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LeoI07

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2021
54
44
As you may know, Mac OS X Lion dropped support for 32-bit Intel Macs. Mountain Lion also removed the 32-bit kernel and EFI bootloader. However, it's possible to get Lion running on 32-bit Macs by swapping out the kernel, the bootloader, and the Finder, as well as some drivers (kexts) and configuration files.


I was thinking of creating a modified version of the soon-to-be-abandonware release of OS X, specifically to run on 32-bit Macs that it doesn't support out of the box (maybe even the original Apple TV as well if the drivers are compatible). It would be called Mac OS X86, and should be as modernized as possible, with every compatible update installed out of the box, like the latest 32-bit Mac version of iTunes (11.4?) and, if possible, OS X 10.7.3. But about that...

I heard people on a certain Discord server talking about how 10.7.3 was the latest version of Lion that worked on 32-bit Macs (with modifications), unlike what dosdude1 said about how 10.7.2 was the latest working version. However, I haven't been able to get 10.7.3 to work on the 2006 Mac mini I picked up for this job. The closest I've gotten it to working is the system hanging after displaying the message in verbose mode "DSMOS has arrived", which someone on said Discord server said sounds like WindowServer failing to start. If anyone knows how to get 10.7.3 working, please let me know. If 10.7.3 won't work, then 10.7.2 will have to do.

OS X Lion versionWorks on 32-bit Macs?Notes
10.7.0YesWorked just fine with the patches in my testing, except for some errors about the kexts when installing iTunes 11.4 and the 10.7.3 update.
10.7.1Yes
10.7.2Yesdosdude1 got this to work.
10.7.3LikelyHaven't been able to get it to work because of CPUID checks or 64-bit-only kexts? (theories from another Discord server)
10.7.4Likely
10.7.5PartiallyRequires a recompiling of the kernel (from Apple's publicly released source code) for the i386 architecture. ParrotGeek1 was able to do that. dosdude1 says it doesn't work very well and it's not worth doing.

Other than that, I was thinking that the OS X86 install media, as well as the recoveryOS it installs, could contain a tool that could be selected from the Mac OS X Utilities menu and would allow the 32-bit patches to be added, removed, and repaired (the repair function being mainly for if an update breaks the patches and prevents Lion from booting).

I'd like to (hopefully) get a preliminary release of OS X86 out on July 20 (the 10th anniversary of Lion's release) or someday less than a few weeks after. However, I'm pretty lazy and not the best at meeting deadlines like this, so I'd like contributions in this thread. Maybe I could also set up a Discord DM group for some more real-time conversations about how this should work. Anyway, let me know if you have any ideas for this or solutions to the problems I've been facing when trying to get this to work.
 
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LeoI07

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2021
54
44

20/07/2021: First Release​

I've cobbled together the first release of OS X86. Here's some information about it:

Basic Info​

  • Version: 10.7.2
  • Installed updates: 10.7.2 Update Combo, iTunes 11.4
  • Attempting to quit Safari while Safari is in focus doesn't work, and in verbose mode it causes the screen to change to a text-based one with nothing but a block cursor for a moment. You have to quit Safari while another app is in focus for it to work. Likely occurs with other apps as well. ~ LeoI07 @ MacRumors

Download the preinstalled disk image

1. Open the Disk Utility.
2. From the sidebar, select the disk or volume you want to apply the image to.
3. Press Shift+Command+R to open up the restore sheet.
4. Click the "Image..." button.
5. Navigate to the disk image to apply and select it, then press return.
6. Click the "Restore" button.

1. Open the Disk Utility.
2. From the sidebar, select any disk or volume.
3. Select the "Restore" tab.
4. Click the "Image..." button next to the text box labelled "Source".
5. Navigate to the disk image to apply and select it, then press return.
6. Drag and drop the volume you want to restore to into the text box labelled "Destination".
7. If applicable, make sure the check box labelled "Erase destination" is checked.
8. Click the "Restore" button and confirm you want to restore.

If you have a 32-bit Intel Mac, I'd appreciate it if you could test out this release of OS X86 and reply to this post with any issues you find. Also, if you know what the latest version of iTunes that works on 32-bit Macs is, please tell me which. I'm going to do some testing to see if iTunes 12 works at all.
 
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EpicStation

macrumors newbie
Oct 1, 2021
1
0
Hey, for ages I have been trying to find something like this. I am now downloading a copy and can't wait to check it out. I myself have a MacBook Pro Core Duo 1,2 Model 2.16GHz. Is there any updates to the project since the first release?
 

LeoI07

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2021
54
44
Is there any updates to the project since the first release?
Not yet. I'm planning to see if iTunes 12.2 will work and include that in the next release, as well as trying to get a 10.7.5-based version to work. Don't know when I'll get around to it though.
 

lolenso

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2021
1
0
How on earth do I download Iatkos L2? The website is awful and just takes me to ads, and I cannot even find the right one on there, please could you share me a download link, thanks.
 

Xianmo

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2021
5
1
I tried installing this on a core duo Mac mini, but I just got the invalid startup disk symbol.

Specs:
Mac mini Late-2006 1.66Ghz Core Duo
2GB Ram
120GB SSD

Have you been working on this much since the first release? Could we be expecting a new release soon?
 

LeoI07

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2021
54
44
I tried installing this on a core duo Mac mini, but I just got the invalid startup disk symbol.

Specs:
Mac mini Late-2006 1.66Ghz Core Duo
2GB Ram
120GB SSD

Have you been working on this much since the first release? Could we be expecting a new release soon?
I’m planning on having a new release with a recompiled 10.7.5 kernel, iTunes 12.2.2, and potentially support for the original Apple TV because we can. IDK when I’ll be able to make it though.

The computer I’ve been testing on is also a 2006 Mac mini. Did you restore the DMG via Disk Utility? Not doing it that way can cause things like kernel panics at boot.
 
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Xianmo

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2021
5
1
Yes, I used disk utility on SL.

It didn’t kernel panic, it just showed the invalid boot disk symbol.

I could try it again, maybe it just needs a bit of persuasion…

Edit: I can’t remember what partition method I used, I guess it was GUID. I’ll try again later.
 

Xianmo

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2021
5
1
I tried again, and same result. Grey screen with the invalid boot disk symbol.

I have the internal SSD partitioned for Snow Leopard and Lion (GUID).

After downloading the image on Snow Leopard, I selected "Scan Images for Restore..." option in the menu, and then restored to the Lion partition. The restore step succeeds.

Do you think the SSD could be the issue?
 

LeoI07

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2021
54
44
I tried again, and same result. Grey screen with the invalid boot disk symbol.

I have the internal SSD partitioned for Snow Leopard and Lion (GUID).

After downloading the image on Snow Leopard, I selected "Scan Images for Restore..." option in the menu, and then restored to the Lion partition. The restore step succeeds.

Do you think the SSD could be the issue?
I don't know, I was booting off an external hard drive for my testing.
 

Xianmo

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2021
5
1
I tried a few times again, but they all failed.

I also tried using Balena Etcher instead of Disk Utility and got an error saying the image was missing a partition table.

Screenshot 2022-04-14 at 11.55.48.png
 

Ericplan

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2016
25
19
Amsterdam
Still running on Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on my 1.5 GHz Core Solo Mac Mini with 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. Only running iTunes 11.4 with Home Sharing and iTunes Remote on my iPad to access the music.
Interested in your project because of iTunes 12.2.2 so keep us posted on your progress.
 
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MacPro2006VBox

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2014
339
231
As you may know, Mac OS X Lion dropped support for 32-bit Intel Macs. Mountain Lion also removed the 32-bit kernel and EFI bootloader. However, it's possible to get Lion running on 32-bit Macs by swapping out the kernel, the bootloader, and the Finder, as well as some drivers (kexts) and configuration files.


I was thinking of creating a modified version of the soon-to-be-abandonware release of OS X, specifically to run on 32-bit Macs that it doesn't support out of the box (maybe even the original Apple TV as well if the drivers are compatible). It would be called Mac OS X86, and should be as modernized as possible, with every compatible update installed out of the box, like the latest 32-bit Mac version of iTunes (11.4?) and, if possible, OS X 10.7.3. But about that...

I heard people on a certain Discord server talking about how 10.7.3 was the latest version of Lion that worked on 32-bit Macs (with modifications), unlike what dosdude1 said about how 10.7.2 was the latest working version. However, I haven't been able to get 10.7.3 to work on the 2006 Mac mini I picked up for this job. The closest I've gotten it to working is the system hanging after displaying the message in verbose mode "DSMOS has arrived", which someone on said Discord server said sounds like WindowServer failing to start. If anyone knows how to get 10.7.3 working, please let me know. If 10.7.3 won't work, then 10.7.2 will have to do.

OS X Lion versionWorks on 32-bit Macs?Notes
10.7.0YesWorked just fine with the patches in my testing, except for some errors about the kexts when installing iTunes 11.4 and the 10.7.3 update.
10.7.1Yes
10.7.2Yesdosdude1 got this to work.
10.7.3LikelyHaven't been able to get it to work because of CPUID checks or 64-bit-only kexts? (theories from another Discord server)
10.7.4Likely
10.7.5PartiallyRequires a recompiling of the kernel (from Apple's publicly released source code) for the i386 architecture. ParrotGeek1 was able to do that. dosdude1 says it doesn't work very well and it's not worth doing.

Other than that, I was thinking that the OS X86 install media, as well as the recoveryOS it installs, could contain a tool that could be selected from the Mac OS X Utilities menu and would allow the 32-bit patches to be added, removed, and repaired (the repair function being mainly for if an update breaks the patches and prevents Lion from booting).

I'd like to (hopefully) get a preliminary release of OS X86 out on July 20 (the 10th anniversary of Lion's release) or someday less than a few weeks after. However, I'm pretty lazy and not the best at meeting deadlines like this, so I'd like contributions in this thread. Maybe I could also set up a Discord DM group for some more real-time conversations about how this should work. Anyway, let me know if you have any ideas for this or solutions to the problems I've been facing when trying to get this to work.
Got my CoreDuo HP Compaq nx7400 running with full graphics acceleration on this build of Lion. Hello from said 32 bit HackBook with GMA 950 graphics! Ignore the fact that it identifies itself as a Core Solo... had to disable one core in the BIOS or else it wouldn't boot (or else I had to specify cpus=1 in Chameleon with the second core enabled, resulting in Lion identifying it as a Core2Solo lol)
 

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originaldotexe

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2020
247
416
Kentucky
back in around 2015 i was daily driving lion 32bit on an old core 2 duo laptop with gma 950 :p
the only real mac i had at the time was a g4 533mhz with tiger, which i got in late 2013. i wish i knew more about ppc back then as it had a lot of potential. i didnt do much with it as i struggled to find tiger-compatible software at the time. it mostly just got used for web browsing and watching youtube in the old mactubes program.
i still remember the noise it made when i turned it on, it was just insanely loud. the fans ran at full blast the whole time and it had dual 120gb maxtors in raid that were quite loud as well. my mom dubbed it the "jet engine" when i first brought it home and fired it up lol. people call the MDD/G5 wind tunnels but my mdd and g5 quad are whisper quiet compared to that thing.
 
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MacPro2006VBox

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2014
339
231
21d158b1426c13ce44b7880285ea3702.jpg

Ethan (ParrotGeek) has came through for getting 10.7.5 working on CoreDuo based Macs and Hackintoshes. Y’all might want to try this to compile the 10.7.5 kernel for 32 bit.
 

MicroTecture

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2020
62
21
Here's where I'm at with trying to get the Apple TV 1st generation running the first released image (from the top of this thread). I can't get it to boot off of my storage medium via IDE at all, I'm not exactly sure on why. I was able to get it to work via USB (but required some GPT related changes? If anyone tries to do this, this is a good place to look at for that: https://web.archive.org/web/20100715164941/http://www.hackint0sh.org/f98/70835.htm)

When booting from USB, I got a cycle of something like this in loop:

- Prohibitory symbol
- Apple logo
- Apple TV icon with question mark

I took a look at my functional Leopard install, I think there's a few things that I need to copy from a developer preview version of Lion. I believe I'll need to find developer preview 1 of Lion as it might have some needed kexts. I should enable verbose boot the next time I try this. The Web Archive is our friend in this case.

I'd also wonder if I need some kind of SMC kext of some kind. Not sure either
 
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MicroTecture

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2020
62
21
21d158b1426c13ce44b7880285ea3702.jpg

Ethan (ParrotGeek) has came through for getting 10.7.5 working on CoreDuo based Macs and Hackintoshes. Y’all might want to try this to compile the 10.7.5 kernel for 32 bit.

Not a bad idea, it should work I’d imagine. The question is that would we still need 32-bit kexts from a Lion developer preview? I know the Finder will.

I might try to give building this a go soon. I don’t think I have a 32-bit Mac that’s Intel though, unless you consider the first generation Apple TV as one.

As for Apple TV support, that might be difficult. I’m trying to get the kernel that the current image ships with to work, no luck yet. I’m unsure what the problem is with it, but I couldn’t get it to boot even with a Nawcom kernel for Atoms? (with 32-bit support). I wonder if other patches/modifications would be needed in order to run ANY version of Lion on the Apple TV.

Another thing, Leopard and Snow Leopard needed different kernels in order to run on the Apple TV despite both versions of macOS having 32-bit support. I would make a guess to say that any Lion 32-bit kernel (either 10.7.5 compiled for it or from a developer preview) is not going to work without some modifications considering what I just mentioned previously.

I’m going to hypothesize that it lacks SSE3. I would guess then that people got Leopard and Snow Leopard working with an SSE3 emulator of some kind (see https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...installing-snow-leopard-on-appletv-1.1464282/). In that case, we’d need a 32-bit Lion kernel? (or something) with SSE3 emulation to see this working on the Apple TV. Apparently some do exist if you look at: https://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Patched_Kernels

I’ll have to try to “hunt” around the internet for such kernels (assuming that wiki is correct) with SSE3 emulation and see where that gets me.
 
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