Hack re-enables Atom processor compatibility for Mac OS X 10.6.2

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Hackers have circumvented the changes in Mac OS X 10.6.2 to allow the latest upgrade to Apple's Snow Leopard to run on netbooks with Intel Atom processors.



When Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.2 earlier this month, Intel Atom support was missing from the release. Though no Apple-sanctioned hardware uses the Atom processor, some low-cost netbook users would use the hack to install OS X on their systems.



The hack applies only to a select number of "Hackintosh" users, as not all who install Mac OS X on unauthorized machines use netbooks with Intel Atom processors. Atom is a low-voltage microprocessor used in inexpensive portable computers.



According to MacWorld, support for Mac OS X 10.6.2 has been brought to the Atom processor thanks to a complicated hack that requires use of the Terminal and replacing the kernel of the operating system.



As developer builds of Mac OS X 10.6.2 were released, the status of Atom support fluctuated, leaving hackers wondering Apple's purpose.



Still unknown is whether Apple actually had any intent in disabling Atom processor support. It's possible the situation could be much like the cat-and-mouse game with Palm, where Apple released minor updates to iTunes that served only to break compatibility with the Pre smartphone. Or, since Apple likely does not test its software on products it does not ship, the Cupertino, Calif., company may have accidentally broken compatibility with Atom processors.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,812member
    And just how is using the OLD kernel considered an upgrade? Talk about spinning the hack.
  • Reply 2 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Or, since Apple likely does not test its software on products it does not ship, the Cupertino, Calif., company may have accidentally broken compatibility with Atom processors.



    Isn't that sort of wrong? Apple had parallel versions of OS X for Intel and PowerPC flavors long before they ever sold an Intel-based computer. I'm guessing someone was testing the Intel version.
  • Reply 3 of 105
    And the tit for tat begins.





    Even though Apple is kicking Pystars butt in court, there are dozens of other "cloners" in various countries around the world with various degrees of support in law. Then of course is the home tinkers too.



    Apple will eventually have to realize they need to make some sort of hardware difference in Mac's that only allows them to run OS X.



    If Apple continues in their present neglect, the OSX on PC community will grow so large as to be a legal threat to Apple.



    Juries can be easily convinced that since Apple didn't enforce or make certain hardware differences over the many years, that essentially they allowed OS X on PC, thus now they will have to support it.



    I also think Apple should seriously consider moving some factory operations back to the US, it's primary market. Not only because we need the jobs, but because the Chinese are playing economic warfare with their currency targeting to the dollar.



    If the Chinese want to keep things even, then Apple and other manufacturing should be moved in proportion to the sales in that particular country.
  • Reply 4 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Or, since Apple likely does not test its software on products it does not ship, the Cupertino, Calif., company may have accidentally broken compatibility with Atom processors.



    Right, like Intel processors from 2000-2005. Then they decided to tell us that they have been building OS X on Intel the whole entire time OS X was alive, and oh by the way we're killing the PPC and going with Intel.



    EDIT: caliminius beat me to it.
  • Reply 5 of 105
    In any event, all the crying from the hackintosh community was for nothing. They solved the problem on their own.



    And isn't this discussion about piracy and warez now? (correct me if I'm wrong.)
  • Reply 6 of 105
    jukesjukes Posts: 213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    And the tit for tat begins.





    Even though Apple is kicking Pystars butt in court, there are dozens of other "cloners" in various countries around the world with various degrees of support in law. Then of course is the home tinkers too.



    Apple will eventually have to realize they need to make some sort of hardware difference in Mac's that only allows them to run OS X.



    If Apple continues in their present neglect, the OSX on PC community will grow so large as to be a legal threat to Apple.



    Juries can be easily convinced that since Apple didn't enforce or make certain hardware differences over the many years, that essentially they allowed OS X on PC, thus now they will have to support it.



    I also think Apple should seriously consider moving some factory operations back to the US, it's primary market. Not only because we need the jobs, but because the Chinese are playing economic warfare with their currency targeting to the dollar.



    If the Chinese want to keep things even, then Apple and other manufacturing should be moved in proportion to the sales in that particular country.



    Umm, you should really do some research before posting things like this. Apple does have hardware differences that require workarounds. In particular, all hackintoshes use software to emulate EFI and the SMC.



    Apple really doesn't care about home hackintoshers, and the modified kernels that they install to run on non-supported processors (all AMD, various Intel).



    The main effect of this sort of change is to make it difficult to sell hackintoshes with Atoms in them, because it means that people with Atoms can't blindly upgrade when new versions of OS X come out. They need to do some (relatively) complex manipulation to manually install the modified version of the upgraded kernel.



    This implies that selling an Atom hack requires an extended commitment to help purchasers upgrade each time a new version of OS X comes out. This is a huge hassle, and no one would be able to make any money doing it.
  • Reply 7 of 105
    I wouldn't consider using the terminal to copy the old kernel a "complicated hack." Check out mydellmini.com, if you can follow directions you can do the "hack."
  • Reply 8 of 105
    So, piracy propaganda continues. Okay. Reported.
  • Reply 9 of 105
    Another cat and mouse.
  • Reply 10 of 105
    eehdeehd Posts: 137member
    This is so stupid! If you like Mac OS X so much, why not buy a mac, instead of buying a piece of sh*t netbook.

  • Reply 11 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eehd View Post


    This is so stupid! If you like Mac OS X so much, why not buy a mac, instead of buying a piece of sh*t netbook.





    Agree with you completely. But a segment of the Apple fansite community has already taken the argument way beyond that.
  • Reply 12 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Still unknown is whether Apple actually had any intent in disabling Atom processor support. It's possible the situation could be much like the cat-and-mouse game with Palm, where Apple released minor updates to iTunes that served only to break compatibility with the Pre smartphone. Or, since Apple likely does not test its software on products it does not ship, the Cupertino, Calif., company may have accidentally broken compatibility with Atom processors.



    They changed the CPUID check in the kernel to narrow the field of acceptable CPUs. That would not seem to be an accident.



    The kernel now identifies which CPUs it likes. It could be done to exclude atoms. It could be done to create optimized instructions for individual CPUs. I'm not smart enough to figure this out.
  • Reply 13 of 105
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eehd View Post


    This is so stupid! If you like Mac OS X so much, why not buy a mac, instead of buying a piece of sh*t netbook.





    And exactly where do you buy a Mac 7- 10" form factor?

    It's not for nothing that this size has been selling so well besides being cheap- people like the size, the portability which Apple has failed to offer. Apple tried to convince people that they really wanted thin as in MacBook Air - the public responded differently.
  • Reply 14 of 105
    jukesjukes Posts: 213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sammy Davis View Post


    They changed the CPUID check in the kernel to narrow the field of acceptable CPUs. That would not seem to be an accident.



    The kernel now identifies which CPUs it likes. It could be done to exclude atoms. It could be done to create optimized instructions for individual CPUs. I'm not smart enough to figure this out.



    This isn't new, they've always had the check. It excludes all AMD processors, and pre-core Intel processors. 10.6.1 excluded the new i5//i7 generation, 10.6.2 allows them. There's no technical reason for this check, as the hackintosh community has shown, the Darwin kernel runs without problems on all of these systems.



    The real question is as to why was Atom ever allowed. It seems most probable that it was simply overlooked, and this change is considered a bug fix.
  • Reply 15 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jukes View Post


    Umm, you should really do some research before posting things like this. Apple does have hardware differences that require workarounds. In particular, all hackintoshes use software to emulate EFI and the SMC.



    Apple really doesn't care about home hackintoshers, and the modified kernels that they install to run on non-supported processors (all AMD, various Intel).



    The main effect of this sort of change is to make it difficult to sell hackintoshes with Atoms in them, because it means that people with Atoms can't blindly upgrade when new versions of OS X come out. They need to do some (relatively) complex manipulation to manually install the modified version of the upgraded kernel.



    This implies that selling an Atom hack requires an extended commitment to help purchasers upgrade each time a new version of OS X comes out. This is a huge hassle, and no one would be able to make any money doing it.





    OS X on Atoms is only a portion of the big problem being OS X on PC's.



    Obviously the sort of hardware change that needs to occur to lock OS X to Apple hardware can't be easily be emulated in software or hardware without considerable expense and substantial performance loss that very few, if any, commercial cloner's or home hacks will undertake.



    Apple may have to become more proprietary and the "open concept" although a good intention, has caused a weakness as it is certainly being used against it's business model.



    For instance, Microsoft is tying more of it's OS to Direct X enabled video cards, eventually it might not run well at all on anything non-Direct X licensed.





    And Apple does care about hackintoshes, because every sale of a hackintosh is a lost hardware sale for Apple.



    It's the main reason OS X is not available for generic PC's. Apple is a hardware company.
  • Reply 16 of 105
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    And the tit for tat begins.





    If Apple continues in their present neglect, the OSX on PC community will grow so large as to be a legal threat to Apple.



    No. They. Won't.



    Quote:

    Juries can be easily convinced that since Apple didn't enforce or make certain hardware differences over the many years, that essentially they allowed OS X on PC, thus now they will have to support it.



    Pure fantasy
  • Reply 17 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post




    Juries can be easily convinced that since Apple didn't enforce or make certain hardware differences over the many years, that essentially they allowed OS X on PC, thus now they will have to support it.




    No. Whatever is in the EULA is the good and final authority about what Apple's intentions are.



    If you're referring to a legal principle like Prescription, it doesn't apply here. Perhaps you were referring to that. You make an interesting point, but it won't fly.
  • Reply 18 of 105
    http://forums.appleinsider.com/guidelines.html



    Posting requests or information about obtaining pirated or illegally-distributed software is prohibited. Any and all such posts may be removed without warning. If the offending member continues with such posts, he or she is subject to immediate suspension from the forums for any amount of time the administrators or moderators deem necessary. Furthermore, asking for technical support regarding pirated software is also not allowed and will be treated in the same manner as posts that directly ask for pirated software.



    This issue is with this link in the AI article, which gives instructions on how to "obtain(ing) pirated or illegally-distibuted software."



    http://www.macworld.com/article/1439...atom_hack.html



    I might be wrong, but in light of recent events, what counts as warez/piracy discussions (with links to help), and what doesn't?
  • Reply 19 of 105
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sammy Davis View Post


    They changed the CPUID check in the kernel to narrow the field of acceptable CPUs. That would not seem to be an accident.



    The kernel now identifies which CPUs it likes. It could be done to exclude atoms. It could be done to create optimized instructions for individual CPUs. I'm not smart enough to figure this out.



    And how do we know this? Oh yes, because the MacOS X kernel is *open source*. All you have to do is change that code, recompile, and swap in your custom kernel. If you want a hacked MacOS X in the first place, that doesn't seem very onerous.
  • Reply 20 of 105
    istudistud Posts: 193member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    And exactly where do you buy a Mac 7- 10" form factor?

    It's not for nothing that this size has been selling so well besides being cheap- people like the size, the portability which Apple has failed to offer. Apple tried to convince people that they really wanted thin as in MacBook Air - the public responded differently.



    And that's exactly why Dell reported a drop in profit of 54 percent yesterday.



    The public told them differently. You are really something, aren't you
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