Is it legal to install Mac OS X on a PC?

By Envergure ยท 25 replies
Jul 22, 2008
  1. The Mac OS X EULA says something like "thou shalt not install OS X on non-Apple-labeled hardware". Does this make home built Macs or PCs running OS X illegal?

    Or is that "-labeled" bit the key?

    I got to wondering about this after reading about Psystar.
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    It is probably not authorized but illegal would be pushing it a bit far. Once you purchase the software (or as they like to say in most case purchase a license to run the software) you could still get away with using it outside the authorized scope.

    The situation with Psystar is different. For one they're using code from Apple & modifying it to run on non-Apple hardware (in exchange for money which makes it even worse). Another problem is that it can be seen as dilution of the brand. If the existence of Psystar (& its advertising) can bring confusion to what is an Apple computer that's once again a no-no.

    Basically if you purchase MacOSX Leopard & run it on a Hakintosh, good for you. Don't go after support in any shape or form, and sooner or later a system update will probably screw everything up. If you start a business of selling machines running MacOSX, that's where you're in troubled waters.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You can do what you want on your own hardware for your own use. You cannot sell or distribute it
  4. Envergure

    Envergure TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 134

    Good to hear. Apple's software is great, but their proprietary hardware leaves something to be desired. It's just all built so cheaply!
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I have yet to find a Mac user (me included) who found it to be cheaply built & believe me, when people pay a financial premium, they tend to be very finicky when it comes to build quality.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    If you absolutely refuse to buy Apple hardware to run OS X, maybe you could try Open Tech.
  7. Envergure

    Envergure TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 134

    It isn't that I refuse to buy Apple hardware.

    Let me be more specific: The MacBook seems to have a dismal reputation online. Everyone I've read says they constantly need repairs and that they're all soooo glad they bought the AppleCare. Many of them contrasted the MacBook with past iBooks and PowerBooks which worked fine for years and years.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I think it is foolish to buy any laptop/notebook computer without a warranty. Of the 3 people I know with modern Apple notebooks none of them have had any Apple hardware related problems. One has had 2 hard drives die (in a MacBook) but that is just bad luck, Apple doesn't have anything to do with that other than they bought them from Samsung or whoever. The MacBooks are incredibly easy to replace the HD or RAM yourself though (I think the Pro's are a little more involved).

    My most modern Mac is a 1.83Ghz CoreDuo Mini, haven't had any problems with it.
  9. Envergure

    Envergure TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 134

    I agree it's wise to get a good warranty with a notebook. Maybe I've been misinformed about Apple's hardware's reliability. And come to think of it, none of the six people I know who own MacBooks have ever complained.
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    The Mac Books are extremely well built, but they are not as well built as you pay for. You pay a premium for any well built notebook - laptop whether it is an Apple Macintosh or an IBM Lenovo Thinkpad... are there any others?

    But I have had most of my Macs and Thinkpads a lot longer than most laptop owners.
  11. guitto

    guitto TS Rookie Posts: 45

    You could try virtualization, Im not sure about the legal issue on that, or you could create some sort of live cd that would basically be OS X on a cd and try it out. Id go for it if you know what youre getting
  12. Deeger

    Deeger TS Rookie

    My MacBook Pro is awesome. I got it last summer, and so far it and Apple has been great. I've dropped the laptop from 3 and 3.5 feet onto carpeted concrete, while open and on. It did get bent on the side of the screen, but everything has worked for the 7 months since it happened and it still shuts and latches, with no noticeable data corruption. Before that, I did have to get my keyboard and trackpad replaced at the Apple store (mysteriously stopped working...). The "Geniuses" were easy to work with, even though I didn't do what I was supposed to (back up my info and make an appointment). I had my computer back in 26 hours. Outside of Firefox crashing now and then (Safari hasn't crashed yet), I have no complaints about hardware being anything but fast and quality or any software issues.

    iMacs these days are down to $1200 too.
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Refers to "Windows Only" or some such labelling on an OEM registered PC/Notebook
  14. surfersaiyan

    surfersaiyan TS Enthusiast Posts: 100

    i couldnt agree less with the aspersions about getting a warranty with a notebook.

    the manufacturers ought to be making the bloody things up to scratch in the first place instead of putting profit before reliability; bar-stewards.

    a one year statutory warranty for all, yes. but i think there should be banded statutory warranties tied to how much you paid for your machine. if you paid less than a G, well you'd expect to get at least a year out of it.. if you paid 5g, they should be covering you for a bit more automatically.

    but back to the point of this thread!

    i love trick stuff. mini with 7ltr V8 and so on.. so i think putting OSX on something other than a mac is pretty cool, and a big finger to those proprietary legal numbskulls at the big two!

    they ought to remember the computing community is a resource and instead of trying to annihilate everyone who does something trick with their gear, embrace progress and move forward.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    If you are paying several thousand for a laptop, then that extra $300 for an extended warranty isn't going to hurt you much. So while I agree that they should be designed to last for long periods of time, I also imagine the manufacturers are trying. Most do not make their own parts, so it isn't the Dells, HP, Sony, Lenovo, Apples that are soley responsible for the components, its who they buy from as well.

    So to that I disagree that they put profit above reliability. I don't think they structure it that way at all. Sure they are out to make a profit, but they also want to make a reliable product. It isn't as simple as just ranking quality below profit, there is much more that goes into a buisness model.
  16. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Of course it is legal to install it on your own... but probably not legal to sell it as a store package.... still there are no laws about how you can install software as long as it is licensed... Unless it has a written... license not valid on...
  17. sprocket3

    sprocket3 TS Rookie

    It is illegal to use a prepackaged osx on a pc

    If you downloaded a precompiled version of a hackintosh OS then you are in violation of the Eula. You can compile the data yourself and then install.

    Anyone who thinks an apple is worth should look at the hardware they come with a second time. It's a outdated cheap $500 dell repackaged in a shiny white cover and instead of a free 3 year warranty you have to pay for it. I am a tech at a school that has 300 macbooks and every single last one of them has had some issue or another. I've had 20 HD failures already and they are only 1 1/2 years old. There are also some dead monitors and some with bad ram. The last school I worked at had 600 dells that we only worked on about 20 a year. I have 60+ macs piled up in my office and it's only been two months. If you like the OS more power too you they have designed a fairly stable but not customizable OS that runs well for simple tasks. As far as their hardware goes, they should go back to the drawing board. Apple simply doesn't have the funds of most pc makers to design a computer that is up to date because the technology is changing faster than they can design.

    Just my 2 cents, I don't mean to make anyone mad.
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I don't want to argue this in detail, but I have to point out that you just said you had a 100% failure rate with MacBooks. I just can't believe this. No company could stay in buisness with 100% failure rate, I can see you saying 100% if you had 1 or 2 and that was all you've ever been in contact with, but 300 out of 300, that is just not believable.

    I've owned or my immediate family has owned 8 different Macs, out of them, the only problems I've seen were a dead hard drive (not made by Apple) and a bad RAM module (which was not even related to Apple because it was a free upgrade from MacMall that they installed themselves).
  19. sprocket3

    sprocket3 TS Rookie

    Most of the errors have been software based. The choices of hardware that mac has made have been less then good also. I've had a 20% hardware failure rate within 2 years on all the 1000+ mac I've managed. (The hardware fails with in two year not 1000+ managed in two years) Most of the hardware failure lie with the screen backlights, HD's, ram, and the shells cracking. We always buy the apple care plan and I'm apple certified to do the repairs on site so I don't have to wait as long as most people to get them back from repair. I also am not too impressed with their choice to switch to Li-on batteries before they fix the over heating and premature failure glitches. I'm not new to macs or pc's and as far as hardware goes it is the same as an out dated cheap dell and it's a waist of money. But again, it's software preference.
  20. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    My 1 year old MBP had a hard drive die - I replaced it with a 320GB and it's been solid since. My 8? year old Quicksilver has been fairly stable since I've had it - except if I leave a load on it for any period of time it reboots - happens even after a clean wipe and OS re-install. My 8? year old Titanium has been solid - except for a key that my 1 year old has figured out how to remove permanently - they usually just snap back on. My 2 year old Dual G5 has been completely solid except that time I had to zap the pram to get the fans to stop misbehaving. My 10 year old Graphite probably still runs fine - at least it did a year ago before I pulled the power on it.
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Sprocket - what software are you running on them? its incredibly rare that I have anything crash on any of my Macs (of course its pretty rare on my PCs too). Opera is the last thing I've had crash but its been months, and it always comes back on a relaunch. I run Office 2008 on my powerbook, firefox, safari, webkit, itunes, adium, colloquy,, vlc, VirtualHub, and probably a few others. Crashes are incredibly rare, and I've never had the OS itself mess up outside of maybe a networking glitch with a Windows PC.

    Hardware failures like the HD or RAM could sort of be blamed on Apple, because of their choices in brands or something, but there is absolutely no difference in a 2.5" hd in an Apple notebook vs one in a PC notebook.

    What is your complaint about the battery? Nearly every single notebook that has been made in the last 4 years has used a Lithium Ion battery. Dell's have caught fire too. If you crack a shell on a MacBook you are treating it pretty badly, but I guess that type of treatment would help to explain all the other incredibly rare problems that you are seeing in such abundance.
  22. sprocket3

    sprocket3 TS Rookie

    My Favorite ones made and I personally have 4 of them are the titanium and aluminum powerbooks. Except for the fact that they scratch and dent. I use those for mobile servers so the hard drives go out fairly often on them.
  23. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    There are great differences in reliability of laptop hard drives among: Fujitsu, Hitachi, Samsung,Seagate, Toshiba, Western Digital, and TriGem as we have found in our tracking of sales teams, insurance reps, and other teams using laptops in the Southwest that we service.
    But we find that MacIntosh laptop hard drives experience earlier failures... and Mac laptops appear to have better care... but less reliable cooling in recent models.
    Overall, it appears the brand and model of hard drive is more significant than any other factor, other than heat.
  24. sprocket3

    sprocket3 TS Rookie

    I think I mentioned that I run computers for a middle school right? My main complaint about the batteries are there premature failure. Apple only covers them for one year because they are considered a disposable. 50+ of the ones I've had in the last year have failed on just before or just after the year mark. Because I'm apple certified I can't just go into the apple store and plead my case and hope they'll give me one anyways because they all know me at my local store. Also as far as software goes I run most of the usual productivity software. Office, Ilife / IWork, and Firefox. I also have to image because I run so many computers. Apples imaging software that comes with OS X Server has proven to be very unreliable and unstable and it might be a contributing factor to the software problems.
  25. sprocket3

    sprocket3 TS Rookie

    Raybay has it right, from what I've seen your average mac runs hotter internally than your average pc laptop. Yes I know I made a generalization that can't be proven but it's just from my own experience. The reason it's true is because he macbook is so much lighter and slimmer which makes it better for travel and to carry around. That is mostly why g4's ibooks run cooler (partly because of their slower processor) mostly because of the fact that they have more room for higher cfm fans.
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