Workaround Restores Mac OS X 10.6.2 Compatibility With Intel Atom Processors

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,599
9,383


InsanelyMac reports that a member of its forums has created a workaround allowing users who have modified their Intel Atom-based netbooks into "Hackintoshes" in order to run Mac OS X to upgrade to OS X 10.6.2. The 10.6.2 update had specifically disabled native compatibility with those processors.
The changes Apple made to the latest mach_kernel removes support for this processor, leaving updated netbooks in a useless state. Fortunately, insanelymac user "teateam" patched the new kernel just two days after Apple rolled out the update. The original post can be found here. Many users are reporting success with this patch, so if your an Atom user looking to update to 10.6.2, give it a try, and let's not forget to give "teateam" a round of applause for saving all our hackintosh netbooks!
The reasons for Apple's disabling of Atom compatibility in 10.6.2 remains unknown, although some of speculated that the company is attempting to make it more difficult for users to create their own netbook Macs ahead of a possible tablet launch next year.

Article Link: Workaround Restores Mac OS X 10.6.2 Compatibility With Intel Atom Processors
 

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
1,640
117
middle earth
They must've disabled support in the kernel in some pretty simple and obvious way if it could be hacked in two days.

If it _was_ intentional, I'm a little disappointed in them. ;)

If Apple does put out a tablet device early next year, it won't be an Atom, but it won't be anything like a Dell Mini-V anyway.
 

heisetax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2004
943
0
Omaha, NE
Apple's model too late?

Don't care much one way or t'other about this. I just want the mysterious :apple: iTablet to come out ASAP. :p
If Apple does get around to make a netbook style computer will they have missed this idea as people will then move on to other non-Apple ideas.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,547
4,566
The Peninsula
They must've disabled support in the kernel in some pretty simple and obvious way if it could be hacked in two days.

If it _was_ intentional, I'm a little disappointed in them. ;)

If Apple does put out a tablet device early next year, it won't be an Atom, but it won't be anything like a Dell Mini-V anyway.
The patch did a binary edit to change 3 bytes in the kernel (see machine translation of post).

I'd guess that there's a table of allowed CPU ID codes, and the patch just changed one entry for a similar CPU (he used Core Solo) to have the codes for the Atom.

The theory that Apple's streamlining the OS by removing support for Atom is pretty much a dead one now. Apple removed a table entry.
 

knewsom

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2005
949
0
If the tablet isn't going to run OSX....

...then why bother disabling the netbook hacks? Seems like a different target audience.
 

FakeWozniak

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2007
428
27
If you want hackintosh to live on without Apple disabling it every other update, STOP POSTING INSTRUCTIONS on a site that probably half of Apple employees follow for entertainment!
 

Janglo

macrumors member
May 7, 2008
47
0
Thing is, there's a big difference between taking out a CPU id to make sure the OS won't start and simply not supporting the atom in the OS. Apple has done the former as the Atom ran Leopard / Snow Leopard anyway. There was no special functionality code written by apple so it would run (Leopard predates the Atom processor).

So it's not like Apple are not supporting the Atom, they've actually intentionally made sure it won't start which is not right.
 

Aadhil

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2009
236
0
California
So it's not like Apple are not supporting the Atom, they've actually intentionally made sure it won't start which is not right.
There's nothing wrong about that. Apple's goal is to be a high end computer manufacturer so it would not be prudent to have a bunch of low end computers with their OS floating around. They've spent billions of dollars nurturing their image over a long period of time so it's understandable that they wouldn't be dumb enough to not protect their hard work.
 

observer

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2007
82
0
2 speculations

1. After previous discussions of Atom disablement, I thought of a mechanism that could have produced it: OSX uses lots of processor features that aren't in the Atom, but also runs on the Core Single, which also lacks almost everything fancy. The OS should have a way to dumb itself down to run on a specific, supported, less-capable chip. That is, the device id isn't checked to stop running on that device, but rather to enable limited operation on a specific supported device. Does this make sense? If it's what they're actually doing, it's clearly not evil -- and replacing the Core Single device id with the Atom id should enable it to work.

2. This is now changing OSX, not the EFI boot loader. This sounds like a copyright violation. Can Apple now block hackintosh sites from distributing the patch on grounds that it enables copyright violation? They couldn't claim that when it was just the EFI modification.
 

sishaw

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2005
1,147
19
So it's not like Apple are not supporting the Atom, they've actually intentionally made sure it won't start which is not right.
Must be that hidden clause in the 1st Amendment: "Apple shall not abridge the right to run OS X on Atom CPUs...." Missed that one in Con Law class.
 

Marx55

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2005
1,691
527
If Apple offered a light and small Mac (tablet or clamshell) with Intel Atom, video-out and USB 2, that would rock!
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,692
3,383
They must've disabled support in the kernel in some pretty simple and obvious way if it could be hacked in two days.
Of course. There will be a check:

Is it a Core Duo (as used in the first MacBooks / iMacs)?
Is it a Core 2 Duo (as used in later MacBooks / iMacs)?
Is it a Xeon as used in the MacPro?
Is it an i5 / i7 as used in the new iMacs?
Is it (add whatever processor I missed that is used by an Apple Mac)

If any of the answers is yes: Supported.
If all answers are no: Not supported.

It would be very, very easy to change one of the checks; for example change "Is it a Core 2 Duo" to "is it an Atom processor"; you would then have a version that won't run on a Core 2 Duo, but on an Atom. As long as a Core 2 Duo is compatible enough to the Atom.
 

Bubba Satori

Suspended
Feb 15, 2008
4,726
3,753
B'ham
How dare they want affordable computers.
Let them eat cake.
Bar the doors to the country club.

If Apple offered a light and small Mac (tablet or clamshell) with Intel Atom, video-out and USB that would rock!
Bag of low margin, not thin and stylish, not hip and cool hurt.
$35 billion in the bank.
Two cheers for insanely wealthy corporations! :apple:
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
How dare they want affordable computers.
Let them eat cake.
Bar the doors to the country club.
You're so right! I've wanted a $40,000 Ferrari for years! A headless, small, affordable Ferrari. One that I can customize. Why should Ferrari dictate what I can and can't drive?

Let's make our voices heard:

Ferrari SpA, headquarters and factory: Via Abetone Inferiore n. 4, I-41053 Maranello (MO)
Phone: +39 0536 949111
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,547
4,566
The Peninsula
1. After previous discussions of Atom disablement, I thought of a mechanism that could have produced it: OSX uses lots of processor features that aren't in the Atom, but also runs on the Core Single, which also lacks almost everything fancy. The OS should have a way to dumb itself down to run on a specific, supported, less-capable chip. That is, the device id isn't checked to stop running on that device, but rather to enable limited operation on a specific supported device. Does this make sense? If it's what they're actually doing, it's clearly not evil -- and replacing the Core Single device id with the Atom id should enable it to work.
The CPU has a bitmask of features that software checks when necessary (for example, before running SSE3 routines a program should verify that SSE3 is present). The system profiler will show you the current feature set.

The OS does need to initialize itself for the current CPU, so checking the CPUID and doing stuff is reasonable. Note, however, that OSX is already loaded and running on the Atom when OSX decides to shutdown. :eek:

Perhaps not "evil", but it's petty for Apple to deliberately break systems that don't compete with any Apple computer.
 

macsmurf

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,199
604
2. This is now changing OSX, not the EFI boot loader. This sounds like a copyright violation. Can Apple now block hackintosh sites from distributing the patch on grounds that it enables copyright violation? They couldn't claim that when it was just the EFI modification.
The OS X kernel is open source. In other words, no.

(I don't expect anyone on these forums to take notice of this, of course)
 

savoirfaire

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2003
324
22
New England
You're so right! I've wanted a $40,000 Ferrari for years! A headless, small, affordable Ferrari. One that I can customize. Why should Ferrari dictate what I can and can't drive?

Let's make our voices heard:

Ferrari SpA, headquarters and factory: Via Abetone Inferiore n. 4, I-41053 Maranello (MO)
Phone: +39 0536 949111
Your pep talk inspired me to call and make my voice heard, but apparently they don't speak English. :D
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
You're so right! I've wanted a $40,000 Ferrari for years! A headless, small, affordable Ferrari. One that I can customize. Why should Ferrari dictate what I can and can't drive?

Let's make our voices heard:

Ferrari SpA, headquarters and factory: Via Abetone Inferiore n. 4, I-41053 Maranello (MO)
Phone: +39 0536 949111
owww you just compared a Ferrari to Apple, cute but epic fail.

Comeback when Ferrari starts building hot looking cars based on a Ford focus internals, in china

You really confusing hand assembled cars with Chinese factories... tsk tsk..

My friend, for about $150,000 US they'll speak any langage you like. ;)
Have you checked how much a Ferrari costs? They will laugh at $150,000 us. When you supply cars to the richest people in the world, you laugh at someone dangling $150 000 infront of you.
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
owww you just compared a Ferrari to Apple, cute but epic fail.

Comeback when Ferrari starts building hot looking cars based on a Ford focus internals, in china

You really confusing hand assembled cars with Chinese factories... tsk tsk..
Makes no difference. Manufacturers will charge what the market can bear. Macs are regarded as Premium products. Consumers have decided that Apple is a Premium product. It's about much more than the specific parts inside.


Have you checked how much a Ferrari costs? They will laugh at $150,000 us. When you supply cars to the richest people in the world, you laugh at someone dangling $150 000 infront of you.
That's just the deposit. ;)
 

Richard1028

macrumors 68000
Jan 8, 2009
1,580
0
It's obvious now that the Atom disabling on Apple's part was intentionally targeted towards the Hackintosh people. Since mountains of Atom legacy code wasn't removed in order to make 10.6.2 more streamlined then that has to be the only reason. (You can't patch what isn't there).

This crap will go on for every subsequent release of OSX.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.