Apple OS licensing
and attempts to run Mac OS X on non-Apple Intel based hardware
For those who are a little confused on Apple OS licensing, hopefully this can help clear up the issue a little.

Your license to use the Mac OS comes from the hardware. Your Apple hardware came with a Mac OS originally*, and any version of the Mac OS you buy is actually a strict upgrade to the license you were granted with the Apple hardware. Your Apple hardware is a license key for Mac OS X (which is why we have never needed a license string for the Mac OS).

... that is to say, boxed versions of Mac OS X are actually upgrades. And your license to used those is the hardware itself.

That having been said, there are no boxed versions of Mac OS X for Intel processors. The only legal versions in existence are tied to existing hardware that came from Apple. Anyone who got Mac OS X for Intel with Apple hardware is only allowed to use Mac OS X on that hardware.

Further, versions of Mac OS X for Intel before version 10.4.4 were distributed under a nondisclosure agreement. So on top of the license agreement to only run it on the Apple hardware it came with, it was also illegal to share it with anyone... or discuss the software at length with anyone before the final release (which has since come and gone).

Basically, there is no way to run Mac OS X on a PC legally. Even if you had a developer kit system. Or an Intel based iMac. Or a MacBook Pro.

And the first boxed versions of Mac OS X for Intel aren't going to show up until 10.5 is released (in case any of you were waiting).

Hope that helps straighten out the legal issues for those of you wondering.

My own personal feelings on the subject have been expressed in many Apple and NeXT related forums around the web. I know that Apple is, in the end, a hardware maker. And that attempts to run Apple's operating system on non-Apple hardware hurt Apple. As I work as an independent computer consultant specializing in the Mac environment, anything that hurts Apple hurts my business.

Mac Clone hardware came with a version of the Mac OS originally and the manufacturer was given both the ROM and logic board specification from Apple. Those items represent your license to use all future Mac OS versions.

Apple has never had any problems with XPostFacto because it is only used for installing Mac OS X on systems that would otherwise qualify for a Mac OS X license... but just are not supported by Apple.

Stone Design's Create®
2006-02-20 06:09:58 -0600