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.