How To Install Mac OS X On An Xbox

by , 1:30 PM EDT, October 7th, 2004

The Xbox modding community has taken their art to a new level, figuring out how to install Mac OS X on this Microsoft gaming console. You read that right: Using PearPC, the PowerPC emulation software we covered in May of this year, the folks at Xbox Modification have put together the convoluted process necessary to install Apple's world class operating system on this US$149 gaming console (US$149 - Amazon). From the site:

The Xbox is Microsoft's first console gaming device. Staying with what they know, Microsoft built their gaming system out of parts that are very similar to a desktop system. Its CPU is an Intel Pentium III 733-MHz processor. It has a custom Nvidia GeForce 3 graphics card. It comes with 64MB of RAM, an 8GB or 10GB Hard Disk, and a 2X to 5X DVD drive. In addition, it has an Ethernet port and each one of the controllers is a USB port.

At the time of its release, the Xbox had the components of a mid-range computer for half the price. Because the Xbox is really just an x86 at heart, the Linux community started creating distributions for it immediately. Our goal in this document is to show you how you can take you gaming machine and turn it into an inexpensive computer.

The above introduction doesn't mention Mac OS X, but the site has a dedicated Web page with the very detailed instructions for making this happen. Also not mentioned is the fact that running Mac OS X through PearPC in this manner will be a very, very slow experience. To keep that in perspective, the installation process alone takes 10 hours, and that's after all of the other steps have been followed.

Linux, on the other hand, runs natively on the Xbox, and the project also offers all the instructions for installing that OS on the unit.

Thanks to Observer Carnagex for pointing us to this project in the TMO Forums.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Apple hardly needs to worry about scads of would-be Apple customers rushing out to buy an Xbox instead of the latest iMac G5. It's just too slow to be of much practical use, and that doesn't address other issues relating to the fact that the Xbox isn't a true computer in terms of ports, drive capacity, etc. Running Mac OS X on an Xbox is more of climbing-the-mountain-because-it-is-there exercise than anything else, but we love the fact that some people have gone to the effort of figuring out how. That's good, clean fun.