Apple restricts access to Mac OS X source code bits in effort to curb Mac OS X on x86 hacks

“Apple has begun restricting access to the source code of key components of Mac OS X, in what looks like a bid to prevent the Intel version from being hacked to run on non-Mac hardware,” Simon Aughton reports for PC Pro. “Two open-source developers have separately reported that code which was previously available is now behind lock and key.”

“Apple made the Darwin 1.0 available as an open-source project in June 2000, ahead of the January 2001 release of the first, 10.0 version of OS X. It has since extended its open-source commitment to include 11 projects, among them the Bonjour (formerly Rendezvous) intelligent networking technology and the WebKit rendering engine used by Safari and many other applications,” “As soon as it announced last summer that it would be migrating to an Intel hardware platform, it became clear that there would be an ongoing tussle between hackers attempting to adapt the Intel-friendly version of OS X to run on standard PCs and Apple’s development team, charged with preventing that from happening. Inevitably Apple’s ever-watchful legal team would also have a hand in proceedings.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Cpt. Obvious” for the heads up.]

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Related articles:
Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4.4 for Intel cracked – February 15, 2006
Apple offers hidden poetic warning to would-be Mac OS X for x86 hackers – February 15, 2006
Apple puts ‘Don’t Steal Mac OS X’ message to would-be hackers in Intel version of Mac OS X 10.4.4 – January 13, 2006
Dvorak: Steve Jobs eventually intends for Apple’s Mac OS X to run on any x86 PC – August 08, 2005


  1. Without DIRECT OS to OS competition Microsoft will never have any reason to make a genuine effort to improve their product. Mac with an Intel processor is not direct competition. OSx86 running around stealing desktops is.

    Steve just doesn’t have the balls to take on Bill in a toe to toe fight on the desktop. The sad part of it all is, Steve would probably win.

  2. I believe that if Apple sold OSX to run on any machine:
    1. They would make billions on OSX sales.
    2. They would make billions on other software sales.
    3. They would substantially increase market share.
    4. 3rd party developers would make more software for OSX.
    5. Apple would sell more hardware not less.

  3. One reason the Mac user experience is so positive and the Windows experience is so negative is that, for Macs, Apple controls the “whole widget”. Windows, on the other hand, must struggle to accommodate all varieties of hardware, from gray box schlock to decent manufacturers who have good but always differing designs.

    There is no way I would want Apple to be put in a position of having to support OSX on a $249 Dell.

    It’s Apple’s software, we only use it under license. If Steve Jobs wants to say “my hardware only,” he can and should.

  4. I haven’t the time to double check, so take this with a grain of salt, but the same issue was dealt with yesterday on Slashdot and it appeared the article is/was mistaken. Header files and such were mistakenly left out of the latest contribution, but upon being notified of the mistake, Apple made the files and code available.

  5. Please educate yourself on the situation before you speak. Indeed, much of the system is available as open source but the kernel (XNU) is not. The reason? The new AES commpage/dsmos page encryption scheme within the kernel that is being used to run Apple’s encrypted Intel binaries (such as Finder, ATS, Rosetta, etc.) on-the-fly.

    I can understand that Apple wanted to protect their system, but the half-assed protection they used (which involves transferring a hard-coded plaintext key in open memory) as well as hiding this source code have stalled hacking efforts a week or two at best. Nonetheless, Maxxuss et al. have single-handedly made Apple critically reconsider its open source position.

  6. Maxxuss has already cracked 10.4.5 and is preparing a installation DVD.

    Apple created Mac OS X on FreeBSD framework to further the advance the cause and appeal to open source folks, to sell hardware to Linux/Unix users, it was all part of IBM scheme to compete with the Wintel alliance.

    Then all of a sudden IBM couldn’t make a cool G5 processor and decided to focus on the emedded market and their servers.

    Now Apple has a OS based upon open source and now has to accept EFI, Trusted Computing, HDCP and all this other DRM buisness on Intel processors and their buisness model depends on locking their OS to the hardware.

    Apple’s heart was in the right direction, but IBM failed to deliver so now they got a abortion on their hands.

    I can’t wait to see all these PC folks continously install and run Mac OS X and all these cracked apps.

    Because Mactels will be locked down with Trusted Computing and EFI calling to verify software installs, the folks who would normally buy a Mac will now buy a PC and get the free cracked software.


  7. when it comes to Apple, the press loves a tempest!

    as for selling OS X for PCs… NOT!

    Apple woul have to support all those PCs! OS X would end up as bloated and buggy as Windows. Well, maybe not THAT bad ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> But quality would suffer. OS X and Mac hardware are designed together, and anyone who doesn’t think that makes OS X better hasn’t used it.

  8. Well even if it does happen they won’t be supported. Drivers will break, apps may stop working and so on. Updates will need to be addressed. They may get it to work for a while but what’s the point?

    Only ones who will get anything out of this is hackers and they won’t be getting much. Average users won’t deal with that. And Jobs would eat glass before selling OSX to Dell.

    I understand the interest in the idea of hacking but the goals always just come out to pure selfishness and spite to me. These guys need a life.

  9. Microsoft doesn’t support my sound card. They provide a generic set of drivers for sound. If I want full functionality I go to Creative. The same for my motherboard, video card and any other pieces of hardware. So the same for Apple, all they would have to do is provide a generic set of drivers for basic performance. If you have a problem with your sound card you go to the maker of that card, not the OS provider.

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