Smartness and the use of Mac OS X on PCs

Smartness and the use of Mac OS X on PCs

per Bruno Lopes

Since Apple adopted Intel processors on its computers, a community of users has come together around the goal of installing the Mac OS X operating system on conventional PCs. This objective has been achieved for years, but the task is not the simplest.

Apple logo Hackintosh

In the past few months, two solutions that promise to make this task easier, EFI-X and Psystar's have been on the technology sites. But it seems that their main objective is to separate the Mac OS X enthusiast from his money, and not to make his life easier. Thankfully, there are free solutions, which may not work very well, but at least do not weigh in your pocket.


The EFI-X is a small device plugged into the USB port on the computer's motherboard and should be used with a short list of compatible hardware (like any installation of Mac OS X on a regular PC). Then just turn on the computer, insert the Apple OS DVD and, on the EFI-X screen, choose the DVD boot option. In a matter of minutes your Mac OS X is installed on the PC.


Was it too good to be true? Yes. Those who bought the first version of EFI-X saw that with each firmware change, new problems appeared, when others were solved. Dissatisfaction ran only in the forums, until the site Tom’s Hardware published the report of the owner of an EFI-X, identified as “AsereBLN”, who had opened the device and released what he found.

According to this user, an EFI-X would be nothing more than a flash memory (like those found on flash drives) and a chip whose only function would be to prevent copying of these files to a computer. And why was EFI-X trying to avoid this copy? To try to hide the fact that the company had used files created by the community Hackintosh and licensed by the GPL, but was not distributing the source code of the changes (something required by the license).

In addition, the manufacturer (ASEM) claims that a new version of EFI-X is required to install Snow Leopard on the PC (which incidentally would mean another $ 300 entering the company's coffers for each device sold). But this version would be essentially the same original equipment, only with different software.

The story was published in Tom’s Hardware in the beginning of September, and until today the situation has changed very little. ASEM's forums are still blocked for anyone who hasn't purchased an EFI-X, and it still couldn't be used to install Snow Leopard on a PC.

Rebel EFI

The old Psystar is known to those who read , as it is the company that sells PCs with Mac OS X installed and is in the middle of a legal fight with Apple. In this battle between a David and a Goliath, I usually hope for David's skill and intelligence, but Psystar doesn't seem like a very hard-pressed David.

Psystar Rebel EFI

For $ 50, you buy an ISO file on the company's website, and by burning it to a CD you can boot your computer. From the CD menus, you have the option of installing Mac OS X, and you use the Mac OS X DVD as if you were installing it on an Apple computer. After installing the system, the CD is placed in the drive to install a program that filters automatic updates (sometimes an update from Apple breaks the compatibility of Hackintoshes) and allows you to boot the computer without the boot CD.

Again, there were rumors that the Rebel EFI also uses freely available software, licensed under the GPL, just giving them a beautiful outfit. In any case, it seems that this type of program can suffer lawsuits from both Apple and obscure software developers.

The free version

There are still many options for those who do not want to depend on companies with an uncertain future, such as ASEM and Psystar. Chameleon and Boot123 are free, and there are articles that show you how to install Snow Leopard on a PC. All I need to buy are the right components, an 8GB pendrive (or more) and be (a lot) patient to follow the technical guides found in droves around the world.

If you are interested in the subject, be sure to participate in the Hackintosh forum of .