This is the FAQ to help you get started with getting your iATKOS up and running. It will also guide you in what you should/could ask for in the iATKOS Project and in the Discord server.


That's a broad question, and the reasons vary from a user to another. Some hate what Apple has become (soldermachine and courageports) in terms of performance/$ and the lack of upgradability, and the worst is Apple doesn't care about it, that's their plan for the future (apparently) and which can be very limiting especially for powerusers, who want a good hardware that they have control over, good software that runs their favorite applications and software, but that's the complete opposite of what Apple offers.

In comes the OSx86 project that started as "Yes I can do that with Apple's software" to "Yep! That's how I want my machine to be". This enabled a lot of people to get macOS on their existing x86 machines (your regular laptop or desktop) and from that came a lot of developers that made the transition and tools to simplify and make macOS usable on those machines. "iATKOS" as a term came after the community started growing and, as you guessed it, is a mix between "Hack" and "Macintosh".

The objective of this project is to install user's favorite (although arguably less advanced) operating system on their devices. The end reason differs from one another but the route is usually the same. If you're concerned about the legality of things, here is a TLDR: "You're in the gray area."

Is iATKOS for me?

Good question! First of all, getting here means that you're interested in the idea, but will you do it? To check if you're able to do that you need to have a minimum required knowledge of many things related to computers, OSes and common tech sense, and here are some indications:

  • Do I have Internet?
    • If you answer No, you can stop right now.
    • Also, how are you here?
  • Can I use Google/DuckDuckGo/Bing?
    • If you answer No, you can stop right now, you internet surfing skills are severely lacking. (If you're using Yahoo! you can stop too. JK.) This is the main cause of the Low Effort Post plague lately, make sure you can "surf the net" properly before starting.
  • Do I know my computer from top to bottom? Know your computer from inside out:
    • CPU:
      • What brand? (AMD/Intel/VIA...)
      • What model? (Xeon-i7-i5-A3-R5...)
      • What generation? (i7-7700K ==> 7th Gen * Ryzen 7 2700X ==> 2nd Gen Ryzen...)
      • What features? (SSE4, SSE3, AVX...) [this usually concerns old hacks and some AMD ones]
    • RAM:
      • How much RAM? (2-4-8-12GB...)
      • What frequency? (1600MHz * 1333MHz * 3000MHz...) [not needed but you better know that]
      • What speeds and timing? RAM Speed and Timings As Fast As Possible * TechQuicky
      • How many RAM slots does my motherboard have and how many are used and with what amount? (4 RAM Slots, using A1 and A2 with 8GB 2400MHz Sticks...) [You may only need the slot number and where they are, laptops are exempt from this in most cases.]
    • Motherboard:
      • What motherboard do I have?
        • For desktops: open the case, look for it
        • For laptops: just the model of your laptop is enough
      • What chipset do I have?
        • For desktops: check your motherboard model name: MSI Z370-A Pro ==> Z370 Chipset, ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING ==> Z370 Chipset, ASUS TUF B450M-PLUS GAMING ==> AMD B450 Chipset... And so on, you get the idea, point 2 is still relevant
        • For laptops: most laptops usually use the same chipset (per CPU model, H series laptops use H series chipset and so on) since it's a mobile device. The CPU model is the one needed.
      • What ports do I have on that?
        • Video Out: HDMI/DP/DVI/VGA...
        • Audio: In/Out/Surround/...
        • USB Ports:
          • USB2.0 ports
          • USB3.0 ports
          • USB3.1 ports (Gen1 and Gen2)
          • USB Type-C ports
          • Note that these aren't guaranteed to be USB3.0/3.1Gen1/3.1Gen2 ports but may also be anything else (DP out only, TB3...)
          • Type-C is a Standardized Port that can use different protocols (Display out, Thunderbolt, Serial Data, Audio...) depending on the manufacturer. Check your device's manual(s), data-sheet and references.
          • Headers in the motherboard (for desktops mainly)
        • Ethernet Port
          • You also need to know the manufacturer(s, in case of Dual Ethernet)
      • What interfaces/ports does it support? (internally)
        • M.2 support
          • Slot Types (A/E for Wifi or B/M for storage and PCIe)
          • Note for B/M: does it support SATA only or SATA and NVMe? And the PCIe lanes given for that NVMe slot (if possible and needed)
        • PCIe Slots (and their speeds, gen, lanes...) -- Mostly (and probably only) for desktops
        • SATA Ports (if any)
      • What type of firmware does my motherboard/laptop support?
        • UEFI
          • Newer type of firmware. Has a lot benefits in speed, security, ease of use and so on...
        • BIOS
          • Older type of firmware. Used ever since the first PC, got optimized and a lot more stable but it started showing its age with the latest technologies.
    • Storage: What type of storage I'm using?
      • SSD:
        • is it NVMe or SATA? Look inside of Windows Device Manger or do a disk speed test: Got >600MB/s, it's NVMe, got =<600MB/s, it's SATA (usually)
        • is it eMMC? Not going to work.
      • Hard Drive: SATA or PATA (if you have like 2 decades old hardware lol)
    • Graphics and display:
      • What is a GPU? [Google that]
      • Do I have one? [Can you see something on your screen? You probably have one]
      • How many GPUs do I have?
        • Desktop: You know how many you have, just check your case
          • Also Desktop: Even if you have 1 GPU plugged in (AMD/NVIDIA) you may also have 2 GPUs:
          • iGPU or integrated/internal GPU: which is mostly refers to the integrated (or internal) GPU of the CPU - Check if your motherboard, CPU and firmware supports enabling it (or even exists).
          • dGPU or dedicated GPU: that's the AMD/NVIDIA (and upcoming Intel) PCIe attached GPU
        • Laptops: Check Device Manager > Graphics Adapter
          • only Intel GPU: you will mostly get macOS working with it
          • Intel + AMD/Nvidia: you will only get the Intel card working (even if there is an option in the firmware to disable the iGPU)
          • AMD/Nvidia only: your chances may vary and it may or may not work, these are very rare cases (usually comes with laptop with G-Sync or FreeSync displays)
      • How many do I have? [if you passed the first grade, I guess you can get that right, hopefully]
      • What my screen(s)'s native resolution? [Check the model of the display, manual, references and so on, same with laptops]
    • Audio:
      • Do I have an internal audio chipset? [Check if you motherboard have audio out/in ports]
      • What is a codec? Wikipedia: Audio Codec
      • What codec do I have?
        • This is tricky, Windows usually doesn't disclose it openly and easily, so check hardware listing software (like Aida64 and such). On Linux however, it's (arguably) much easier to get this information shown here (may be outdated, but if you're already using linux you already know how things roll).
      • What output should I use?
        • Depending on your options: 3.5mm Jack, USB, DP/HDMI...
    • WiFi/Bluetooth:
      • Does my motherboard/laptop have WiFi support?
      • Laptop: You better know on your own
        • Check if it's replaceable (new laptops can have it soldered, most dont, yet)
        • Check if your laptop have whitelisting. HPs from 4th Gen Intel and later are free from it, Dell, Sony, Samsung, ASUS, MSI, …, are free from it, Lenovo are the ass of this shit.
          • Check if it's M.2 port or a mPCIe one, M.2 has two types as shown (I added macOS card support too).
          • You most probably have an intel or realtek card, and rarely BCM ones (as of lately).
      • Desktops: if you can connect to WiFi, without a USB WiFi or a PCIe to WiFi adapter, you probably have it in your motherboard
        • Check if it's M.2 port or a mPCIe one, M.2 has two types as shown here (I added macOS card support too).
        • If your motherboard doesn't have a dedicated wifi slot, you will have to get an external PCIe one (later on this FAQ).
  • "Hold UP! That's 2much4me!", if you say that I have to answer to you:
    • Stop being lazy and get going with it
    • You mainly need to know these:
      • Your CPU name, generation
      • Your RAM size (and slots used if needed)
      • Your GPUs (All of them, Intel, AMD, Nvidia. Laptop users, you may have 2 GPUs, only the intel one will work, no questions asked)
      • Your Storage Devices (HDD/SSD, SATA/M.2, NVME/AHCI/RAID/IDE configuration. Note: Only NVME and AHCI/M.2 or AHCI/SATA will work. Other configurations may be harder to get by. RST users need to disable it, it can be named Intel Rapid Storage, RST or RAID)
      • Your screen resolution (for laptops essentially)
      • Your Audio codec
      • Your Motherboard Model OR your Laptop Model
      • Your motherboard's/laptop's UEFI support
      • Your LAN or Ethernet chipset
      • Your WLAN/BT chipset (if provided)
  • Have I installed/used linux/unix before?
    • YES:
      • if it's ubuntu/fedora/mint...: you're probably ok, as long as you did try to dig deep in it
        • "but it was 2hard4me": you probably should stop here or go back to linux and know more about it, you'll need it
      • if it's arch/debian/gentoo (something from scratch): you're mostly well formed to continue... I hope.
      • But I have a Mac: yeah, but that doesn't help here too much.
    • NO:
      • you're here for a lot of trouble, go get some basic knowledge on unix and unix-like (linux) especially the command line and how you do things

With this you can probably get your head around the basic knowledge you need to have.

TLDR: Know your hardware to the core, know how to use unix/linux, know that you're in here for a deep rabbit hole, and that we don't like giving help like candy, make yourself deserve that help (basically show us that you did try and looked for information).

But also the most important things you must have:

  • A brain with enough brain cells (usually 1 is enough, don't kill it)
  • An attitude of someone wanting to put effort and work their shit out
  • Patience and respect

Also BIG NOTE: Laptops are harder and require more time and effort than desktops.

OK! I fulfill some points, what now?

Now that you've checked if iATKOS is for you or not (and by reading this, you've set your mind on starting this project), you need to know if your hardware is compatible or not.

For those who would prefer a "What not to buy" guide, you can check out the Anti-iATKOS Buyers Guide but for the rest you can continue reading for more in-depth hardware compatibility

CPU Compatibility

Intel Family

  • Laptops:
    • Core Duo/Solo (Yonah with GMA950): from 10.4.6 to 10.6.8 [NOT IDEAL]
    • Core2: [NOT IDEAL]
      • Merom (with GMA950/X3100 iGPU): from 10.4.8 to 10.7.5
      • Penryn (with X3100): from 10.5.2 to 10.7.5 (due to 32bit GPU drivers)
      • Penryn (without X3100): from 10.5.5 to 10.11.x(CPUs supporting SSE4 can run 10.13 natively)
    • Core i (and some mobile Xeon):
      • Arrandale: from 10.6.3 to 10.13.x [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • SandyBridge: from 10.6.6 to 10.13.x [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • IvyBridge: from 10.7.3 to Current
      • Haswell: from 10.9 to Current
      • Broadwell: from 10.10.2 to Current
      • Skylake: from 10.11 to Current
      • KabyLake: from 10.12.5 to Current
      • KabyLake-R: from 10.13.6 to Current (for better support, it's the same as KabyLake)
      • Amber Lake (Y-series): 10.14.1 to Current (rare)
      • CoffeeLake: from 10.13.6 (17G2112) to Current (for better support 10.14+ is recommended)
      • Whiskey Lake, Cannon Lake, CoffeeLake and KabyLake-Refresh are all KabyLake based, they're basically all the same.
    • CometLake: from 10.15.4 to Current
    • IceLake: from 10.15.4 to Current
    • Pentiums: NO
    • Celerons: NO
    • Atoms: Yes, but actually no. You'll be stuck in SnowLeopard, needs a custom kernel, runs slow, no GPU acceleration, why do you like pain?
  • Desktops:
    • P4: possible, don't ask me, you like pain
    • CoreDuo/Solo (Yonah with GMA950): from 10.4.6 to 10.6.8 [NOT IDEAL]
    • Core2:
      • Merom: from 10.4.8 to 10.7.5 [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • Penryn: from 10.5.2 to 10.11.x [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • Wolfdale: from 10.6.1 to 10.13.x [NOT IDEAL anymore]
    • Core i:
      • Lynnfield: from 10.6.2 to 10.13.x [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • Clarkdale: from 10.6.3 to 10.13.x [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • SandyBridge: from 10.6.6 to 10.13.x [NOT IDEAL anymore. *Can be used in 10.14.x with a dGPU]
      • IvyBridge: from 10.7.3 to Current (10.14.4 aow)
      • Haswell: from 10.9 to Current
      • Broadwell: from 10.10.2 to Current [If you ever find one]
      • Skylake: from 10.11 to Current
      • KabyLake: from 10.12.5 to Current
      • CoffeeLake: from 10.13.6 to Current
    • CometLake: from 10.15.4 to Current
      • 8th gen and 9th gen are the same
        • Extreme platforms and chips: are compatible (depending on the time of their release, the OS version support varies.)
    • HEDT:
      • Ivy Bridge-E: from 10.9.1 to Current [depending on the dGPU, not natively supported so expect pain when setting up. FakeID needed]
      • Broadwell-E: from 10.10.2 to Current [depending on the dGPU, not natively supported so expect pain when setting up. FakeID needed]
      • Skylake-X: from 10.13.3 to Current [depending on the dGPU]
    • Xeon:
      • Woodcrest: from 10.4.7 to 10.7.5 [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • Clovertown: from 10.4.9 to 10.7.5 [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • Harpertown: from 10.5.1 to 10.11.x [NOT IDEAL anymore]
      • Nehalem: from 10.5.6 to Current [depending on the dGPU]
      • Westmere: from 10.6.4 to Current [depending on the dGPU]
      • Ivy BridgeEP: from 10.9.1 to Current [depending on the dGPU]
      • Skylake-W: from 10.13.3 to Current [depending on the dGPU]
      • Cascade Lake-SP/W: 10.15.0 to Current[depending on the dGPU]
    • Pentium: CPU-only, follows Core i tree, need to apply fakeCPUID(iGPU will not work)
    • Celeron: CPU-only, follows Core i tree, need to apply fakeCPUID(iGPU will not work)

This data is taken from real Macs, your compatibility may vary. Test and try.

AMD Family

While it may be more work, the AMD iATKOS scene has gotten quite a bit easier. Do note that distros are unsupported so please follow Vanilla guides like the Vanilla AMD Guide and those found in the AMD guides section:

  • What works
    • AMD Ryzen(17H) and FX CPUs(15H/16H, Bulldozer and Jaguar)
    • Native USB
    • Native Audio
    • The latest version of macOS Catalina(when running OpenCore)
    • iCloud
    • iMessage, FaceTime, Siri
  • So much works, that it is easier to say what doesn't so here we go:

    • Internal Graphics. Be it an AMD Ax CPU or one of the G Ryzen chips, the GPU will not work.
    • Lower GPU performance than Windows for Nvidia, AMD GPUs exhibit similar if not better performance than windows.
    • Unfixable audio issues on G series APUs, must use external DAC
    • IOMMU
    • AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen(19H) is not currently supported
    • Mic support is limited to VoodooHDA on Ryzen, no mic support for 15/16H CPUs
    • Adobe Products don't always work and there is no fix for lightroom at the moment
      • some fixes can be found here: Adobe Fixes
      • Do note these fixes just disable functionality, they're not real fixes
    • Virtual Machine running off of AppleHV's framework will not work(ie: Parallels 15, Vmware)
      • VirtualBox works fine as its doesn't use AppleHV
    • Docker broken
      • Docker toolbox is the only solution as its VirtualBox based, many features are unavailable with this
    • Xcode AppleWatch simulator is broken in Catalina
      • Mojave works fine

If you're here with an AMD CPU, you're going to need to put forth double the effort!

GPUs Compatibility

u/dracoflar has made a pretty good thread for GPU recommendations, check it here: GPU Buyers Guide. While it's made for Catalina the information is applicable to both High Sierra and Mojave, the rest of this FAQ section is still relevant (with more sources).

BIG. FAT. NOTE: VGA and analog DVI on HD4000 and later, Nvidia or AMD GPUs IS NOT SUPPORTED. Use HDMI, DVI-D or DP/mDP.

Intel GPUs

Laugh all you want, the most compatible GPU of them all are intel GPUs!

So here is a list of the intel GPUs (only on Core CPU models):

  • Intel GMA950: up to 10.7.5
  • Intel X3100: up to 10.7.5
  • Intel HD Graphics 1st generation (Arrandale): up to 10.13.x [NOT RECOMMENDED]
  • Intel HD Graphics 2000: NOT SUPPORTED
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000: up to 10.13.x
  • Intel HD Graphics 2500 (IvyBridge): NOT SUPPORTED (only used for QuickSync)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000: up to Current
  • Intel HD Graphics 4200-4400-4600-5000-5100-5200 (and Iris): up to Current
  • Intel HD Graphics 5300-5500-5600-6000 (and Iris/Pro): up to Current
  • Intel HD Graphics HD510 to 550: up to Current
  • Intel HD Graphics P530 (and probably the P555 and P580): up to Current
  • Intel HD Graphics HD610 (GT1-tier): NOT SUPPORTED
  • Intel HD Graphics HD615 to HD650: up to Current
  • Intel HD Graphics UHD620 to 655: up to Current
  • Intel Iris Graphics IceLake: 10.15.4 to Current(Note that only Iris models like the G4 and G7 are supported, GT1 are not supported)
  • ANY Intel HD Graphics in Atom/Celeron/Pentium: NOT SUPPORTED

Nvidia GPUs

  • Tesla series: 8XXX and newer support High Sierra while 7XXX and older are not guaranteed past El Capitan
  • Fermi series: Up to High Sierra though many experience graphical issues so are limited to Sierra
  • Kepler: 10.8.3 to Current
  • Maxwell: 10.10.0 to 10.13.6 (Needs WebDrivers)
  • Pascal: 10.12.4 to 10.13.6 (Needs WebDrivers)
  • Turing: Unsupported

TLDR: try to get an AMD card or use the intel GPU since the Nvidia is probably dying (Apple VS Nvidia hate is still ongoing).


  • Navi 10: 10.15.1 to Current
  • Vega 20: 10.14.5 to Current
  • Vega 10: 10.13.3 to Current
  • Polaris: 10.12.6 to Current
  • Radeon R7/R9: 10.8.3 to Current

There are more supported cards but AMD's fragmented product stack makes it hard to organize. GPU Buyers Guide has a full list

Motherboard Compatibility

Usually all motherboards are "compatible," as long as their chipset is Intel based (or AMD based in case of AMD). However there are some exceptions (if you're going to run macOS on a legacy system):

  • VIA Motherboards (with VIA chipset, really old stuff)
  • nForce Motherboards (with Nvidia nForce chipset): Mostly works but that's really old hardware

Also, one of the most important aspects of a properly supported motherboard is UEFI compatibility. This does not mean that older (Legacy) motherboards are unsupported, far from that, UEFI Motherboards will ease your life and most of them usually support newer hardware and probably a lot more compatible than older ones. Same with laptops.

Some motherboards with issues on macOS:

  • 300 series Intel motherboards(excluding Z370):
  • MSI boards commonly having "Couldn't allocate runtime area"
  • AsRock running non-native USB controllers

See Anti-iATKOS Buyers Guide for more info.

Audio Compatibility

Most Audio codecs are supported. You can check AppleALC's incomplete list of supported codecs. Most desktops will find their codec there (or use the GPU Audio). For laptops a lot of the known codecs are there, if not found, don't fret, there are guides to patch AppleHDA (macOS's native audio driver) for your specific codec like this guide on OSXLatitude and then if your patch works you can submit it to AppleALC.

Note: Mic support on Ryzen is limited to VoodooHDA which has noticeably worse sound quality and 15/16H AMD CPUs have no Mic support at all

Ethernet Compatibility

Most of Ethernet cards are supported:

  • Intel Ethernet
  • Realtek Ethernet
  • Broadcom Ethernet (some may have issues with these)
  • Atheros/Killer Ethernet

But muh 10Gbps

Some 10Gbps cards work OOB (Aquantia AQC107) but you better do your research.

Unsupported NICs:

  • Realtek L8200A(Only found in Asus boards)

See Anti-iATKOS Buyers Guide for more info.

WiFi Compatibility

Needing a deeper dive into supported cards? Check out the Wireless Buyers Guide for supported cards.

If you have an Intel, Realtek, Ralink, Mediatek, or anything else, it's not supported but these cards:

  • Up to Catalina:

    • PCIe/x1: BCM94360CD - native WiFi/ac and BT4LE (3 antennas) [Native, Mac card]
    • PCIe/x1: BCM94331CD - native WiFi and BT4LE [Native, lost support in 10.15 when running 3rd party cards]
    • M.2: BCM943602BAED/DW1830 - native WiFi/ac and BT4LE (3 antennas) [Native]
      • may have issues with some laptops
    • 6 + 12: BCM94360CS2 - native WiFi/ac and BT4LE [Native, Mac card]
    • 6 + 12: BCM943602CS - native WiFi/ac and BT4LE [Native, Mac card]
    • M.2: BCM94352Z/AzureWave AW-CE162NF/DW1560 - supports WiFi/ac and BT4LE (for A/E slot)
    • M.2: BCM94352Z/Lenovo Part: 04X6020 - supports WiFi/ac and BT4LE (for E slot only)
    • M.2: BCM94350ZAE/DW1820A - native WiFi/ac and BT4LE [Native]
      • Has LOTS issues with laptops (like mine, I love pain), works mostly ok with desktops
    • Half mini: BCM94360HMB/AzureWave AW-CB160H - native WiFi/ac and BT4LE (3 antennas) [Native]
    • Half mini: BCM94352 HMB/AzureWave AW-CE123H/DW1550 - supports WiFi/ac and BT4LE
  • Up to High Sierra:

    • BCM943224 HMB supports Airport and BT3 (may probably work on Mojave too with some hacks, maybe...)
    • AR9285 (as in AR5B195/95) 2.4 GHz, abgn, 1 stream, 54/75 Mbps (works on mojave with a little hack, NOT RECOMMENDED ANYMORE)
    • AR9287 (as in AR5B197/97) 2.4 GHz, abgn, 2 stream, 108/150 Mbps (works on mojave with a little hack, NOT RECOMMENDED ANYMORE)
    • AR9280 - 2.4/5 GHz, abgn, 2 Stream, 300 Mbps [Native] (works on mojave with a little hack, NOT RECOMMENDED ANYMORE)
    • AR9380 - 2.4/5 GHz, abgn, 3 Stream, 450 Mbps [Native] (works on mojave with a little hack, NOT RECOMMENDED ANYMORE)

    Sauce: toleda Github Guide

Note: The price of the DW1560 are getting higher, the best alternative now is to take either of BCM9430602CS/CS2 cards (6 + 12) and use them with a 12 + 6 to A/E adapter that you can buy separately, the downside is the you need vertical space, some laptops may not have that, you can then use 12 + 6 to M/B adapter to use with one of the M.2 2280 SSD slots but you'll lose the BT4LE support. Make sure you check your laptop internals and specs and supported hardware.

Hurr Durr Muh USB WiFi

Listen here boi! Your card may or may not work, because:

  1. The card depends on your OEM/manufacturer's drivers (if they even provide it)
  2. The drivers usually come with a hideous app, that is 32-bit and will not work 10.15 until the OEM updates it (which is rare)
  3. Some cards get discontinued from the get-go and you have to look for an alternative driver which is a pain
  4. Suffers from connection drops
  5. May break sleep
  6. May break USB (some ports may just stop working)
  7. May cause system instability (random kernel panics)
  8. You will not get Apple-centric features like AirDrop, Handoff...

But you do you, you have been warned.

Seems like you got your compatible hardware all listed, now you want to start dig into this pool of mess and headache. Well, we go you covered!


Although I put most of the compatible hardware there (from old to current Gen), the guides will mostly focus on the some recent (and very compatible and supported) hardware.

Before you get your hands dirty, know what is what

A lot of people just jump right in when it comes to iATKOS, which is a pain, because:

  1. they dont know what they're up to
  2. they dont know what <inset term here> means
  3. they probably messed up the whole thing because they misread something

In this part, I'll try to enumerate all the technical words and what they mean.

  • macOS: Apple's own OS used for Mac machines and "What makes a Mac a Mac".
  • Windows: Microsoft's proprietary OS that is used and supported on a wide range of devices (stay with this OS if you don't want headaches)
  • Linux: is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution. (sauce: trusty Wikipedia)
  • Distros: another name for Distributions, although it's not something that is bad, Linux distros are how linux is distributed, however when it comes to macOS, it's a mixed macOS installer with a bunch of tools that are not from Apple, do not use macOS Distros
  • iATKOS: the process of installing macOS onto a PC, note that iATKOS IS NOT the OS, it is also refered to the machine that was "hacked" to get macOS running on it. EG: I installed macOS on this Windows machine, therfore I made a iATKOS. But I did NOT install "iATKOS".
  • Bootloader: a piece of software that loads an OS, usually made by the OS creators. Clover IS NOT a bootloader per se (explanation down bellow).
  • Boot Manager: a piece of software that manages bootloaders, and we have many of those: Clover, Systemd-boot, OpenCore, rEFInd, rEFIt...
  • CLOVER: a piece of sometware made by the Clover team that have a lot of features like patching and/or booting macOS/OS X/Mac OS X, Windows and Unix/Linux OSes and many other features. It is the go-to boot manager for iATKOS.
  • OpenCore: the new hotness on the iATKOS scene, made with security in mind by the Acidanthera team, has faster booting and lighter weight than Clover. It is a lot more involved but also supports many Mac features a lot more natively than Clover (like Hibernation, FileVault2, Boot HotKeys...).
  • ACPI: the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) provides an open standard that operating systems can use to discover and configure computer hardware components, to perform power management by (for example) putting unused components to sleep, and to perform status monitoring. (sauce: trusty Wikipedia)
  • Kexts: also known as Kernel Extensions, it's macOS's drivers. They're used to perform different tasks like device drivers or for a different purpose (in iATKOS) like patching the OS or injecting information or running tasks. Kexts are not the only playing factor in a good iATKOS, they're sometimes paired with ACPI patches and fixes.
  • BIOS: Basic Input/Output System, is firmware used to perform hardware initialization during the booting process (power-on startup), and to provide runtime services for operating systems and programs. The BIOS firmware comes pre-installed on a personal computer's system board, and it is the first software to run when powered on. (sauce: trusty Wikipedia) It's a Legacy piece of software that was made back in the 70s and still used to this day due to its maturity.
  • UEFI: The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a specification that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. UEFI replaces the legacy Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) firmware interface originally present in all IBM PC-compatible personal computers, with most UEFI firmware implementations providing support for legacy BIOS services. UEFI can support remote diagnostics and repair of computers, even with no operating system installed. (sauce: trusty Wikipedia)
  • UEFI Drivers: Like any other OS, UEFI have drivers and they're loaded by Clover or OpenCore, they're also meant to load devices or perform other tasks like patching macOS's boot.efi and so on. You may find them as Clover Driver or OpenCore Drivers, they're all UEFI drivers. (Note: use the drivers that are meant for that specific boot manager).
  • EFI: It can denote two things:
    • Mac's firmware, which the same as UEFI, but pretty modified for Macs only, so not so "Universal"
    • The partition on your hard drive that stores software read by the UEFI to load OSes (like windows bootloader) or UEFI Applications (like Clover), it's FAT32 formatted and has an ID type of EF00 (in hex). Can be named ESP or SYSTEM partition, and it's sized from 100MB to 400MB usually but the size doesn't reflect the function of it (it all depends on the OEMs and OS choices when installing.)
  • MBR: Master Boot Record is a special type of boot sector at the very beginning of partitioned computer mass storage devices like fixed disks or removable drives intended for use with IBM PC-compatible systems and beyond. The concept of MBRs was publicly introduced in 1983 with PC DOS 2.0. The MBR holds the information on how the logical partitions, containing file systems, are organized on that medium. The MBR also contains executable code to function as a loader for the installed operating system—usually by passing control over to the loader's second stage, or in conjunction with each partition's volume boot record (VBR). This MBR code is usually referred to as a boot loader. (sauce: trusty Wikipedia) This format is used on BIOS/Legacy setups. The MBT format supports a maximum of 2TiB of size and a max of 4 Primary partitions.
  • GPT: GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a standard for the layout of partition tables of a physical computer storage device, such as a hard disk drive or solid-state drive, using universally unique identifiers, which are also known as globally unique identifiers (GUIDs). Forming a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard (Unified EFI Forum-proposed replacement for the PC BIOS), it is nevertheless also used for some BIOS systems, because of the limitations of master boot record (MBR) partition tables, which use 32 bits for logical block addressing (LBA) of traditional 512-byte disk sectors. (sauce: trusty Wikipedia) Usually this is the disk format you want to use on a UEFI system.

What guide should I follow?

If you did check the interwebs for guides, you most probably stumbled on guides referred as "Vanilla," some that use a tool like "Unibeast" and "Multibeast," some that use a "distro" (distribution). And these 3 methods have a lot of differences and ways for the same result: Install macOS on an unsupported platform as your regular x86 machine. So what are the differences? To know that, you need to know how things roll in a iATKOS installation, the procedure goes like this:

  1. Make a USB with a "boot manager" (we use CLOVER for that) and macOS installer. This usually means a lot of thing depending on the method you're following. [*]
  2. Boot the USB, start the boot manager
  3. Boot macOS Installer
  4. Install macOS [*]
  5. Boot the installed macOS (using the same USB)
  6. Install the boot manager in your target disk [*]
  7. Fix the rest of the setup [*]
  8. You're good to go. [???]

[*] are the points of difference.

So here is how it goes for these 3 methods:

  • Vanilla: [The only supported method]
    1. Make a Clover USB by using the original fork of CLOVER
    2. Make a clover config manually.
    3. Add/Delete the drivers needed manually and according to your needs, this lowers the chances of getting issues.
    4. Use Apple's createinstallmedia to put the macOS installer in the USB
    5. Boot to Clover then the macOS Installer.
    6. Install macOS like you would on a regular mac
    7. Boot the Clover USB, boot to the installed macOS
    8. Install Clover to the HDD/SSD
    9. Fix the rest manually and according to your needs.
    10. Done
      • Pros
        • You understand what to do and what you did
        • Easy to troubleshoot
        • Get a better idea of how the process goes
        • You learn as you go
        • Seamless macOS upgrades without any issues
      • Cons
        • May require 3 brain cells (some may not have that)
        • Some misleading guides (like those from cough Hackintosher cough) that use inappropriate procedures and misinformation everywhere.
        • Even some distros try to pass for Vanilla, dont trust those.
  • Unibeast/Multibeast: [Not supported, doesn't help in the future]
    1. Use their tool to make the installer (you have no idea what they did or what you need)
    2. Boot to that USB (that probably contains an old version of Clover and the kexts with it)
    3. If it ever succeeds to boot, you install macOS (that may or may not be tainted)
    4. You boot to macOS, use Multibeast and install some random ass driver (picture).
    5. Hope that it boots back to the desktop. If it does, you have yet to check if the changes have an effect or not.
    6. Idk what people do later on, some just keep using it
    7. Done???
      • Pros:
        • Easy (???, it's not even easy after that)
      • Cons:
        • You dont learn anything
        • You use some tools that you have no idea what they did or do
        • You're kept hostage to those tools
        • Hard to troubleshoot
        • You may (or may not) be using stolen software (as they were caught doing so [1] [2] [3])
        • May break upon updates
        • Big F to your computer after that.
    • Using a premade images that have outdated software the moment you download it, may be compromised and wont benefit you in any way. So please, stay away from anything that uses premade images. It's also against this subreddit rules. No help will be offered.

Vanilla Types

The ONLY supported install type is Vanilla. With the Vanilla approach:

  • All the kexts are injected from Clover or OpenCore, nothing installed to the system.
  • This approach leans to a Mac-like state of the OS, just the Vanilla Apple kexts in the System, everything else is kept out.

The Vanilla methods are followed by the guides (below).


Intel Guide


What you need to prepare first to follow any of these guides:


What you need to prepare first to follow any of these guides:

  • The target computer (can be Intel or AMD)
  • Something running either macOS, Linux or Windows

AMD Guide

Main AMD guides:

The official AMD OSX guide requires windows while the OpenCore guide support both macOS, Windows and Linux.

Note: Clover's kernel patches currently only support up-to 10.15.1, newer versions will require OpenCore

Legacy guides: * u/doesprintfwork's Vanilla AMD Guide * NoOne#8086's Legacy Vanilla High Sierra AMD Guide * DhinakG's Legacy Vanilla Mojave AMD Guide


What you need to prepare first to follow any of these guides:

  • The target computer (must be Intel)
  • Something running either macOS, Linux or Windows

Extra Guides

For both platform, there is Internet Install Guide to get started. This guide is not a full guide, you still have to refer to the other two guides for more in depth explanation and clarification.

For both platforms, there is also Installer making from Windows or Linux directly. More involved but makes the same installer as createinstallmedia on macOS.

OpenCore Boot Manager

From the folks that brought you the many wonders of the iATKOS world as Lilu, VirtualSMC, WhateverGreen, AptioMemoryFix and so much more are here to present the next step in iATKOS!: OpenCore. While currently in beta, what OpenCore wishes to accomplish is to make the iATKOS environment more like a real mac by adopting many of these features and guidelines like Bless support and minimal ACPI patches.

So what benefit do you, an average iATKOS gain from ditching Clover? Well there's a couple reason:

  • Faster booting on average.
  • Better overall security and better support for FileVault.
  • boot.efi hotkey support like Option for BootPicker, Command+R for Recovery and Command+Option+P+R for NVRAM reset.
  • Much better future-proofing as OpenCore doesn't rely on heavily deprecated methods for kext injection like Clover does, instead opting for loading kexts during the pre-linking phase compared to Rooting.
  • Automatic drive/partition boot is handled by StartUp Disk just like a real Mac, including BootCamp support. This feature is also referred to as "bless" and is determined by reading NVRAM variables set by Startup Disk.
  • All future development for AptioMemoryFix is tied to OpenCore, specifically being absorbed into OpenCore itself with the OpenRuntime.efi being used as an extension.
  • All future AMD kernel patches are tied to OpenCore thanks to the Mask feature allowing us to offload the work to recalculate the offset with each update meaning much faster, if not instantaneous, updates.

Ok this sounds great and all but what are the downsides?

Well with OpenCore the biggest issue users will face with it is that it expects you to do more of the work, specifically that man creature comforts that Clover offers are gone like:

  • Manually needing to specify kexts and their executable paths.
  • All ACPI and SSDT patches are applied to all operating systems meaning you need to be much more careful with what you use and understand what you actually need.
  • No automatic GPU configuration like InjectIntel, InjectATI, InjectNvidia and RadeonDeInit, instead requiring you to manually set this up within device properties when needed(To be fair, most users shouldn't be using these settings in Clover anyways).
  • FakeIDs and GPU spoofs must be set on to a specific PCIRoot or SSDT.

Ok I'm fine putting a bit more work for a better experience, where do I start?

Well you've come to the right place, here on iATKOS we have our own homemade OpenCore guide!:

OpenCore Install Guide by u/dracoflar

Please do keep in mind that you're expected to do more, if the guide doesn't answer you questions check the Troubleshooting section and if you still have issues then check the official OpenCore DOCS. Answer still not there? Well then you can proceed to posting on here, do remember to follow our posting guidelines.

Issues and posting guidelines

Of course you will face issues and problems, and you would want to get help. And to do so follow these steps:

  1. Read the guides above fully before starting (at least TWICE)
  2. Start your iATKOS process
  3. OOF! You got an error! Ouchi!
  4. Glare at your screen
  5. Google keywords of the issue you got
  6. Didn't find something about your issue? Google other keywords of the issue
  7. Still not? Go to the forums and use the search tool
  8. Still not? Go to the guide and check again if you did all the steps properly
  9. Still not? Make an account on InsanelyMac and/or TonyMacX86, post about your issue there (and hope for a reply and not an instaban in TMX)
  10. Still not? You may ask here now, by following this format:
* Hardware:
Motherboard/Laptop model:
Screen(s) Resolution:
Screen(s) Number:
Ethernet Card:
Audio Codec:
* What guide/tool I followed:
Wifi/BT Card: (if available)
* What part I got an issue with:
[Links and/or names, links preferably]
[Describe your issue **WITH** pictures attached if possible, I recommend using imgur to host them.]
* What files/config I am using:
[Place a screenshot of your CLOVER folder structure + screenshot of your CLOVER > kexts > Other folder + screenshot of CLOVER > drivers64UEFI (or drivers64 for Legacy users)]
[Place a pastebin.com link with your config inside, **DO NOT PASTE YOUR CONFIG IN THE THREAD**] [Place your EssentialsList or Debug dump links here if possible, preferably use Google Drive or OneDrive]