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What is Hackintoshing?

Apple designed Mac OS X so that only Macs can run it. If you attempt to stick a Mac OS X installation disc into any computer that isn't made by Apple, it simply won't work. Unlike the Windows or Linux operating systems, Mac OS X normally requires a very specific set of hardware to run.

Hackintoshing is the process of overcoming these limitations, by installing extra software with Mac OS X that adds support to a wider range of hardware. There's no actual hacking or cracking involved! If you like the way Mac OS X runs, or prefer the design of OS X to Windows, but you don't want to pay a $500 premium just to buy a Mac, then a Hackintosh may be for you.

Hackintoshing isn't an easy process; ironically, even though Mac OS X is designed to be simple and easy to use, installing it on a PC is just the opposite of that. If you do your research beforehand and everything goes well, Hackintoshing isn't much more difficult than installing Windows, or one of the better-supported distributions of Linux. If things go haywire, well, you don't want to know. A basic understanding of computers is required. Knowing how to build your own computer helps.

Are the results worth it?

Yes, yes they are.
- C, January 22, 2012