Dell Mini 9 OSX install

dellosx

Installing OSX on commodity PC hardware has advanced a lot since the early days of OSx86 when Apple switched to Intel. With the advent of netbooks, a new target platform has emerged; one that doesn’t have an official Apple equivalent. The small subset of models means that it’s easy to find someone else that has the same machine as you, but it still takes some forum walking to bring all the pieces together. Gizmodo has done this and compiled a comprehensive guide for the Dell Mini 9. The Mini 9 is a very nice machine and according to Boing Boing Gadgets’ chart, one of the most compatible with OSX. Earlier this week you could purchase a new one for just $200.

For Gizmodo’s install, they used a Leopard retail DVD with [Type11]‘s bootloader. They’re breaking the EULA, but at least it’s not piracy. They had to use both a DVD drive and a USB hard drive because device recognition was flakey. Despite this, the actual install process doesn’t appear to be too difficult. They say all the hardware works, “The Mini 9 is a beautiful OS X machine.” Check out this Hackit to learn about netbook OSX experiences from other Hack a Day readers.

Comments

  1. gordunk says:

    Why would you want to install OSX on a computer that comes with WinXP, the best windows OS to ever come out. I can understand if it came with vista, but hell, Mac can’t possibly have that much going for it to make you want to install OSX on it, unless of course all your other computers are Macs as well, to which I say, WTF? I may not agree with Microsoft’s Ethics, but their product is more supported, so I don’t have much of a choice.

  2. macegr says:

    “why” not really a question we like to ask on hackaday, if it were asked more often this site would be named hackamonth.

  3. nin9 says:

    i agree with macgr,
    and as a mac & windows & linux user ( in that order )
    i can fully understand “why”
    its because its a sweet hack!

    and you can have your “more supported” software (read: computer games and trojans ), i on the other hand will take my lack of games, go down to my local coffee shop and pull chicks,

    have a nice day,

  4. arkizzle says:

    “hackamonth”

    Or indeed, slack-a-day

  5. benji says:

    if i wanted to pull chicks, i wouldn’t count on carrying my laptop with me. with the dell mini 9 being so affordable, i can see this being a popular guide.

  6. h_2_o says:

    what i’m curous about is this any different than the msi wind install described in an earlier hack

    http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2008/10/13519/

  7. paul says:

    I’ve had Leo 10.5.4 on my Dell Mini 9 since December. The only one problem I have is that the hibernation doesn’t work. Well at least not with the SSD that came with it. I knew about that before I bought it.
    I have to say it’s a really nice machine, fast and works well with vmware “windows in unity” if needed. If you plug the LCD into the video out before booting it will support the higher resolutions.
    I also have used it with a 17″ screen. Which I have modified with a 5-wire touch screen kit found on ebay.
    So what I am saying is that you can use it as a desktop machine and then take it with you on the road.

  8. octelcogopod says:

    the summary is a little misleading
    according to the article, you need at least a 16gb SSD to install OS X comfortably
    i just calculated out on dell’s site that it would cost ~$400 not 200 like the summary states

  9. abbie says:

    I have a mac. I love the workflow, and GUI design. I got used to mac… so it is in my interest to have a mac laptop too, no?
    and if I cant afford one, then I get a mini with Mac OS X on it, no? :D

    Cant wait to see someone using an aspire one with OS X on it.

  10. ehrichweiss says:

    octelcogopod: the summary actually said earlier this week but that particular sale is over. it won’t be long until they have another though and be sure to check dell’s outlet site, it has much better deals than you’ll find on the main site.

  11. andrew says:

    eliot writes so professionally, after reading just “installing osx on commodity” i knew it was him. “commodity” is too big a word for the other writers on here.

  12. decius says:

    Its a cool hack, I mean ever see the price’s of a mac Book.

    Bost of both worlds.

  13. larry says:

    Some of us like to drop to a bash shell now and then. I can get so much stuff done with perl, sed and awk.

  14. octelcogopod says:

    @ehrichweiss:
    ah, i didn’t realize there was a sale on these things. thanks for clearing that up!

    @larry:
    that’s why i love OS X
    it’s pretty, usable, user friendly, but you got the underlying BSD stuff and things like macports

  15. dustin says:

    @abbie or anyone else for that matter…
    i have an acer aspire one… if you hear about this hack on one let me know!! :)

  16. hpux735 says:

    I’ve had OS X on my Mini 9 for almost 2 weeks. I LOVE it. The default install of Ubuntu sucks. The wireless configuration panel is taller than the screen so you can’t click the OK button!

    Anyway, everything works perfectly. It’s fast and convenient.

  17. jeffers says:

    Already been done on the aspire one too…

    http://www.aspireoneuser.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7679

    Great little “hackbook” ;)

  18. iedei says:

    i’m laughing at gordunk….sorry mate, but OSX makes WinXP look like an OS from the stone ages….there is simply NO COMPARISON between the glory of OSX vs. any versions of Windows…..once you use it, you’ll know.

  19. scabby says:

    @iedei – preference, not fact. i use both, and others. they’re all better for some things than the “other” OSes, so stuff the snarky coffee-shop crap. the only thing fanboy attitudes serve is raising the ire of rational, intelligent people.

    on topic, anyone know whether this hack will allow you to use the iphone sdks without issue? a buddy of mine (rather poor) would like to know!

  20. octelcogopod says:

    @scabby:
    Can’t you just get VMWare, put OS X on it and develop on the VM?

  21. scabby says:

    @octelcogopod: actually, i dunno. all i know is that he was b!^$hing about his hackintosh and how it wouldn’t let him make iphone apps that could actually be submitted as official (non jail-broken) apps.

    i’m honestly not sure what the rules are behind it. i’ve actually never used a mac to do any coding, and i wouldn’t be caught dead w/ an iphone, so not sure. was just hoping that someone here would be in the know, and i could help a brotha’ out.

    i’ll ask him about that idea though.

  22. Justin says:

    Just you wait. Apple will release a netbook in the near future it’s inevitable. Netbooks have become very popular and apple are always on the heels of anything popular.

    I personally would love to see a netbook as thin as a macbook air, just as small as a regular netbook and with great battery life. I’d buy one in a second!

  23. dustin says:

    @jeffers

    thanks

  24. lazylizard says:

    why ‘at least its not piracy’? piracy = break law. break eula = break law. whats more heinous? simply disagreeing? or saying you agree, then breaking that agreement?

  25. Paul says:

    apple might make a netbook in the near future, but you wont find one for $200, and probably not $300 or even $400. So this little Dell really fits if you are cheap. I have been tempted to buy one just to play around with at that price.

  26. Rob Clifton says:

    Why the hell would you break that laptop?

  27. GarethTech says:

    This sounds like a great idea, only problem is I don’t own a computer which I don’t mind breaking.

    garethtech.com

  28. John Who says:

    OSX on a Mini9 is quite a good solution to get a so small machine able to perform moving business and pleasure functions…
    Logic Pro allows around 30 instances of platinum verb… not bad isn’t it ?

    And indeed, all this is a message to Apple…
    Give us a microBook, with a 10/11″ 720p screen, an HDMI out, a DVB-T/H tuner, a low frequency (1,4G?) dualcore (not Atom), 2G of Ram, and 128G of flash.. well.. in fact, a turbocharged Dell Mini 10 ;-)

  29. 00cho says:

    lazylizard
    Breaking an eula is not the same thing as breaking the law. If you break the law, you can be arrested. If you break an eula, the other party can sue you. These are two very different outcomes.

  30. emdc says:

    I’ve been running OS X on my Dell mini 9 since the 1st of December. I started out with the MSIWindozx86 install (10.5.4) but too many things didn’t work. Finally got around to doing a proper Type11 install from my retail DVD, upgraded it to 10.5.6, & have been happy with it ever since! Software Update works & so far hasn’t broken anything & the computer sleeps when you close the lid & behaves after it wakes up. Mine has a 32 GB Runcore SSD, 2 GB RAM, & a 16 GB SD card for extra storage space.

  31. Pro says:

    i swear i can do it

  32. peter says:

    I have a friend in Japan (in on Maui) who took 3 hours and turned his Dell mini into a Mac OS Machine. We even used iChat for video conferencing and it worked! The image was clearly not up to spec as was using a full fledged Apple computer, but it worked really well despite a little fuzziness around the edges.

  33. Conrad says:

    I made the switch to OS X last year on Apple hardware. It is so addictive, I can never see myself going back to Windows. I do tech support work and have to support windows. Everything time I have to reboot to install something, it is like a poke in the eye. Only rarely do I have to reboot OS X on a software update or change. Most often I simply shut down the one application and then reopen it. Fast Painless, Fun. Windows, is Painful, Slow, and Boring.

  34. mbbrock says:

    I too installed OSX on my Mini 9 five months ago – here’s my review – http://www.mobilebroadbandrocks.com/dell-mini-9-with-osx-5-month-road-test/

  35. hwood says:

    I can’t believe how well the Dell Mini9 runs OS X and how easy it is to install. I’ll be purchasing at least 4 more for the family.

  36. sybbian says:

    I bought one of these for my father and put mac on it and he loves it!

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