Hackintosh.com links to everything you need to build a Hackintosh and get OS X El Capitan as well as many earlier versions of Mac OS X running on an unsupported computer -- instructions, step-by-step "how to" guides, and tutorials -- in addition to installation videos, lists of compatible computers and parts, and communities for support.
Also enjoy Mac hacks, tweaks, and themes as well as Mac and Hackintosh case mods? Visit MacHacks.com.
For Mac specs, prices, answers, side-by-side Mac comparison, a tool to lookup Macs by serial number, an installable Mac specs app and more, see EveryMac.com, too. For iPod, iPhone and iPad info, hit Everyi.com.
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Hackintosh Instructions & Tutorials
Helpful individuals have provided step-by-step "how to" guides and tutorials as well as general advice on installing OS X on everything from self-built desktop systems and notebooks to netbooks, tablets, and more.
Installation guides for OS X El Capitan (10.11), OS X Yosemite (10.10), OS X Mavericks (10.9), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), OS X Lion (10.7), Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) and Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) follow. See the Hackintosh video tutorials, too.
- El Capitan
- Mountain Lion
- Snow Leopard
Quality tutorials to install the current version of OS X -- OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" -- using a number of different software tools on a Hackintosh include:
Install OS X El Capitan on Supported PCs - How to install OS X 10.11 El Capitan on any supported PC from the legendary tonymacx86 using the site's own Unibeast 6 software tool. The site has troubleshooting guidelines if the installation does not go smoothly and has hardware recommendations for building your own system, too. It covers the OS X 10.11.1, 10.11.2, and 10.11.3 updates, as well.
Install OS X El Capitan on PCs with Unibeast - If the "official" tutorial from tonymacx86 isn't as easy to follow as you would like, you might prefer this installation guide from MacBreaker, which includes step-by-step screenshots of the process.
Always Up-to-Date Hackintosh Guide - A noble effort to write an "always up-to-date" guide to building a Hackintosh from Lifehacker. Covers hardware selection and construction as well as installing OS X El Capitan.
Create a Bootable OS X El Capitan Thumb Drive - A detailed tutorial from ArsTechnica that covers how to create a bootable OS X El Capitan USB flash drive for a Hackintosh (or a Mac) using the DiskMaker X app.
Note that although official hardware support for OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" is extensive, support for specific features, such as support for the advanced "Metal" graphics technology is more limited. If Metal capability (or another particular feature) is of critical interest to you, make sure that it is likely to work with your desired Hackintosh configuration prior to making hardware purchases.
Although official OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" hardware compatibility is the same, you may want to have your Hackintosh run OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" for compatibility with specific third-party hardware or software. Quality Hackintosh tutorials for Yosemite include:
Install OS X Yosemite on Supported PCs - How to install OS X 10.10 Yosemite on any supported PC from tonymacx86 using the site's own Unibeast and Multibeast software tools. For those interested in more detailed understanding of the process, the same site also provides an installation tutorial using Clover. It covers the OS X 10.10.1, 10.10.2, 10.10.3, 10.10.4, and 10.10.5 updates, too.
Install OS X Yosemite on PCs with Unibeast and Multibeast 7 - If the "official" guide above to installing OS X Yosemite on your PC with tonymacx86's Unibeast and Multibeast isn't quite what you would like, try these tutorials from MacBreaker complete with extensive screenshots of the entire installation process.
Install OS X Yosemite (Including X99) - A "Quick Hackintosh Tip" OS X Yosemite installation tutorial from the always excellent Roche Technology. Don't miss the corresponding installation video below, either.
Install OS X 10.10 Yosemite - An OS X 10.10 Yosemite Hackintosh installation guide for beginners from a helpful InsanelyMac forum member. Also see the "All-in-One Guide" from another helpful forum user. Forum postings from "ikingblack" and "snatch" may be useful, as well. These tutorials use the Chameleon bootloader.
Install OS X Yosemite with Yosemite Zone - This tutorial from MacBreaker provides detailed screenshots to install Niresh's Hackintosh Zone distro with MacPwn as well as a helpful comparison to other OS X Yosemite installation methods. The same site covers installing the Yosemite Zone distro within the Virtualbox virtualization suite, as well.
Although official OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" and even OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" hardware compatibility essentially is the same, you still may prefer to have your Hackintosh run OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" whether for software compatibility or simply because you do not like the "flat" interface design that OS X "Yosemite" introduced to the platform. Quality Hackintosh tutorials for Mavericks include:
Install OS X 10.9 Mavericks - An OS X 10.9 Mavericks Hackintosh installation guide from tonymacx86 using the site's UniBeast app. The site also covers the OS X 10.9.1, 10.9.2, 10.9.3, 10.9.4, and 10.9.5 updates.
Installing OS X 10.9 Mavericks with myHack - From MacBreaker, a how to installation guide for OS X Mavericks using the sophisticated myHack app. If the "official" guide (above) isn't sufficient, you also may find this site's OS X Mavericks Unibeast tutorial and its tutorial for the sketchy Niresh distro helpful, too.
OS X 10.9 Mavericks Installation on Gigabyte Motherboards - Explains how to install OS X Mavericks, as well as Lion and Mountain Lion, on Gigabyte motherboards using the Hackinstaller script. This tutorial also includes a list of FAQs that can be quite helpful for troubleshooting.
Upgrading Mountain Lion to Mavericks - Explains how to upgrade a Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3-based Hackintosh from OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion to OS X 10.9 Mavericks using MultiBeast, Chimera, and other apps.
Building a Hackintosh with Quo's Any OS Motherboard - An interesting piece from TechSpot that covers both the Quo "Any OS" (AOS) motherboard -- quietly designed to be as compatible as possible with OS X -- and OS X Mavericks installation and configuration.
Create a Bootable OS X 10.9 Mavericks Thumb Drive - An ArsTechnica tutorial that explains how to create a bootable OS X Mavericks USB flash drive for a Hackintosh (or a Mac) with the excellent DiskMaker X.
Although hardware compatibility is essentially identical to OS X 10.11 "El Capitan," OS X 10.10 "Yosemite," and OS X 10.9 "Mavericks," Hackintosh installation procedures and tools can be different for OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion":
Install OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion - A complete OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" Hackintosh installation guide from the legendary tonymacx86 using the site's UniBeast installation tool. The site covers the OS X 10.8.1, 10.8.2, 10.8.3, 10.8.4, and 10.8.5 updates, too.
Install OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion with myHack - An installation guide for OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" using the sophisticated myHack app, which has more features than UniBeast and may be of interest accordingly.
Install OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion with UniBeast - If the "official" tutorial from tonymacx86 wasn't enough, this one from MacBreaker may help. The same site also covers how to install both of the dodgy iATKOS and Niresh distros of "Mountain Lion" as well as how to install "Mountain Lion" in Virtualbox with Hackboot.
Budget Hackintosh Project - A ten page tutorial covering hardware selection and construction for an inexpensive "Ivy Bridge" OS X "Mountain Lion" Hackintosh from BenchmarkReviews. The author also provides shorter tutorials about OS X Mountain Lion software installation and Hackintosh performance hardware options.
Build an OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Hackintosh - Originally written for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and subsequently updated to cover OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and "Ivy Bridge" motherboards, this twelve page Hackintosh tutorial from NoFilmSchool is geared toward amateur filmmakers. It covers hardware selection and assembly in addition to OS X installation.
Upgrade to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion from OS X 10.7 Lion - A well-written tutorial to upgrade a Hackintosh running OS X 10.7 "Lion" to OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" from the excellent Bassheadtech. The same blogger also covers how to switch from BIOS to UEFI on a compatible Gigabyte board.
HP ProBook 4530 Hackintosh - An interesting article from Sonic State about OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" installation on an HP ProBook 4530 from the perspective of a professional musician -- and "old school" Mac and Amiga user -- interested in backwards compatibility. Significant coverage of emulation environments, too.
Create a Bootable OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion USB Drive - A detailed ArsTechnica piece to create a bootable OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" USB flash drive for a Hackintosh (or a Mac) using the helpful DiskMaker X app.
Adding an SSD to a Hackintosh with a Hard Drive - A useful walkthrough from Bassheadtech that explains how to install an SSD in an OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" Hackintosh that already has a hard drive to significantly enhance performance.
Note that just like its predecessor, OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" does not support "Rosetta" and cannot run older Mac OS X software written for the PowerPC processor. Those who need older software should instead consider Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard."
Hackintosh tutorials for OS X 10.7 "Lion" still may be of interest for compatibility with additional hardware, whether system components themselves or third-party peripherals:
Install OS X 10.7 Lion via Download - The quintessential tutorial to install the download version of OS X 10.7 "Lion" on a PC with compatible hardware using xMove and Multibeast from tonymacx86. The same site also covers upgrading a Hackintosh to OS X Lion 10.7.1, 10.7.2, 10.7.3, 10.7.4, and 10.7.5.
Install OS X 10.7 Lion via All-In-One Bootable USB Drive - A detailed tutorial to install OS X "Lion" from a bootable USB drive using the UniBeast tool, yet again from tonymacx86.
Installing Lion with Kakewalk - A walkthrough from MacBreaker that covers OS X "Lion" installation using Kakewalk on a supported Gigabyte-based Hackintosh. The site offers a "Lion" walkthrough for UniBeast, too.
Note that Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" does not support "Rosetta" and cannot run older Mac OS X software for the PowerPC processor. Those who need older software should instead consider Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard."
Hackintosh tutorials for Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" can be particularly useful for those who need their Hackintosh to be compatible with software written for the PowerPC processor or for those who simply do not like the "iOS-ification" that OS X Lion brought to the platform:
Snow Leopard on Hackintosh (Second Method) - An excellent guide to installing Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" from Bassheadtech. The same blogger also offers an older step-by-step guide to upgrading a Hackintosh to Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" from Mac OS X 10.5.8 "Leopard". Bassheadtech likewise covers upgrading a Hackintosh to Mac OS X 10.6.3, 10.6.4, 10.6.5, 10.6.6, 10.6.7 and 10.6.8.
Install Mac OS X Snow Leopard on an Intel PC - Straightforward instructions using the iBoot and MultiBeast tools from tonymacx86. The same site also helps one upgrade a Hackintosh to Mac OS X 10.6.3, 10.6.4, 10.6.5, 10.6.6, 10.6.7 and finally 10.6.8 with useful blog posts.
Ivy Bridge Snow Leopard Hackintosh - From MacBreaker, an "experimental" guide to installing Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" on an "Ivy Bridge" Hackintosh with the iBoot Ivy Bridge software tool. The same site also provides a guide to install the operating system on an older "Sandy Bridge" system.
Sandy Bridge Snow Leopard Hackintosh - A six page guide to installing Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" on a custom-built "Sandy Bridge" Hackintosh from RegHardware. Uses the iBoot Legacy and Multibeast applications.
Snow Leopard on an AMD PC - An older Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" installation process on a Hackintosh as well as custom details related to using an AMD-based system from iHackintosh. The same site also offers a list of kexts that may be helpful.
There are a variety of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" Hackintosh tutorials that still can be useful for those creating a Hackintosh with more vintage hardware, or just for "historical" interest, too:
Sony Vaio P Netbook - A collection of long gone forum posts documenting the struggle of getting Mac OS X to run on the ultraslim Sony netbook.
For Hackintosh "case mod" tutorials -- which cover hardware construction and modification rather than software installation -- be sure to also see MacHacks.com. In addition to collections of Macintosh and Hackintosh case mods, MacHacks.com covers Mac OS X hacks, tweaks, and themes as well.
Hackintosh Compatible Computers, Parts & Drivers
You can't just install OS X on any old PC and expect it to work like it does on a Mac. Let's face it, given the vast assortment of configurations, you can't install Windows on any old PC and expect it to work like OS X does on a Mac. Fortunately, many have experimented with Mac OS X on a wide variety of PC hardware and have shared their findings with the world.
The following listings of Hackintosh compatible computers, parts, motherboards and drivers (kexts) should be helpful:
OSx86 Project - The original wiki that lists desktop and notebook computers, as well as parts, that are compatible with a variety of versions of Mac OS X.
DSDT Database - A database of "Differentiated System Description Tables" to make many motherboards from Asrock, ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, Intel and MSI "aware" of Mac OS X. In turn, this is promised to make it possible for the operating system to "utilize more of your hardware" -- from tonymacx86 (registration required).
OSx86.net - A database of official and unofficial Mac OS X drivers (kexts) from the Dutch Hackintosh community.
Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart - This Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility chart of dozens of netbooks from myMacNetbook.com can be particularly useful for those interested in "legacy" Mac OS X use.
Hackintosh Support Communities
There are a number of vibrant and active communities that focus on helping one another to configure, build, and troubleshoot Hackintosh systems. Notable Hackintosh communities such as the following may be useful to you:
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Before posting a message in any of these forums, it always is good form to first search and see whether or not your question has been addressed previously. Those who do not do so can expect to be dismissed as "noobs" or ignored.
Hackintosh Installation & Usability Videos
The following videos demonstrate the installation process of OS X El Capitan (10.11), OS X Yosemite (10.10), OS X Mavericks (10.9), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), OS X Lion (10.7), Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), and Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) on PC hardware. Some videos also cover compatible hardware selection as well as software installation.
- El Capitan
- Mountain Lion
- Snow Leopard
This video -- courtesy of the always excellent Roche Technology -- diligently explains how to install OS X Yosemite (10.10) on an X99-based PC motherboard using Unibeast with the Chimera bootloader app. He discusses other motherboards and other installation methods, as well.
This video -- from Roche Technology -- demonstrates how to install OS X Mavericks (10.9) using Chimera, MultiBeast, and the "ShowHiddenFiles" app. This instructional video is particularly useful for anyone who wants to install a "plain vanilla" version of Mavericks and have a solid understanding of the underlying process.
This video -- from YouTube's Duncan33303 -- covers needed hardware as well as how to install OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" using commonly available software tools.
This video -- from Aibal Tech Report -- provides hardware recommendations, how to install OS X 10.7 "Lion" with third-party software hacks, and tips to manage a Hackintosh for improved reliability and performance.
This video -- from videographer Matthew Mintun -- recommends hardware for those interested in a high-performance Hackintosh tower and covers the Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" installation process with the iBoot and MultiBeast applications.
The Dell Mini 9 was regarded widely as one of the first netbooks that was ideal for a Hackintosh as it was both easy to perform the transformation and the hardware was highly compatible as well.
Although this model has long since been discontinued, these videos -- from Michael Smith and Andy Ihnatko, respectively -- provide the general installation procedure of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" on a netbook and an in-depth look at the compatibility and usability of the operating system on the same 'book.
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Please note that Apple does not support Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware and installing Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware may be illegal in your country. Hackintosh.com, and the author thereof, shall not be held responsible or liable, under any circumstances, for any damages resulting from the use or inability to use the linked information. Hackintosh.com is not approved by or affiliated with Apple, Inc.