Why “OSx86 Distros” are bad.

I see people on IRC asking “Where can I get an 0Sx86 10.6 distro?” on a fairly regular basis so I would like to take a moment to explain exactly why myself and others discourage their use.

#1 – Distros cause problems!

If you haven’t noticed most, if not all, distros apply more hacks than are required on the average system in an attempt to function on as many systems as possible. While this may seem like an OK thing to you while things are “working” you may not even notice diminished performance or realize that those bugs you are having are due to a particular hacked kernel extension somewhere that isn’t even required for your own hardware… Additionally if it has over-written “vanilla” kernel extensions on your system a software update could corrupt your install and leave you with an OS that will not boot. If this happens chances are since you used a distro, and didn’t learn for yourself what needed to be patched on your system and how to patch it – you probably won’t know how to fix it.

#2 – The OSx86 Community does not want to support distros!

If you can’t get support from the actual distro developer (most do not support their releases) you will be met with ridicule by others in the community. Why? Because the distro likely broke your install to begin with and because people who use distros generally are unable to articulate what patched kexts they are using or understand basic terminology like kext, permissions, mkext, or how to use basic terminal commands. We have a fairly good understanding of common errors with RETAIL installs but if we had to stop to try and fix every backwater distro out there – that has an error simply because it’s patching kexts incorrectly for a users system, well… We wouldn’t have time to work on anything else. We generally expect people who request support to have a decent level of self-competency so that it does not waste our time.

#3 – Distros encourage laziness!

Instead of learning how and why something works on your own system and improving your own understanding of OS X & PC hardware you want other people to do the work for you. With no profit or reward in it for them. If this sounds like you please do yourself a favor – go buy a mac!

#4 – Distros are Piracy!

This is an obvious one, if you own a retail OS X DVD you wouldn’t need to download a distro anyway, unless you are exceptionally lazy which brings us back to #3. Please support apple! If you want to run OS X on your non-apple hardware the least you should do is purchase a legitimate copy!

#5 – Conclusion

If you want to run OS X on your own PC hardware, do it the right way and learn how to achieve a working retail install from scratch. Please don’t take “shortcuts” with these “distros” – in the long run they will actually cause you much more trouble than learning how to do it for yourself. It may sound like a daunting ordeal at first glance but with utilities like myHack available it has never been easier to run OS X on your own hardware.

43 thoughts on “Why “OSx86 Distros” are bad.

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  6. You basically support Apple but you like to do hacking on their closed source systems. Sounds like you hate Microsoft but you love to develop beautiful software (please, don’t use gadget terms with us) for them with the risk that they may copy your ideas without give you a cent or any intellectual awards. That’s nonsense to me.

    As Win/Mac/Linux user I can only think and honestly say that the hacking practice is for your own knowledge in order to understand something better behind the usual “masks”. Could sound selfish but isn’t if you extend and accumulate databases based on general users experiences without any pre-conceptual statements against distro. There is always a business or general affair behind something, right man? Let’s talk about practical and more serious things compared to your politic statements: Apple marketing office. Why they turn informatics into gadged “Armani” brand lifestyle. Only polititians can kill hackers real and honest purposes. And just in case to clarify the situation here, I’m not the one that support phishing, scamming etc. but I support goddamned freedom to hack (with or without distro support, that I don’t personally consider a remarkable advantage anyway because there is always something to do and learn with hacking!) in order to save money from scammers!!! Peace!!!!

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  11. I must say that I understand why you’d post this, but I also disagree with some of your base assumptions, particularly in regards to #3.

    I am a computer security professional and the IT admin for a medium sized company. I handle everything from database administration, creation, and upkeep to setting up new PC’s to writing software for corporate use in Java, Visual Basic, and C++/C#. I wrote an app for internal corporate use for Android and iOS. I routinely reverse engineer our competitor’s software to see where they stand compared to us.

    Is it too much to ask for a simple installation process? Is it really necessary for me to spend a month learning all of the problems associated with Hackintoshs? I don’t have the time for all of that. I have too much else to learn and deal with.

    I’ll stick with my distro for now.

    • Respectfully, It took me less than 20 minutes to hackintosh my latest system with myHack and no distro out there that I know of would have worked as well. It *is* getting easier and easier to do. If you carefully select the hardware you will use for your “mac clone” rather than trying to run it on a toaster, there is little effort involved in achieving the desired result. myHack *is* a “simple installation process” and we are now working on further simplifying that by offering system profiles in the near future, fine tuned to individual systems. This will give you all the benefits of distros, with none of the disadvantages.

      That said, this post is over 3 years old now, and at the time I wrote this things were very different in the scene which is why #3 in particular may come off as a little harsh.

  12. I had been working patching Original MAC to be installed on my PC
    I have Dell Inspiron 1564 Model (i3, A13bios, 250GB, 4GB RAM) but still was unable to run it.
    I tried many kext. Experimented for 1 Week 8 Hours every day.Nothing seems fruitful to me. :(

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  14. This topic couldn’t have been explained better. I’ve actually been looking for something like this to better explain to some people that retail is the way to go!

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