Cute Little IMac Clone Runs MacOS On A Tiny Screen

A miniature iMac clone running MacOS Monterey

Building a Hackintosh – a non-Apple computer running MacOS – has been a favorite pastime of hackers ever since Apple made the switch from PowerPC to Intel hardware. Though usually built from commodity PC parts, some have successfully installed Apple’s OS onto various kinds of Intel-based single-board computers. [iketsj] used such a board to build a cute little Hackintosh, and apparently decided that if he was going to imitate Apple’s hardware, he might as well take some clues from their industrial design. The result can be seen in the video (embedded below) where [Ike] demonstrates a tiny iMac-like device with a 5″ LCD screen.

The brains of this cute little all-in-one are a Lattepanda, which is a compact board containing an Intel CPU, a few GB of RAM and lots of I/O interfaces. [Ike] completed it with a 256 GB SSD, a WiFi/Bluetooth adapter and the aforementioned LCD, which displays 800×480 pixels and receives its image through the mainboard’s HDMI interface.

The case is a 3D-printed design that vaguely resembles a miniaturized iMac all-in-one computer. The back contains openings for a couple of USB connectors, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and even an Ethernet port for serious networking. A pair of speakers is neatly tucked away below the display, enabling stereo sound even without headphones.

The computer boots up MacOS Monterey just like a real iMac would, just with a much smaller display. [Ike] is the first to admit that it’s not the most practical thing in the world, but that he would go out and use it in a coffee shop “just for the lulz”. And we agree that’s a great reason to take your hacks outside.

[Ike] built a portable Hackintosh before, and we’ve seen some pretty impressive MacOS builds, like this Mini iMac G4, a beautiful Mac Pro replica in a trash can, and even a hackintosh built inside an actual Mac Pro case.


6 thoughts on “Cute Little IMac Clone Runs MacOS On A Tiny Screen

  1. It’s a nice case mod for an astonishingly-small intel motherboard. The more impressive aspect of this project is getting MacOS Monterrey (newest MacOS version) booted on such a non-standard hackintosh motherboard. Historically, hackintoshes have been limited to a narrow swath of Gigabyte motherboards mainly. My experience with this was the effort was greater than the cost of used, capable ~5-year old Apple hardware.

    1. A lot of Supermicro motherboard worked well and also a lot of Dell laptops. I still have an old latitude that has OSX on it. Its not really worth it anymore, you just lose so many features. Heck, I was putting latest OSes om my 2009 mac pro towers but it was just a pain. Finally bought one of the new M1 Minis last year and it just blows the mac pros away in speed, even with dual 6 core xeons.

  2. The Hackintosh goes back to the Amiga and Atari ST era where some enterprising hackers took the 68K ROMS from the Macintosh and wrote some interface software and viola your ST became a Macintosh. Didn’t last long, after all this is Apple who hates anyone doing stuff like this.

    1. Zerg-

      Respectfully, I must point out the Hackintosh scene has been going strong for like the past 10 years without any overt effort by Apple to suppress it. The kibosh is coming with the security hardware of the m1 generation, but until the Intel hardware is EOL, it will likely continue to work out for those with the time to invest.

    2. This came up before, but when I checked, I couldn’t find the first instance of the word “hackintosh”.

      There was an article in Radio Electronics about using a Mac board, but it didn’t use the board. Somewhat later there was a book, and I’m sure it had “hackintosh” in the title.

      But definitely, it was a thing before it became “easy” when Apple moved from PowerPC to Intel CPUs.

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