Hackintosh Systems

Anyone here work with Hackintoshes? I’m not sure if that is taboo at MPU, but I find them significantly more cost effective than buying a Mac. They are also really fun to tinker with.

I’m thinking about building a miniITX hackintosh and using it as a sort of home server. The backup plan is to just install FreeBSD or CentOS with NextCloud installed if I can’t get it to work properly.

Nah we use Macs because the work and don’t require tinkering before getting things done. If you want to go this route I suggest to use Linux.

3 Likes

I’ve always wondered about the reliability, compatibility, etc.
About the time I started using computers as a means to an end (a tool), rather than an end in and of themselves (ie stopped tinkering with and building my own Windows & Linux boxes), I discovered and switched to Apple computers. Specifically so I wouldn’t have to tinker and fix things that went wrong with Windows/Linux boxes.
So let us know how it goes :slight_smile: You can always install Ubuntu or something else if it doesn’t work out.

5 Likes

I haven’t tried one for several years, and even then it was more of a novelty than anything else, but I could see the reasoning, especially for a server that doesn’t get updated very often and which doesn’t need iMessage (which usually doesn’t work on Hackintoshes).

Apple’s pricing for Macs definitely leaves a lot to be desired, but I don’t see that changing any time soon.

I was an android user for about a year. I noticed I spent more time playing with the OS then using it. My same thought goes with a Hackintosh.

3 Likes

Seems I’m only going to echo the comments already made.

From the bit of research I’ve done into hackintoshes it seems that they require quite a bit of faffing about to get working and then again, more faff to maintain & keep them going.

Once upon a time I ran Linux systems and I was happy to tinker away to get them working, now I want my computer to do what it’s there for.

Saw this in the cafeteria at college. Students with Windows and Android were always taking batteries out to reset them, fiddling around, loading the latest version of Twinkle Schnitzel, etc. Meanwhile I was checking my email and looking things up on my iPod Touch. That is, doing the work, not doing the work preparing to do the work. Based on that, the iPhone 4S, my first, was a no-brainer.

4 Likes

I have macs in the house (and at work) to NOT tinker with them.

I want them to be productive, and always work.

Tinkering for me is programming, and automating.
I deliberately don’t want to use a mac just like a windows machine (= as a time waster.)

:slight_smile:

4 Likes

They definitely require tinkering, but if that’s your bag, go for it. I wouldn’t use it for every day work work, but for playing around at home, why not? I have one dual booting Windows and Mac basically because I missed tinkering. (I started building my own PCs in 1990 and stopped when switching to Mac in 2007 except for an occasional hack.) There are great online resources for components that work out of the box vs. needing tinkering (i.e., no nvidia graphics with Mojave), including “golden builds” that generally have been done by several people with step-by-step instructions. It’s fun and actually teaches me more about how Macs work under the hood.

I used to use a Hackintosh quite a bit. I had a Macbook, but my desktop was a Hackintosh that originally was dual booting, but eventually I was just on Mac. It was plenty reliable, but I did have issues from time to time with updates breaking things (usually sound and video, once to the point I gave up and bought a new video card). Eventually it was just more effort than it was worth for a machine I actually rely on. After waiting once before updating to a new OS X version until the next summer because I was not wanting to worry about the hassle, I gave up and got an iMac.

But it was fun to work with, and I’d do it again if I happened to have some spare parts around. I wouldn’t do it for my working computer again, or buy parts just to tinker. But I agree, it is a great way to explore the “under the hood” stuff if you like that and want to learn more.

1 Like

I have been thinking of Hackintosh for a long time but now decide to buy a 9 year old Mac Pro cheese grater instead. Wouldn’t that alleviate all of your headaches and still have a desktop class Mac?

You can always gut it and put a Mac Mini inside of it :crazy_face:

4 Likes

Aaaand there’s the morning spit take at Starbucks. :rofl:

That’s gonna be a fun project too, lol

Yep, did for many years until i realized that this kind of tinkering (to keep it running, deal with breaking system updates etc) isn’t “valuable tinkering” i.e., one does not learn much of a skill with it that can be deployed elsewhere. Additionally, if you value your own time, a real mac is more cost effective by far.

It was indeed good fun to get the first system up - i did use it for a headless server as you appear to plan it for. But these things are just not reliable (one security update may take it down) and then what good is a server if you cannot rely on it?

If you need a server and are cash strapped, just go straight to a linux kernel of your choice, they are rock solid these days.

3 Likes

My primary system is a hackintosh that is pushing 10 years old and has been stable and solid. Pick the right parts and it isn’t a ‘tinkering’ exercise outside of major version upgrades: where if you just wait a couple of weeks, anything special that is needed has already been well documented. The only major issue I have ever had was not a ‘hack’ issue but a ‘mac’ issue - related to one of the recent security updates for High Sierra. I got the fix from the Apple boards from someone with a Mac having the exact same issues. In case you are curious, I am on High Sierra due to having nVidia graphics that are not supported under Mojave.

Waiting to see what happens with Catalina, since my system is effectively (hardware wise) a 2010 Mac Pro and that platform is not going to be supported with Catalina. If I can get this system running on Catalina by just spending a couple of hundred on a supported graphics card then this system will continue to do what I need for at least another couple of years.

At the time I put this one together, there was no choice short of a Mac Pro that was anywhere close to the performance and memory support I was looking for. Tried a real mac first and returned it (swapped it out for a Air for the wife) after less that a week due to lack of performance vs my then aging desktop system. Now things are different, so not sure what my next move will be.

1 Like

I envy those of you who have the tech skills to do your own hackintoshes… I notice in our local message board that there are individual who will help one install Mac at a certain fee but I am really not comfortable of leaving my PC with an individual (even if I take off my data disks) to have a go at installing an OS - who knows what else they install that is not to my knowledge. I am too paranoid, but in this age of identifty theft and key logger, one can’t be too careful.

The responses were much what I was expecting. It’s tinkering for tinkering sake. I personally do it because it brings me entertainment as well as a sense of pride.

If I need to actually get work done, I’ll probably

I actually started out with a Hackintosh. I did up an Acer laptop and was running either Lion or Mountain Lion.

It worked great, except when it didn’t. Had a few random times when it just refused to boot until I went back into something or other and configured something - something I had configured correctly previously.

Overall, I liked it - but then saved up and got an actual Mac, and found the experience so much better.

If you like tinkering, are willing to trade a bit of stability for some time on your part, and if you’re okay with not having the “latest and greatest” OS updates without some potentially significant effort, go for it. :slight_smile:

The reason I’m interested in Hackintosh is because I have a very powerful desktop machine which can make my experience of MacOS better than my current MBA which are always struggling to keep up, and it’s fan noise is very annoying. The Mac Mini is just not good enough. I wouldn’t mind saving up for the trash can Mac Pro, once the price goes down in eBay when people are upgrading to the latest Mac Pro. Until then, Hackintosh is very attractive alternative.