Resources for Mac OS X on a Netbook

I thought I’d follow up on a previous blog post by OWC Chris S. covering how to relocate your Home Folder for anyone with a machine that’s tight on space with an in-depth examination on the use of Mac OS X on a Netbook.

While rumors abound that Apple may never produce a Netbook for those of us who would love such a machine, there are a number of stalwart types who want one badly enough that they have provided tutorials on how to install Mac OS X on a PC Netbook. Referred to as a Hackintosh install, three sites have posted step-by-step instructions, each with their own style of detail, so I recommend you peruse all three sources.

Obviously, your first hurdle is to pick a Netbook upon which to perform this OS surgery. All sources point to the excellent “Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart,” at Boing Boing. The Dell Mini 9 seems to be the weapon of choice by some notable Mac writers.

Second, you must acquire a complete, retail version of Mac OS X. Update disks will not work correctly and pirated disks may not contain all the original code, which hampers any OS updates you may want to apply.

The third requirement is either an 8GB or higher USB flash drive or an external USB DVD drive. Instructions for using both to install Mac OS X are on the sites linked below.

Fourth, you must use the Type11 Bootloader, called the DellMiniBoot123v8.01.iso.zip, downloadable from Dell Mini forums and posted by a helpful person named “bmaltais”. (Note, the forum requires registration.)

At this point, your entry cost to create your own Mac OS X Netbook is between $500 and $650, including the cost of Mac OS X. Now, once you’ve completed your install, following the instructions in one of the resources below, you may find your space squeezed a bit. As OWC Chris S. suggested, you can use OWC’s handy resource for relocating your home folder onto an external drive to preserve your precious storage capacity.

The ability to tote around a lightweight and very useable PC are your rewards in creating your own personal Mac OS X Netbook.

Links to Tutorials on Creating a Mac OS X Netbook

Installing Mac OS X on a Dell Mini 9 – the easy way (Updated 3x) by Jason O’Grady on ZDNet.

How To: Hackintosh a Dell Mini 9 Into the Ultimate OS X Netbook by John Mahoney on Gizmodo.

OS X on a Dell Mini 9 Netbook, by Steve on Accelerate Your Mac.

How to build the OS X Dell Mini 9 Hackbook – The Easy Way, by Tomas Ratas on Test Freaks blog.

How To: Load OS X DIRECTLY onto RunCore FROM a Mac, by Iantzn on DellMini.

MacResource Forum posts about this method

Loading OS X DIRECTLY onto Runcore FROM a Mac, MacResource Forums.

Dell Mini 9 Leopardized: The RunCore Direct Install Edition, MacResource Forums.

Disclaimer: OWC does not support or endorse any of the above methods to create an OS X Netbook. Information and links are provided as a courtesy to our readers. In addition, an interesting discussion on the legality of installing Mac OS X on a non-Mac appears in the MacResource Forums.


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