OS X is designed to run seamlessly on Mac hardware, but did you know that you can actually install Apple’s desktop operating system on a Windows PC and make what’s called a “Hackintosh?” Apple released OS X Mountain Lion in the Mac App Store last week, and it has already been downloaded 3 million times. But if you’re stuck with a PC, you can’t taste the forbidden fruits… until now. UniBeast, the tool used for creating a Hackintosh, has been updated with support for Mountain Lion.
Hackintoshing is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up to the challenge, it’s possible to get Mountain Lion up and running on your PC.
Before you even think about venturing down this road, there are some things you need to know. To create a Hackintosh, you will first need access to a Mac and the $20 Mountain Lion installer from the Mac App Store. You’ll be creating a bootable disk/drive, so have a 4.7Gb DVD or USB flash drive with a minimum of 8GB storage. UniBeast is a Mac-only .dmg tool, so you’ll need to borrow a friend’s Mac for a little while to create your Hackintosh concoction.
You also need to have a newer PC that’s capable of running Mountain Lion, and frankly, we’re not going to give you a list because there are a lot of PCs out there. Apple says that Mountain Lion needs a minimum of 2GB of RAM and 8GB of free hard drive space. Anything slower than an Intel dual-core processor is probably not going to work. Drivers are another thing to consider. You see, drivers act as conduits for allowing each physical part of your PC (wireless card, GPU, etc.) to communicate with its operating system. When you a buy a PC running Windows, all of the drivers come pre-installed. When you install OS X on a PC, you’re leaving driver compatibility completely up to chance.
To be fair, it seems like driver support has become less of an issue in the more recent years of Hackintoshing. The first laptop I ever owned was a Dell, and I turned it into an OS X Leopard Hackintosh. It took forever to find all the drivers and get everything working right, but I managed to make it work. A free tool called MultiBeast now aids in adding needed drivers to your Hackintosh once you’ve installed OS X.
UniBeast and MultiBeast can be downloaded for free over at the tonymacx86 forum. You’ll need to create a free account to gain access to the download links.
The process of Hackintoshing involves creating a bootable copy of Mountain Lion with UniBeast and Disk Utility. Redmond Pie has a great tutorial that takes you through creating a Hackintosh-friendly copy of Mountain Lion to use. If you’ve never done anything this geeky before, be wary. It can turn into quite the learning experience.