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Patch posted to run Mac OS X 10.4.4 on 'generic PC'

A work in progress

Security for virtualized datacentres

A utility has been released that will allow the Intel-oriented version of Apple's Mac OS X operating systems to be run on machines other than the company's own iMac and MacBook Pro. However, the coder behind the patch, Maxxuss, warned that the software is a work in progress and that there's "still a lot of work to do".

That said, for folk who like to "play around", he said, the software will help them get started. The code requires a computer with an SSE3-supporting processor. It also appears geared toward set-ups in which Mac OS X is run alongside another operating system using virtualisation software like VMWare.

The patch contains a modified version of the mach kernel that bypasses the systems Apple has put in place to try and prevent this kind of thing from happening. It also requires the Mac OS X 10.4 DVD bundled with Intel-based iMacs and, soon, MacBook Pros.

Clearly, installing the operating system when you don't own the disc is illegal, and the process almost certainly violates Apple's end-user licence agreement. Just for good measure, the patch's "decrypted system files" probably infringe the notorious Digital Millenium Copyright Act and its European equivalent, the EU Copyright Directive. Future Mac OS X updates may break the patch. You have been warned.

Anyone willing to proceed in such circumstances faces plenty of typing into the command line to attempt to get the OS to install and, ultimately, to boot. ®

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