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Thread: Can/will Apple shut down someone's Hackintosh?

  1. #1

    Default Can/will Apple shut down someone's Hackintosh?

    Here's a rumor I've heard going around, but can't confirm anywhere: because a hackintosh is a violation of the mac OS EULA, Apple will shut down an OS if they catch it running on a non-Apple computer.

    I'm a little skeptical about that, since:
    1) You register you computer when you install your OS, so Apple must have your information from the start and would shut it down then and there if they were able to.
    2) I've never heard anyone say that it actually happened to them, which makes the claim sound more like an urban legend than anything else.
    3) Can they even do that??

    But I don't know all that much about computer, so I figured I'd see if anyone here has some insight. I would like to get it straightened out before I go investing in a new computer. Thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Call home --> Confirm computer isn't legit --> Download system specs --> Confirm hardware isn't theirs --> Hit kernel in a bad way --> "Please call Apple Support to have your computer running again". Google recently remotely killed some android apps which were trojans. They removed the offending software from people's phones without their permission.

    At the end of the Windows 7 RC phrase, your OS had a brick on it to BSOD after an hour telling you the trial was up. It's possible. I think the real question here is why the hell you would choose to run a mac when you're skillful enough to not need to.

  3. #3

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    I suppose it's theoretically possible, but I don't think they would. They went after the company selling computers using Mac OS X, but that's different. I imagine the people making the software that allows this to be possible disable the registration process anyways.

  4. #4
    nimimerkki702

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    I guess it's possible, but there is a slim chance they'll do it. Since if you have actually purchased and registered it, I think they wont care if it's not an apple computer... I'm not sure though, this was just what I think about it...

  5. #5

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    If you bought and paid for the OS I don't see what right they would have to shut it down. Running a pirated copy is one thing, installing a legit legal copy is another.

    If they did I'd be on the phone tearing them a new one since I'd paid for it and it shouldn't matter what hardware I used to run the thing. There used to actually be hardware differences that made it more difficult to install the OS onto a non-Apple computer, but that's not true anymore. They rely on their hip branding to hold onto their market share since 'PC's'* have caught up to them. Back in the day they actually worked better for doing digital art and graphic design because 'normal' computers were designed primarily for business, but that's not always true anymore either.

    *The term "PC" just means Personal Computer, which is why I find it kind of stupid to refer to it as 'mac vs. pc'. They're BOTH personal computers.

  6. #6

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    Put it this way, does Apple brick iPhones that are jailbroken? No, they just release updates to ensure hackers don't exploit the OS. If anything they would patch the vulnerabilities to avoid having their kernel hacked to be used in other methods than which it was intended. There are so many more iOS devices and jailbreakers than there are hackers who make PCs running OS X, that's what they would focus on. Besides, Apple isn't the type of company that likes to piss people off. They went after companies who make clones and sell them for money, which is illegal. For personal use, not a big deal.

  7. #7

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    Simple answer is No, they can't shut down a Hackintosh or "OSX86" setup that easily. Especially with how well established everything is now, and that you can do updates and run the OS natively without special kernels (at-least with Intel processors) and without issues. Simple to say, if they tried to now, actual Macs would suffer as well and that's obviously would be a suicidal move for them.

    On #1:
    You don't have to, you can skip registering with Apple when setting up OS X. I've set up Leopard and Snow Leopard many times ^^;. But its not an issue if you do, the Chamleian Bootloader can be set up to be based around a certain Mac, like mine (due to the large hardware similarities on my motherboard) is set to a Mac Pro. So when you do this, it will register as a Mac Pro on their side and it will even show up as a Mac Pro on a LAN.

    On #2:
    It hasn't happend, especially today. The most that happend was in the early days before the Chamelian boot-loader and its ability to use emulate the EFI using hardware IDs based on your motherboard (DSDTs, or the "DSDT.aml" file) and being able to boot the actual Apple standard kernel (called the "Vanilla" kernel in the Hackintosh world), people had to boot with Apple's own Darwin open-source bootloader, and use specially complied kernels. This meant that Apples updates could kill your setup because of it replacing the kernel which would cause the OS to kernel panic (aka the kernel or the OSs engine, would crash and give that "You need to restart your computer" message, shown here: http://km.support.apple.com/library/...2/106227_3.jpg . This term "Kernel Panic" is used in the Unix and Linux world as OS X is based on BSD Unix). So the community at that time had to have special "hacked updates" that included the specially complied kernels. Apple DID try fighting somewhat in the past before the days of the Chamelion bootloader with kernels and whatnot (and not allowing the Intel Atom, but that also failed) but now with Chamelian being able to boot the standard ("Vanilla") kernel and able to ID itself as an actual Mac, its not an issue. Plus, in the past, since installing it required modifying the install disc, it meant most installs were sadly of pirated copies of OS X. Now you can install from a real Apple disc with no problems so piracy is no longer an issue with Hackintosh.

    Plus, all that was before the days of the iPhone and the App Store, and I am sure Apple today now realizes their more of a benefit now as it means more developers that can code for iOS and Mac as well. It would be a very stupid move to make it so some of these people can't develop applications for their devices and I am sure they realize that.

    Now the most you have to worry about now is maybe some driver (in OS X, their known as Kernel Extensions, or KEXTs) not working properly from an update, which can be fixed in minutes and has rarely happend on my Hackintosh setup. When it does happen to me, its normally the sound driver stops working and all I have to do is copy and paste a command that adds the hardware ID of my built-in sound controller to the driver into the terminal and reboot and the issue is fixed.

    On #3:
    They could if they wanted (like Microsoft and gimping copies of Windows that aren't activated, though OS X doesn't use serials or does it activate) but at the current state of Hackintosh, it would be very hard for them to do as they would have to completely rewrite how the EFI firmware boots the OS and how OS X IDs the hardware and as I mentioned, that would be a very bad move on their part as their actual Mac hardware would suffer from that. They are however doing a minor change in the way Lion as current betas use a DMG image file during bootup. However, this is NOT for "fighting" Hackintosh, its for allowing OS X to boot with their "FileVault" encrypted file system. And if they do any major changes, the writers of the Chameleon boot-loader and their open-source contributors can get around that in weeks, if not days. Infact, there's already versions of Chameleon that can boot the early betas of Lion already.

    Additional:
    I don't think Hackintosh is a big worry of Apples now as people who use Hackintosh setups make like less than 1% of the users of the Mac OS X platform so its not a big worry and infact, allot of Hackintosh users I've seen actually own a Mac themselves (most common I've seen is that they have a MacBook and use Hackintosh on their desktop). And thanks to Hackintosh getting good enough that you can use a straight Apple install DVD, you can just buy the OS and use a special disc to boot it up anyway, thus your still paying Apple for the OS ^^;.



    Quote Originally Posted by pldc View Post
    Put it this way, does Apple brick iPhones that are jailbroken? No, they just release updates to ensure hackers don't exploit the OS. If anything they would patch the vulnerabilities to avoid having their kernel hacked to be used in other methods than which it was intended. There are so many more iOS devices and jailbreakers than there are hackers who make PCs running OS X, that's what they would focus on. Besides, Apple isn't the type of company that likes to piss people off. They went after companies who make clones and sell them for money, which is illegal. For personal use, not a big deal.
    Spot on, now they normally don't care unless your trying to sell a Hackintosh system for profit, like Psystar tried to (and they ended up getting sued like crazy from Apple for it). Most members of the Hackintosh community do it on their own setups and its all community supported.

    Apple DOES fight jailbreaking (I am sure their biggest reason is to prevent app piracy), but they don't brick your iOS device for doing it. The most you get is some apps nag at you saying "This app might have issues on a jailbroken device". Plus, I am sure they also want to prevent some nasty virus, worm, or something similar from using the same exploit for infecting your device (which is why Apple was so quick to patch the "Jailbreakme.com" PDF exploit). Especially now with how popular smart phones are getting, their becoming big targets for these type of infections (like Google had to use their "killswitch" recently to remove several pieces of malware from Android phones and their marketplace). However, the jailbreakers always find new exploits and the circle keeps on continuing.

    But as you said, the Hackintosh community is FAR smaller than the jailbreaking community so I don't think their too much of a focus for them.
    Last edited by DA360; 20-Mar-2011 at 18:34.

  8. #8

    Smile

    I can't see where Apple has the hooks in place to shut down a Hackintosh (the security community would use them easily in the PwnToOwn contest if they existed).

    Plus Hackintoshes are so rare as a percentage I'd doubt that Apple would out forth the effort to do so.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzy View Post
    I think the real question here is why the hell you would choose to run a mac when you're skillful enough to not need to.
    There are loads of reasons: software selection, feature set, look-and-feel, Mach kernel...

    The real real question is "why aren't the free Unices bundled with a WM anywhere near as good as OSX?"

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by h3g3l View Post
    There are loads of reasons: software selection, feature set, look-and-feel, Mach kernel...

    The real real question is "why aren't the free Unices bundled with a WM anywhere near as good as OSX?"
    He sadly seems to follow the common stereotype that users of Mac computers are less technically inclined. I find this to be very largely untrue, there is about as much of a mix of tech inclinced and computer illiterate people as there is with Windows users. Plus, both have very smart people and both have brilliant developers.

    It's the common stereotype sadly that is well populated by the tech community that users of Apple products are dumb, mindless sheep and/or worship Apple. I find this mainly untrue, where there IS many users of Apple products do have obvious biases but I've seen many of them be pretty darn critical of Apple at times too. The issue is with the tech community I noticed quite clearly is that bias towards certain products or things (rather it be a video card company or processor company, or an OS, or phone or tablet, etc.) is very rampant and they wear it very clearly on their sleeves. Just browse the comments of reports on Engadget and you will see that.

    The main reason I use OS X is I just prefer the OS. There is nothing I really have against Windows and I have Windows 7 64bit installed, it's just I've been using it for well over 15 years, and pretty much know it like the back of my hand by now and it's gotten as stale as 2 month old molded bread to me. I originally wanted an OS I could learn from and learn to support, and for me was new and fresh. I liked Linux but admittingly there is a huge lack of major apps for it (and people say the amount of games on OS X is bad, Linux has it FAR worse sadly) and whatnot. I started to really like the OS X interface and it's using Unix so I can bring up the terminal and learn the Unix commands, and I still have the major apps I use, like Photoshop. Plus, I grew to like some of the apps for OS X like the Adium multiple IM client.

    The main reason I did a Hackintosh setup is well, I am very big on building my own desktop setups and doing over clocking and Hackintosh let's me do both of those.

    And on your last part, I do agree with that but you do have to remember that vast majority of Unix OSs and one of the major functions (and biggest use) on Linux is to be a server OS. So to me, and it makes sense, the WMs feel more their for a terminal-style machine than they are for a desktop computer.

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