Is it possible to run Mac OSX server on a x86 PC ... ? Any thoughts ? (our general manager wants to aquire half a dozen mini macs for some servers and he wants some testing with the mac osx server but i haven't got the mac machine to test drive the mac osx server for a couple months... any thoughts if on how i can do this on a PC ?

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    Any thoughts? Sure, it's against Apple's agreements to run it on non-Apple hardware, and you're probably going to get people giving negative reaction on a QandA site for sysadmins, or at a minimum warning you that you should pursue this on Google without too much assistance here since it's a big gray area for hardware/OS hackers. A Mac Mini can be picked up relatively inexpensively to test on, or talk to an Apple sales rep for your region to see if you can work out a deal with borrowing one for testing. We have done that with laptops. Jun 18, 2010 at 17:37
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    eh... don't we all like a little weekend hacking :)
    – s.mihai
    Jun 18, 2010 at 17:39
  • In addition you'll probably want a Mac for the desktop or a Macbook for administration purposes anyway if you're getting a significant number of Macs to use as servers. Get one now so you have a testbed and get acquainted with the platform. Jun 18, 2010 at 17:39
  • @s.mihai-weekend hacking is one thing. Recommending something legally iffy with a group of professionals is definitely against best practices, at worst it can be a career issue if someone googles us for a job prospect and sees we have ethical issues in the business. Apple has usually been pretty flexible for us in trying to make a sale. I'd recommend contacting their sales team for an eval of some kind. Jun 18, 2010 at 17:41
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    Just to add that if you get a mac to do your test, if you install Mac OS X Server on it, you can then use virtualization software (parallels, vmware, virtualbox) to run others Mac OS X Server and emulate a larger number of computer
    – radius
    Jun 18, 2010 at 17:44

4 Answers 4


Many information can be found on google.
Running Mac OS X on a non Apple hardware doesn't comply with Mac OS X license agreement. This is really not the right place to ask for this... there is dedicated website for this.

  • yea... i was just looking for some helpful thoughts and links before the thread got deleted by the adimins
    – s.mihai
    Jun 18, 2010 at 17:35
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    wiki.osx86project.org is the best place to start.
    – radius
    Jun 18, 2010 at 17:37
  • the magic keyword is 'hackintosh' but if you're serious about possibly buying 6, just buy a single one and test it -- as there was a hardware refresh yesterday, nothing but a new purchase is going to be a valid test for performance. If it doesn't work, for your needs you repurpose it, sell it or make sure you're within the return policy.
    – Joe H.
    Jun 18, 2010 at 17:55

Mac OS X is only supported on Apple hardware. It is possible to install it on non Apple hardware have a look here. It may be easier (and safer) to just wait for the server to arrive.


It's not supported, but that isn't to say there aren't plenty of guides detailing how it can be done. Here's the one I've used previously (edit: not in a work environment) which details the process quite thoroughly.


Biggest problem thou is always the hardware support; Apple put a lot of work into making OS X work with their hardware, but the guide details some parts that are known to work fine.

  • i've found a couple VMware machines that do the trick but not with the server version of their software
    – s.mihai
    Jun 18, 2010 at 17:51
  • Your link say : "Update: This guide has been superceded by a much easier method: Install Snow Leopard on Your Hackintosh PC, No Hacking Required.". Why don't give the right link directly ?
    – radius
    Jun 18, 2010 at 17:56
  • Because the guide I linked was the one I can verify works, however OP can make up their own mind as to which to use.
    – Omegatron
    Jun 20, 2010 at 20:49

As radius said, it's a violation of Apple's terms. It's also quite a hack and wouldn't be an accurate way to evaluate the feasibility of the proper setup.

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