A hackintosh is a PC (a non-Mac) which runs Mac OS X as its operating system. A hackintosh has usually been difficult to set up and get fully working without doing heavy research and tweaking post-install. With Kakewalk it’s (almost) as easy as installing Windows 7. Kakewalk is a little utility which makes a bootable USB thumb drive with Lion. There are of course some prerequisites:
You already have a Mac or hackintosh, or a friend with a Mac or hackintosh.
You need to buy Lion form the Mac App Store. If you don’t have access to the Mac App Store, visit a friend and log in with your Apple ID. Make one if you don’t have one. Keep the downloaded installer in a safe place.
You need the right hardware. This is the most important step, as the wrong hardware will make it difficult or even impossible to install Lion. The holy grail in a hackintosh is its motherboard. And the preferred manufacturer due to compatibility is Gigabyte. It shouldn’t be necessary to say that Mac is Intel only, so as of writing the best choices are the Sandy Bridge Core series (i3, i5, i7 on socket 1155). As graphic cards go, you can’t choose whichever you want. The safest choice is to use the same type as in the official Macs. See Kakewalk’s compatibility page and TonyMac’s CustoMacs to get an idea. The rest of the hardware can usually be based on personal preference.
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 Z68 S-1155 M-ATX (BIOS: F11)
CPU: INTEL CORE I5 2500K 3.30GHZ 6MB S-1155
RAM: KINGSTON DDR3 HYPERX 8GB 1600MHZ CL9 (2X4GB) (Only 4GB during setup)
GFX: XFX RADEON HD6870 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E DVI/HDMI/DP (HD-687A-ZHFC)
CASE: FRACTAL DESIGN DEFINE MINI MINITOWER M-ATX BLACK
PSU: CORSAIR TX 650W V2
HDD: One I had lying around (60GB from a PS3), I use a Kingston HyperX SSD 120GB as my main boot drive for Windows 7 and another 500GB HDD for storage + NAS.
I bought this hardware earlier this autumn, with a plan to install Lion sometime before Christmas. I also have a four year old white MacBook, and as soon as 10.7.2 came out, I bought it on the Mac App Store. I used Lion Disk Maker to make a bootable USB thumb drive (8GB) and used it to do a clean install. Then I waited for Kakewalk to get updated for 10.7.2!
I used the same USB thumb drive to make a bootable Lion installer with Kakewalk 4.1.1. And it really was a kakewalk! Installing Lion on my hackintosh was just a little more challenging than on my MacBook. After some 30 minutes Lion was up and running. But I had no ethernet or sound. Since my mobo is practically the same as GA-Z68MX-UD3H-B3, I used the tips in this thread over at the Kakewalk forum to get them working.
Haven’t had time to test sleep yet, but the system is responsive and fast.
Will post updates if I get any issues.
Update November 2011: Just a couple of days after I installed Lion with the help of Kakewalk, TonyMac released UniBeast. UniBeast also makes you an USB thumb drive for installing Lion.
Update December 2011: I finally got sleep to work without issues! I first deleted the Extra folder from root. Then I downloaded MultiBeast 4.2.1 and my mobo’sDSDT.aml file (be sure to rename it to exactly that!) to my desktop. Running MultiBeast, I chose “UserDSDT Install” and “System Utilities”. You can chose extra kexts (drivers) if you want to. I then restarted, put the system to sleep, woke it up with the keyboard (the power button also work), and restarted again and entered BIOS. It was not reset! Upon waking up, my system uses 5-10 seconds before USB and ethernet becomes active.
Here’s the description from MultiBeast on what it does:
UserDSDT is a solution for those who have a pre-edited DSDT on the desktop with an .aml extension. Installs your DSDT as DSDT.aml, 64-Bit org.chameleon.Boot.plist with GraphicsEnabler=Yes, Apple Boot Screen, UseKernelCache=Yes, GenerateCStates=Yes, GeneratePStates=Yes and npci=0x2000 and darkwake=0 kernel flags, MacPro3,1 smbios.plist and tonymacx86 Remixed theme in /Extra. Installs FakeSMC.kext in /System/Library/Extensions. Installs Chimera v1.7.0 r1394 so the system will be bootable from the hard drive and ready for sleep with all hardware recognized in System Profiler. Backs up /System/Library/Extensions/AppleRTC.kext to ~/Desktop/AppleRTC-Backup and then patches the original to prevent CMOS. Does not include any Network or Sound drivers or Graphics support beyond GraphicsEnabler.