Is Psystar Mac clone using the Kalyway boot hack?

Is Psystar Mac clone using the Kalyway boot hack?

Summary: A look at the online video of the Psystar Mac OS X clone appears to show the "hackintosh" using the illegal Kalyway EFI boot hack and install DVD.

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
Is Psystar Mac clone using the Kalyway boot hack?

The video on Monday was posted to Gizmodo. A reader named Patrick (Whiskeyfrown) made a video showing the machine's connections to the back to the monitor (somehow making the demo more legit?) and then a video of its boot process into Mac OS X. However, this boot sequence isn't a vanilla Mac boot. It first goes into a verbose EFI "BIOS" prompt and then waits for something. My ZDNet colleague Jason Perlow says this is the sequence one finds with the Kalyway installer DVD. He's had experience. And it sure looks like it. After installing Mac OS X on the PC, Kalyway users must still leave the (illegal) installer disc in the DVD-R drive. Here's a bit from the LifeHacker guide on building a "Hackintosh."

Let your computer reboot, but be sure to leave the install DVD in the drive. When the DVD prompts this time, just let the countdown time out. When it does, your installation of Leopard will automatically boot up. You've done it!
Perlow suggested that Psystar uses the Kalyway installer and then also buys a legitimate copy of Mac OS X, sending users the license. However, it still must use the illegal install DVD to boot. From what I read there are two "major" hackintosh installers: Kalyway and iATKOS. Here's an informative blog post by Andrew Grant comparing them. He prefers the Kalyway installer.
The quality of both packages is impressive and both offer a selection of compatibility options for the hardware in your PC. Kalyway has a few less options as some things are determined automatically, but you can also pre-test whether your machine will be able to run with an un-patched kernel prior to installing. On the otherhand iATKOS is a smaller download, quicker to boot from DVD, and installs faster. iATKOS seemed easier to get working in a dual boot setup with Vista. Kalyway seemed to be a better experience once installed. Kalyway comes with some preinstalled apps and theme changes that most people seem to dislike, but then these are easy to revert and some of the apps are things you’d install anyway.
Quality is in the eye of the beholder, for sure. Meanwhile, I must admit that I'am astounded by the results of an Apple Core poll earlier on Monday started by Jason O'Grady. He asks if readers might buy a Psystar "clone." The current results stand at 21 percent, yes; 51 percent, no because you can't trust or update them as you would an Apple Mac; and 28 percent, no because they didn't need one (which I guess means they might buy one if they needed one). Yikes! Almost a quarter of readers would buy one of these hacked clones? As I wrote a while ago, this hackintosh is a sucker's bet. This isn't the same as when the Mac market had real Mac clones, approved by Apple. Perhaps enthusiasts may be interested in making a lower-cost Mac Pro-style machine to run games. But anyone who is doing actual work on a Mac should buy a Mac. And that means a kosher, Apple machine. [Image credit: Gizmodo]

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • I totally agree

    [i]But anyone who is doing actual work on a Mac should buy a Mac. And that means a kosher, Apple machine.[/i]

    If you are serious about your work, then you spend the money on a serious machine, (be it a Windows machine or a good Apple machine)

    Who wants to risk their work "on the cheap"?
    • You know...

      My systems of choice are the Boxx Apexx 8 and the Sun Ultra 40 M2. I use them for 3 of my workstations and they beat the unholy crap out of the mac pro, and certainly aren't 'on the cheap.'

      Real work calls for a *real* computer. Stamping a shiny apple on something doesn't make it a 'serious machine.'
      • oh gawd...

        I'm so impressed with your workstation setup.

        But for those of us who care for more mainstream stuff, I'd say an 8-Core Xeon desktop with 32GB of RAM is certainly a serious machine in my book.
  • Cheap but capable toy for playing with OSX

    I totally agree that I wouldn't use this as my primary machine. But I already have 4 stable machines I use all the time. A Psystar would make a nice, cheap experimental addition for playing with OSX. This is a hobbyist version of the Mac Pro for less than the price of a Mini. Who cares if you can never update it? Use it until it toasts, then put another OS on it.
    • Yes, but..

      if you have Psystar install OS X, it's another $155. Firewire
      costs another $50. For that price, buy a Mini; run OSX with
      Apple's support, and you won't have to wear the ear plugs
      that seem to be required with Psystar's computer.
      • or...

        Just buy your own copy of 10.5 for 99 bucks, an dinstall it yourself. And use that money to put the nVidia video card into it. Something a Mini cannot do...
        • But doesn't that..

          negate the added value of the Psystar; i.e., having all of the
          installation done for you?

          If you're going to do the installation yourself, why not just
          build your own computer, instead of buying from them?
  • Do a little more research and a little less guessing.

    I have a Psystar. There is no CD or DVD in the optical drive to boot from. It boots straight from hard drive. You friend has his head up his behind.

    As for the Kalyway installer, do your homework before you talk out you rear. You do not need to leave the DVD in the drive with the current versions. Further, there is nothing "illegal" about the Kalyway installer, so long as it is used with a valid OSX license. The Kalyway installer contains no modified OS-X proprietary code. The only code that is modified is the Darwin boot code, which is PUBLIC DOMAIN. This code can be modified by the users, although Apple will not warranty it. Apple provides a website for downloading the Darwin code, as well as the majority of the rest of the OS-X guts, because OS-X is basically openBSD with Apple's proprietary user interface. See and .

    Apple's EULA specifically acknowledges that the open source components in OS-X can be freely modified:

    "D. Certain components of the Apple Software, and third party open source programs included with the Apple Software, have been or may be made available by Apple on its Open Source web site ( (collectively the "Open-Sourced Components"). You may modify or replace only these Open-Sourced Components; provided that: (i) the resultant modified Apple Software is used, in place of the unmodified Apple Software, on a single Apple-labeled computer; and (ii) you otherwise comply with the terms of this License and any applicable licensing terms governing use of the Open-Sourced Components. Apple is not obligated to provide any updates, maintenance, warranty, technical or other support, or services for the resultant modified Apple Software. You expressly acknowledge that if failure or damage to Apple hardware results from modification of the Open-Sourced Components."

    However, Apple's stated limitation that the modified open source software must be used only on an Apple computer is in violation of open source licensing (GNU V2), which requires commercial users of open source code (like Apple here) to provide the open source code to the public and to not restrict how the open source code is modified or used. freeBSD and the majority of the other open source code used by Apple is governed by Version 2 of the GNU General Public License. See . Apple cannot restrict how its version of freeBSD is modified or used. The very premise of the GNU is that modifications to open source software are also open source. Apple got it for free; they have to give it back with their modifications for free. If Apple did not want to be governed by the GNU, the Apple should have written it's own OS, instead of just putting a slick interface on the work of hundreds of volunteer and University programmers.

    Maybe this gives you a clue about why Apple has been uncharacteristically silent about Psystar?

    As for why anyone that isn't drinking Stevie's koolaid would buy a Psystar or build a "Hackintosh", it's because OSX is a great little shell on one of the best OS's (freeBSD), but Mac hardware is pretty much cool looking crap. I need a box that runs OS-X and Final Cut Pro HD on my Dell 24" monitor. I have to do final editing on short sports created by some creative kids who know how to edit in one program: Final Cut. An iMac won't cut it and the damn thing won't fit on my desk anyway. A Mac Pro is overkill. Final Cut Pro can't even USE 8 cores effectively because of the memory bus bottleneck inherent in the Mac Pros. And the Xeons don't ad much either in as far as performance. and the tasks I work on, a Mac Pro doesn't even get taxed. I am going to swap the core duo for a quadcore and bring the memory to 4gb - but that is really an easy task and inexpensive from the likes of New Egg.

    I'm getting another Psystar and taking the guts and putting it into a nice Silverstone HTPC case for my media Center (I have a nice enough home theater with 8.1, 1080p projector, 102" acoustically transparent screen, Harmon Karden audio, PS3). The Silverstone case blends perfectly with my other components, and soon I'll be to use FrontRow as my HTPC portal and even use the little Apple Remote! I found a hack for that too. Please tell me what model Apple makes that is even remotely appropriate for an HTPC installation. The irony there is that OS-X is the best OS for an HTPC.

    Apple's problem is that it places too much emphasis on aesthetics and too little on function. OS-x is a great implementation of freeBSD. But for anyone but Apple Fanboys and the self-absorbed, Apple hardware is cool looking but useless.

    So please, pull your head out of that hole in your back pants pocket and actually do your homework before you let your elephant booty overload your jaybird brain.
    • A serious question

      What will you do if you you have a problem with the machine
      or one of its components? Also, what are you going to do
      about software (OS X) updates and security updates? Serious
      questions, I'm not trying to bait you.
      A Grain of Salt
      • Answers

        If I might be so bold as to address Mr/Ms Salt's concerns.
        The answer to the first question is obviously that you get support from the company you bought the equipment from. But beyond that is that you are entering a realm more familiar to Linux users where you might only find support for some issue from some guru on some forum. If this makes you queasy, as I'm sure it does to Mr M, this might not be the system for you. Still, you might very well find support for something that the major manufacturer ignores and I hear enough complaints about bad support that you might be paying for.
        The answer to the second question is that you cannot trust any updates that you might download from Apple. I usually do a clean install to a second hard drive to get to the next 10.5.x and then migrate to the new install if everything goes OK. You might think that this is a lot of trouble but I hear of people reinstalling Windows on a regular basis and this is considered good practice. Still, you might have to live with a security hole before the next install. Not a worry for most but something again for Mr M to feel queasy about.
        Mac Hosehead
        • I agree with most of that, except...

          that, if something goes wrong you have to send the
          computer to Psystar and pay the shipping costs. If you
          don't live close the turn around time might be quite high.
          At this point, I will qualify that I use Mac's both at home
          and at work but as you have stated the ride hasn't been
          perfect. Good, buy not perfect. Mind you my latest
          experience was a wire to my Magsafe adapter failing and
          Apple replacing it for free after it was 6 months out of

          I just think that the extra money spent on the real thing
          can save a lot of hassle. If all goes well, the experience of
          the Psystar machine will probably be good (except that it
          sounds like a 747 on takeoff). But, if something goes
          wrong, and things often do, I can see the time and money
          spent quickly eroding the fact that the person spent a few
          hundred dollars less.

          If using OS X is that important to you, get a Mac. If not a
          cheap machine from a local dealer and Linux is more than
          A Grain of Salt
    • That is the most

      Acurate portrait of Apple yet!!!!
      Apple all flash and Hype and no substance. In other worlds, A Mac is totally useless!
      MaxOS is FREEBSD with some eye candy on top it, so Apple is actually selling OPEN SOURCE software hidden under a smoke screen.

      MacOS is illegal are it in total violation of open source licensing (GNU V2).

      Why is Apple pertmited to (on a extremly small scale, but then) sell an illegal OS?
      • Another fine troll

        "A Mac is totally useless!"
        Well yeah, for you maybe, since you can't use it to spread your viruses and install your trojans.

        "MaxOS is FREEBSD"
        Nope, sorry, wrong.

        "Apple is actually selling OPEN SOURCE software"
        Nope, totally incorrect.

        "MacOS is illegal are it in total violation of open source licensing (GNU V2)[sic]."

        Ok, this proves you're a troll or an idiot.

        A) There is no such thing as the GNU V2 license. If you mean the GPL, you should say that. But you're a troll, so I don't expect anything but more BS.
        B) BSD has nothing to do with GNU or the GPL.
        C) Your mom dresses you funny.
        • Step One

          • Well at least you know where your problem starts

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
        • Step Two...

          Step Two...

          Identify and expose the troll for the idiot he is... LOL

          Excellent work bmerc...

          Get a job Mectron...
    • All very nice - and wrong

      Darwin in not based on FreeBSD
      and is not distributed under
      GNU, nor subject to it. Darwin is
      based on BSD of which there are
      many versions. FreeBSD is just
      one. Darwin is distributed under
      Apple's license. Nextstep
      predates FreeBSD. The XNU kernel was developed by Next as
      an offshoot of Mach et al. That
      became Apple property when
      Jobs sold Next to Apple. The
      Apple license is recognized by
      the Free Software Foundation.

      The Darwin license specifically
      prohibits the use of any Apple
      trademarks. As soon as you see
      the OSX splash screen on the
      Psystar, those trademarks have
      been violated. Under the terms
      of the Apple license, as soon as
      any part of the license is violated
      - the trademarks - the license is
      automatically terminated.
      • Hmm wiki must be wrong about BSD then

        from wiki

        "Apple Inc.'s Darwin, the core of Mac OS X; built on the XNU kernel (part Mach, part FreeBSD, part Apple-derived code) and a userland much of which comes from FreeBSD"

        sounds like there is quite a lot of FreeBSD in there which is covered by GNU v2 licensing
    • Yeah, useless...

      That's why there are so many people using them with Final Cut Pro to produce professional video productions.

      * The Rules of Attraction (2002)
      * Full Frontal (2002)
      * The Ring (2002)
      * Cold Mountain (2003) (Academy Award nominee for Best Editing ? Walter Murch)
      * Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
      * Open Water (2003)
      * Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
      * The Ladykillers (2004)
      * Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
      * Super Size Me (2004)
      * Michael Moore Hates America (2004)
      * Corpse Bride (2005)
      * Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005)
      * Happy Endings (2005)
      * Jarhead (2005)
      * Little Manhattan (2005)
      * The Ring Two (2005)
      * Black Snake Moan (2006)
      * Hoot (2006)
      * Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
      * Happy Feet (2006)
      * Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)
      * Zodiac (2007)
      * No Country for Old Men (2007) (Academy Award nominee for Best Editing ? Roderick Jaynes)
      * Reign Over Me (2007)
      * Youth Without Youth (2007)
      * Reno 911!: Miami (2007)
      * Balls of Fury (2007)
      * 300 (2007)
      * The Comebacks (2007)
      * We Are the Strange (2007)
      * Burn After Reading (2008)
      * Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
    • Excellent points and input ... except ...

      The various BSD-derivatives are licensed under the BSD
      license, not the GPL.