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Definition: OSx86


A patched version of the Mac operating system that enabled Mac OS X to run on a regular PC, not a Mac computer from Apple. Also called a "Hackintosh," an OSx86 machine was an illegitimate Mac clone that came about after Apple switched to Intel CPUs in 2006. OSx86 used the Mac OS X operating system modified with patches from various sources. Regular Apple OS updates could not be used, and new OSx86 patches had to be made for new OS X versions. In addition, the BIOS in the x86 PC also had to be updated to support Apple's boot interface (see UEFI).

In 2008, Florida-based Psystar began shipping an OSx86-based PC under its Open Computer brand. It offered a PC that booted into Mac OS X at a considerably lower price than a genuine Mac. Not met with enthusiasm by Apple, it promptly launched a lawsuit against Psystar for licensing violations. In 2010, Psystar closed its doors. See Mac clone.