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A Hackintosh is a type of non-Apple computer designed to run unauthorised versions of macOS.[1] The name is a portmanteau of the words "hack" and Macintosh, the brand name of laptop and desktop computers made by Apple, Inc. Hackintosh laptops are sometimes referred to as Hackbooks.[2]

Apple's software license for macOS only permits the software's use on computers that are "Apple-branded."[3] However, because modern Macintosh computers use Intel-based hardware, there are few limitations keeping the software from running on other types of Intel-based PCs[4]. Notably, companies such as Psystar have attempted to release products using macOS on non-Apple machines[5], though many Hackintosh systems are designed solely by macOS enthusiasts of various hacking forums and communities[6]. While the methods Apple uses to prevent macOS from being installed on non-Apple hardware are protected from commercial circumvention in the United States by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA),[7] specific changes to the law regarding the concept of jailbreaking[8] have placed circumvention methods like these into a legal grey area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Ramsey. "Turning PC into Apple Macintosh: Hackintosh". BenchmarkReviews.com. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
  2. ^ "What is Hackintosh - For Beginners and Noobs". 21 April 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-06.
  3. ^ Apple Inc. "Apple Inc. Software License Agreement for Mac OS X" (PDF). Apple Inc. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
  4. ^ "Modern "Hackintoshes" show that Apple should probably just build a Mac tower". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  5. ^ "Apple Sues Mac Clone Maker Psystar - NYTimes.com". archive.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  6. ^ Lynch, Jim. "Why hasn't Apple killed the Hackintosh?". CIO. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  7. ^ Keizer, Greg (2009-11-15). "Apple Wins Court Victory Over Mac Clone Maker Psystar". PC World. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  8. ^ "U.S. Declares iPhone Jailbreaking Legal, Over Apple's Objections". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-06-01.