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Hackers Get Mac OS X Running on Non-Apple PCs

Hackers Get Mac OS X Running on Non-Apple PCs

by , 3:00 PM EDT, August 12th, 2005

A Wired news article reports that hackers have managed to get Mac OS X running on Dell laptops and other PCs with Intel and AMD processors. In June, Apple distributed copies of Mac OS X for x86 processors, along with Intel-based Power Macs, to developers who paid for the $999 kit. Now a hacked copy of the OS is available for download on the Bit Torrent file distribution system under the name "OSx86."

Reporter Mark Baard says that a hacker who calls himself "cmoski" has claimed that OSx86 seems to run faster on the PCs than Mac OS X does today on the current generation of Mac computers. "Some in the Pentium camp want to say, 'Because a Pentium is faster, of course,' some want to say (Intel chip architectures are better than Apple's) and some in the PowerPC camp just want to say that it isn't full OS X (running on the beta systems)," cmoski is quoted as saying.

Cmoski and other hackers managed to crack the OS by figuring out how to bypass the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which is present in the Apple-supplied hardware and which is supposed to prevent the OS from being installed on non-Apple computers. They've even started writing drivers so they can use WiFi cards and other peripherals with the hacked OS.

Meanwhile, speculation abounds over whether or not "Apple wanted to demonstrate the weakness of TPM security, and may have plans to license its operating system to PC makers eventually," according to Mr. Baard. Some of the hackers he spoke with cited IP records from their IRC channels that showed Apple employees trying to eavesdrop on their conversations about OSx86, and one who calls himself "parch" noted that the TPM was very easy to crack. "Apple could have made the lock heavier," he's quoted as saying.

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