assault by those idiot scumbags who write malware exposing massive flaws in the OS, thus eliminating one of the benefits of running it.

It would be ironic if it turned out that security benefit of Apple turned out to be a chimera.



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 11:59 PM
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Just think of this.

Apple puts out Apple X86 base Computer that look like Apple, Runs Like Apple, Except Cost $400 Dollars. OSX is such a better more stable OS, ( I run both XP, Win 2003, OSX) and If I could run OSX for cheap My world would be awesome, Also also imagine running both OSs on the same system. and it not be an emulator like soft PC. If apple could brand it and sell it as cheap as dell and the only diference is whats inside using the new 64bit intel chips. Eveyone would want a mac. Unix/lunix guys, Apple people and half of the windows users.

I cant wait



posted on Aug, 13 2005 @ 03:56 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I can't predict the future, but the real news is this:


The hack shows that Steve Jobs' company will be turning out machines indistinguishable from any other PC, or "white box...."


This alone is more important than the hack. I don't think these geeks who are doing this are doing it because it is so practical, but because it shows the world what the world will be like when Apple and Microsoft are running on essentially identical machines.

The hack is not the real story. It's what the hack means.


[edit on 2005/8/12 by GradyPhilpott]


Anyone can say anything about "why" a hack is done. Truth is, outside the world of White Hats [hackers breaching machines/Networks to inform of such breach for the good] and Black Hats [those into breaching for cause of malice], hacking/cracking is done because ........... it can be.

Take Crackers [cracks software encryption], for instance, rare is there a crack group that does so for money, same with the distributors of those cracks/cracked softeware. Once the software is in the public realm, then the #ts of the scenario get into it and want money [all those spams for $400 apps at $10, bare in mind, these #ts are mininscual in number compared to those who simply share the apps/games/music]. Of the crack groups, especially, it is a game, to see which group can get it cracked and released first.

Media knows diddly-#t about hacking & software piracy, they know what the RIAA/MPAA/Gov info tells them. They don't know the groups other then by name, don't know the members [a "duh" on that one, of anyone], their only source of information is from those I just stated - and they [media] eats it up becasue anything in the news with mega-million dollar amounts make sales. That dollar amount is a whole other story - ya, some college kid needing to learn Adobe Illistrator for his career has $500 to shell for it, hardly, what's he do? he gets a cracked copy of it. Now, that copy he got - even tho he would NOT have bought it, is marked up as a $500 loss to the industry. THAT is where the hi dollar amount comes from. Same goes with the RIAA - ya, some 14yr old with 600 music CD's REALLY has access in his couple years listening to music to the apx $12,000 those CD's would cost - but, again, the indunstry see's that as a $12,000 loss.
Where does the industry get these so-called figures? Out their damn asss. Think about it man, to have a figure anywhere near close of true would entail all these people with all this software/music to TELL the industry what they have downloaded. Release sites have no download counter, same with FTP, P2P, and private networks; the only sort of counting is from some Torrent sites that do take counts. But that is like judging how many cars ever existed by counting the number of BMW's currently on the road, then multiplying that figure by the number of auto makers. Pretty lame, eh? But in whole, think about it, how can the industry even fathom a number of downloads from counterless sources, add to, from sources they have no clue about?

Hackers/Cracker have no agenda, no "moral" of the story, no "future asessement" - they have the one goal - be first to do it because it can be done.

Unless one has been in, or, knows well someone that IS in the piracy scene, or knows where to find underground publications of such [the latter two being mine - everyone has a fascination, mine is learning about this, donno why, just do], then they don't know a damn thing about it. This media crap produced is akin to me watching a couple 60's era Mafia movies [industry information] and telling you everything that ever was about the Mafia [media produced]. Kinda lame, don't ya think? But American eat it up, cause the industry told the media, and the meida told them so. Sadly, the industry counting invisable actions, are the horses mouth in this deal.

A side note of "who gets what" on this: recently, a man guilty of breaking software encryption got served a 12yr prison sentence - ironlically, at the same time in the news, a child molester got ....... 8 years. What is wrong with that picture? Making software free [granted, wrong] versus destoying a persons ENTIRE future life? [if you don't know the effects of child molestation, don't refute my use of "entire"].

WHEW !!! Damm, ya think I needed to get that out of my system? lol. Not to fear, it will be back in the next week or so, when Lars Ulrich cries that someone listened to him drum, and he didn't get his $1.12 from the CD after the RIAA cut [yet, the RIAA cries "these thieves are depriving the music artists!!" Ya, uh-huh. And yes, it is in print that the RIAA states this. they don't however, state how little the artists gets after the RIAA takes out].

Crap, I'm doing it again! Press "post" Misfit, press "post". lol

Misfit



posted on Aug, 13 2005 @ 02:10 PM
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Actually as I posted on another thread awhile back...david pogue in MAC OS X 10.4 Tiger, the missing manual states that once Apple switches over to intel chips, Mac users will be able to run windows systems on Mac's without using anything like virtual PC but it will be more difficult to do it the other way around because essential core items in mac os's are not installable, they are actually etched onto the processor chip itself. It will be interesting to see if they will be able to run the whole OS or just portions thereof...Pogue also stated in that essay that once apple switches over to intel chips essentially the day of seperate codes will be over. Still it is an interesting post.



posted on Aug, 13 2005 @ 02:12 PM
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P.S. in the long run dispite all this is the simple fact that windows systems are slapped together aka Dell and have a really limited life while Mac's are built like the proverbial brick #house and that makes all the world of difference...after having windows and now mac's, I wouldn't switch back in microsoft paid me to.



posted on Aug, 13 2005 @ 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77

2) go with it, and perhaps someday license OS X to other manufacturers such as Dell as on OS option to compete head on with Windows

I think they'll probably be keeping their options somewhat open for now


Actually Apple did go with the 2nd option for one or two years then dropped it because the other manufacturers were selling their versions cheaper then apple. That cut into apples profits and they did not like it so they stopped it. I have a Motorola Star Max 3000 sitting on my other desk only problem is that cpu can only run up to os 9


I have any extra 100 gig HD here and am thinking of trying to follow the procedure and see if I can get it up and running on this machine. 3.5ghz with 2 megs of ram should be real sweet


I can forsee only one problem so far; that is trying to find a scsi card that will work on a pc so I can use the scanner and laser printer from the mac.



[edit on 8/13/2005 by shots]



posted on Aug, 14 2005 @ 05:21 PM
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According to a technician at the local Apple store, however, that OSx86 software is only a beta version. Is that correct? Thank you.

Remember some years back when the U.S. Army decided to change from all Windows-based servers to an Apple platform "because the Windows platform is not secure" ? Perhaps what some of these legacy users of Apple will do is stay with the older more secure versions of the Apple platform as long as possible. Then, when they have to upgrade, maybe they will choose security-minded software such as Java.



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 09:47 AM
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Apparently Apple legal is attempting to stop the flood gates, but I fear it's too late to stop the torrent.

Macrumors has a very informative thread about all this.

forums.macrumors.com...

Although this beta version of Mac OSX for X86 is missing drivers, the reports coming in indicate that
many hard line Windows users are very impressed with Mac OSX

[QUOTE=MacRohde]So I installed you-know-what on my P4-Northwood box. And let me tell you that although it's a very rudimentary experience because of no drivers etc., it's blazingly fast, extremely responsive, drop-dead gorgeus and just generally gives the impression of an OS that's miles ahead of XP. Seriously, the "only" thing it did for me is convincing me, without a doubt, that my next system is gonna be a true Mac system.

I'm very impressed. Very.

And no, this train can't be stopped. Apple must have been naive thinking they could contain it, if of course all this wasn't a part of their grand plan. Guess what's the #1 torrent download this week? No way Apple, you might have TPM etc., but this is the x86 borough, the home of hackers, crackers, and other bad boys. The future is now.[/QUOTE]



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 10:00 AM
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I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened before. Isn't the OSX kernel (Darwin) open source and unix-based? I would think any devoted hacker worth his salt would be able to compensate for the hardware dependencies. Given that any modern Linux/Unix system needs a ton of potential hardware drivers, and most of those are open source, I would think it would be somewhat easy to find one or two that could be tweaked.

As far as OSX being dependent on special code in the Mac processors, I don't think it would be terribly difficult to make an emulation layer that could handle that. And since they got the core of the OS up and running, it's obviously not that important to have that processor specific code. The layer might slow things down a little bit, but we're getting to the point that an average comp is well over 1GHz; I don't think it would be that much of a drag on resources.



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 10:04 AM
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It may take a while for the community to get all the drivers rolling, but this cat is definitely out of the bag.

Of course most of us hope that Apple will come around and finally release a legit version so people can at least try Mac OSX.

There's no question that a fully optimized x86 version will be much better than any [k]ed version.



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by FallenFromTheTree

There's no question that a fully optimized x86 version will be much better than any [k]ed version.


This is exactly why I felt this story was so exciting. Not because now everyone can now install an illegal hack, but because the door has been opened for the possibility that Apple will use the compatibility to license the OS to be run on PCs. Even a scaled down free version would be attractive to those who just want to see for themselves what the hoopla is all about and might be persuaded to spring for the whole enchilada.



posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 07:15 AM
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Steve Jobs will be presenting another keynote at The Apple Paris Expo in September.
As always, speculation about a new product launch is running high for either a new dual core PowerPC
PowerMac, a possible early Intel based machine or some other product improvements.

In the mean time, many people are continuing to buy their first Macs having had it with Windows security issues.

The average user who simply uses their computer for documents, e-mail, chat, surfing, music, movies and light graphics work are perfectly fine selecting the Mac mini, iBook or iMac G5 without breaking the bank.
$499-$1499

In fact, these entry level consumer machines are probably way more computer than most users will ever really need.

If you really need a new system the best advice is to keep it reasonable covering your essential needs over the next 3 years without going overboard.

This advice really covers any platform you prefer because so many advancements will be released over
the next 12-24 months.

If you're on the fence about Mac OS X, then the recently upgraded Mac mini is the perfect solution
for the OS curious as long as you don't need a new display.
The base CPU along with the standard software included with OS X is quite a value starting at $499.

The iBooks are world renowned as the perfect solution for students or basic portable needs.

The newest 17" WS 2.0 GHz iMac G5 for $1499 ( education ) is probably the best configuration Apple has put together in years.

The key to performance running Mac OSX is RAM.

These products now ship with 512MB standard, but seasoned users recommend at least 1 GB RAM
( 3rd party ) for the best overall performance.

The best solution for hard core gamers is to retire their Wintel/AMD P/C for OFFLINE gaming
adding a Mac mini for all online activity.

This allows the user the full benefits of a clean Windows OS install without any need for patches and other CPU hogging security applications.
This lean and clean approach is becoming more and more popular with recent switchers to Mac OS X.

Otherwise, I would hold off on any major purchase in ANY platform until you can compare
the Intel based dual core Macs against the upcoming Windows Vista machines.

As always, good things come to those who wait.

For those of you determined to attempt the hack............

METHOD 3: Fastest & easiest (OSX only)
This one is easier than all other ones. If you have a real Mac running OSX:
(Note: You may need Darwin 8.1 installed on the source hard-drive, first, to ensure everything works properly)
Download and extract "tiger-x86.tar.bz2"
Mount "tiger-x86-flat.img"
Use "Carbon Copy Real Cloner" to clone the image into a real hard drive connected to your mac (Firewire, USB, Internal...)
Put that hard drive as primary master on a PC that's SSE2 capable, and enjoy.













[edit on 25-8-2005 by FallenFromTheTree]



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