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Hackintosh enthusiasts worry that the end is near

For years, there’s been a dedicated community of tech tinkerers who’ve built unofficial “Macs” out of PC hardware or successfully gotten macOS running on a laptop that ran Windows in a past life. But now, some of those enthusiasts believe the Hackintosh dream is becoming more and more untenable.

This blog post by Aleksandar Vacić, highlighted by 9to5Mac, runs through some of the difficulties that seem to be growing by the day. In a nutshell, macOS Sonoma removed support for many drivers that were found in Intel Macs a decade ago. Vacić says these drivers were “the key ingredient to many fully functional Hackintosh builds.” It’s still possible to cobble together a Hackintosh with the Sonoma OS, but you’ll have to be comfortable with some complex workarounds that might lessen your machine’s overall security. For now, the best advice is to remain on macOS Ventura, which won’t be a realistic solution forever.

One thing in particular about this blog stuck out to me: Vacić mentions that the Hackintosh scene really came into its own during a time when Apple was releasing some of its worst-conceived Macs that prioritized form over function. MacBook Pros were more beauty than brawn, and that’s before you even get to the trash can Mac Pro.

By contrast, today’s lineup is impressively powerful: MacBooks get tremendous battery life and have normal keyboards again! Even the Mac Mini is getting updated on a regular cadence. Yet, it wasn’t that long ago when it felt like the Mac was near the bottom of Apple’s priority list.

In more recent years, Hackintosh machines with the right components could even run circles around Apple Silicon Macs. But as the steps to keep those machines running become more tedious — especially if you insist on using Apple’s latest software — people are inevitably going to get fatigued and not bother. This comment over at Hacker News sums up that frustration well: “these days I want to use the computer, not spend time trying to convince it to work.” Hackintoshes had their time and a worthy purpose, but it looks like that time is almost up.

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