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Hardware Hacking Classic Games (Games) Emulation (Games) OS X Operating Systems XBox (Games)

Mac OS X Running On Xbox 343

PasteEater writes "The good people over at XBox Scene have the scoop. Mac OS X has been successfully installed on a modified Xbox. What does this mean? Well, it's no Xbox Media Center, but it does prove that nerds are at the forefront once again!"
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Mac OS X Running On Xbox

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  • Debate (Score:4, Interesting)

    by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehendersonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:48AM (#10449796)
    Wonder what M$ thinks is a bigger threat - Linux or OS X on the Xbox...
  • Games... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <theaetetus...slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:48AM (#10449800) Homepage Journal
    Sweet! Now I can play Photoshop on my XBox!

    -T
    (not a troll, just making fun of them)

  • Hmmm now if I could only do it the other way around.
  • An Apple First (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cbw82 ( 700178 ) <{ten.erutcurtseerf} {ta} {snikliw}> on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:49AM (#10449815) Homepage Journal
    The first Apple gaming system?? How long do you think its going to be before Mr. Jobs sees the greatest and we get an iBox gaming system?
    • Apple had its own gaming system once, called Pippin.
    • Re:An Apple First (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:55AM (#10449886) Homepage
      The first Apple gaming system??

      That would be the Apple Pippin [wikipedia.org]. ;-)

      Something odd about the MacOS Xbox screenshots - the last one has the 'About' window reporting 128MB of memory. Doesn't the Xbox have 64MB, then there's the overhead from the x86 operating system, PearPC etc.?

      All I can think of is that it's not all allocated, and PearPC will be swapping stuff to the hard disk in a frenzy of IDE activity. The word 'particularly' comes to mind when thinking how slow the system will be.

      (Oddly, I'm typing this while installing Windows 98 on my iBook, thanks to QEMU [bellard.free.fr]...)
      • Re:An Apple First (Score:5, Informative)

        by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:02AM (#10449956) Journal
        Development xboxes have 128 to hold the debug tools, and (most) retail models have the empty solder pads to very carefully add another 64 megs of RAM. Games won't benefit, or even know about the extra RAM. But linux and other homebrew apps (emulators) will.

        At least one company is selling xboxes with modded CPUs, that you can adjust from 1400MHZ to 700MHZ by flipping a switch.

        • Re:An Apple First (Score:4, Informative)

          by Krach42 ( 227798 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @01:02PM (#10452005) Homepage Journal
          But PearPC has enormous overhead beyond the virtual memory itself. Not only the available memory for PearPC, but also the resident code pages for PearPC, and then also the resident code pages for the JITC emulation.

          So, even if the box had 128MiB of RAM, it's still going to be thrashing hard.

          It's still COOL though.
  • Not too bad. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrseigen ( 518390 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:49AM (#10449816) Homepage Journal
    Even though it is running on PearPC (and thus slower than possibly imaginable), it is still impressive. Although, I just bought a used Beige G3/233 for $10 and I still have more memory (72MB) than the XBox in it.
  • XBOX2 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Squareball ( 523165 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:50AM (#10449821)
    I'll wait till Xbox2.. it's supposed to sport a PPC processor
  • Very suspect ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adzoox ( 615327 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:50AM (#10449827) Journal
    I read through the entire article before this was posted here.

    Very interesting, but I'm going to call foul.

    Why out of all the screenshots is this one [gatech.edu] obscured? It's the most important of the screenshots out of the lot that was provided in the article.

    I also thought TechTV had made it pretty clear that pearPC was almost unuseable on a machine below 2.5 GHz.

    • Re:Very suspect ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bitsy Boffin ( 110334 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:09AM (#10450031) Homepage

      I also thought TechTV had made it pretty clear that pearPC was almost unuseable on a machine below 2.5 GHz.


      May have been true once, but PearPC has made significant enhancments. I use it for testing websites under Mac IE quite successfully (and more or less usably) on my lowly 1.2 Ghz Duron machine.

      • Re:Very suspect ... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bedouin ( 248624 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @03:24PM (#10453292)
        May have been true once, but PearPC has made significant enhancments. I use it for testing websites under Mac IE quite successfully (and more or less usably) on my lowly 1.2 Ghz Duron machine.

        You should be more worried about Safari than MacIE. The only people using MacIE nowadays are those stuck in OS 9 or lower.

        Then again, I'm not sure how similar Safari and Konqueror are when it comes to rendering, since they both are based on KHTML. Would Konqueror provide a pretty good estimation of how a page looks in Safari, if one had no access to a Mac?
    • Because the screen on the XBox on displays at 640x480. It's not obscured. Look at the menu bar.
    • Depends on what you mean by "almost unusable".

      The slowest machine I've installed Mac OS X on is a Power PC 604e at 132 MHz. It took 20 hours to complete the install. The resulting system was responsive enough in a Terminal window, but even pulling down a menu took tens of seconds. I wouldn't call it "usable". Mac OS X is optimised for the G3, and later versions than the one I tried (10.1) won't even run on a 604e.

      On a G3/233 it took an hour or so, and it was usable.

      If they took 10 hours on an Xbox with 128MB of simulated RAM, then they're emulating a G3 that's performing like a 604e... it may be a bit faster than my 604e/132, but I wouldn't bet on it.

      Usability is in the eye of the beholder.

      pearPC was almost unuseable on a machine below 2.5 GHz

      10 hours for a Mac OS X install? Yeh. That's a good definition of "almost unusable".

      Wake me up when they do it on the Power PC based Xbox-2.

      Oh, and the speed the "About" box reports is totally unreliable, particularly on an emulator.
  • PearPC (Score:4, Informative)

    by News for nerds ( 448130 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:51AM (#10449836) Homepage
    It's just PearPC [sourceforge.net] PowerPC Architecture Emulator installed on Xbox and it's painfully-as-hell slow atm, and especially on Xbox. Nothing to see, move on.
  • come on! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by imnuts2 ( 754767 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:52AM (#10449851)
    Why torture yourself with a MacOSXbox, which actually is PearPC running on linux which is running on Xbox hardware. I am sure the performance of it is abysmal.

    This is sadder than those MacOSXP (people trying to change their windows into a Mac)

    Stop torturing yourself with this. Get a real mac!!
    • Re:come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:45AM (#10450360) Journal
      Some people just don't get hacking/modding.
      Hint: it's not really meant to be used ;-)
      • Re:come on! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by vjouppi ( 621333 )
        Hmm, whenever I mod something, I intend to get something more out of it, like for example at the moment I'm in the middle of modifying my Saab 9000 2.3 LPT into a full pressure turbo..

        I intend to make full use of the added horsepower and torque! :-)
      • It's not really a hack if you take off the shelf hardware (XBox) and put an off the shelf OS (Linux) on it (a very well documented procedure) and then run an off the shelf emulator on top of that (PearPC) which is widely known to allow running of OSX. At best, it's a joke.
    • I've got a real Mac, next to a real PC (that I built), a real Linux firewall in the basement, and a real 802.11 router with a pringles can attached to the top. You don't get hacking.
  • by grunt107 ( 739510 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:52AM (#10449852)
    Used Xbox: $99
    OS/X: $130
    Look on Bill's face: Priceless

    (Seriously, that's one cheap Mac)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:53AM (#10449865)
    (Posting AC to not kharma whore)

    PearPC and Mac OS X Installation

    Downloading, configuring, compiling and installing PearPC

    * You have software modded your Xbox and put Xebian Linux on it. You have purchased a copy of Mac OS X and made an image of it.
    * Download the source code for PearPC at http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/pearpc/pearpc-0 .3.1.tar.gz. As of this writing, 0.3.1 is the most recent version.
    * Use tar to decompress the file with tar -xzvf pearpc-0.3.1.tar.gz. A directory called pearpc-0.3.1 will be created.
    * Go into this directory configure PearPC by running the configuration script as ./configure -enable-ui=x11 && --enable-cpu=generic. Even though the Xbox is an x86 processor, compiling with -enable-cpu=jitc_x86 will likely result in a failed compile. To explain, as of this writing, Xebian includes gcc 3.2 and gcc 2.95.4. PearPC will exhibit odd errors when compiled with any gcc between 2.95 and 3.3, so gcc 2.95.4 must be used. Unfortunately, gcc 2.95.4 does not work with the inline assembly used in PearPC when the jitx_x86 option is specified.
    * Type make && make install. If all goes well then /usr/local/bin on your computer should now contain a file called ppc. This file is the compiled binary.

    If you are unable to get a successful compilation of PearPC or do not understand the above instructions, you may download a precompiled version for the Xboxhere.
    Editing the PearPC configuration file and formatting the hard drive image

    1. Download the following: a blank hard drive image filehere, a Darwin image file at http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/image s/darwin-701.iso.gz, a PearPC configuration filehere, and a PearPC video driverhere.

    2. Decompress the image file using gunzip macosx_2gb.gz. Note that this file expands to approximately 2 gigabytes. Additionally, use gunzip to decompress the pearpc video driver and configuration file. Decompress the Darwin image with the command tar -xzvf darwin-701.tar.gz.

    3. Make a directory called macosx. Move the decompressed hard drive image, Darwin image, video.x video driver and macosx.pearpc configuration file into it. Then, go into the macosx directory, run the command pwd and write down the full path to it.

    4. Open the macosx.pearpc configuration file with the plain text editor of your choice. Xebian by default comes with both vi and nano. If you have never used vi before, you definitely want to use nano.

    5. I will refer to the path that was written down in step 3 as PATH. Make the following changes to the macosx.pearpc configuration file:

    * a. Change ppc_start_resolution = "800x600x15" to "640x480x15".
    * b. Change redraw_interval_msec = 40 to 200.
    * c. Remove the # in front of #memory_size=0x8000000.
    * d. Change pci_ide0_master_image = "test/imgs/linux.img" to "PATH/macosx_2gb.img".
    * e. Change pci_ide0_slave_image = "/dev/cdrom" to "PATH/darwin-701.iso"
    * Save your changes and exit.

    6. Start PearPC by typing ppc macosx.pearpc. You should see the following screen:

    7. Soon after this screen disappears messages will begin appearing in the PearPC window and you should eventually see the following:

    8. Mirror what is typed in this screenshot. Then, type: q, q, and finally reboot. PearPC should exit.

    9. Start PearPC again. Eventually you should see the following screen:

    As in step 7, mirror what is typed in this window. In addition, when you see "Uncompressing Apple16X50Serial," shut down PearPC.

    Your hard drive image is now properly formatted, and you are ready to install Mac OS X.
    Installing Mac OS X

    1. Once again, open the macosx.pearpc configuration file. Change pci_ide0_slave_image = "PATH/darwin-701.iso" to the location of your Mac OS X image. Save the changes and exit out of the text editor.

    2. Start PearPC in the us
  • what it means... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lxy ( 80823 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:54AM (#10449877) Journal
    What does this mean?

    It means somebody has more time on their hands than I do. Yes, this is probably a useless hack, but I'll restate my theory on why modding consoles is a Good Thing(tm).

    Rumor has it that the Xbox2 is in the works. Once the Xbox2 ships, the price of the Xbox will drop dramatically. At some point, you'll probably be able to pick up a used Xbox in a pawn shop for $50. $50 makes a nice price for a second computer like an internet terminal for the kitchen or some other similar appliance. So, some will say it's a waste of time to hack then and mod them in this manner, but once they're dirt cheap in pawn shops and Ebay, you'll thank the modders.
    • So, some will say it's a waste of time to hack then and mod them in this manner, but once they're dirt cheap in pawn shops and Ebay, you'll thank the modders.

      I highly doubt that enough significant advances will be made in Pear to make OSX usable on a P3 700. The best we'll be able to do at native or near-native speed, no matter how cheap the xbox gets, will be linux, or possible Windows XP once Microsoft Research finishes the modified Windows XP kernel for Xen.

      This particular "mod" (If it even qualifi
    • Rumor has it that the Xbox2 is in the works.

      Rumor? You must not get out much.

  • I agreed with one guy in this story [slashdot.org] about how AT&T switching to OS X would be prohibitively expensive, but it appears that AT&T found a way to get their OS on a $150 system. Good job!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sheeez, I can't even get OS X running on my Mac. Seriously, it's been in the shop of CompUSA wizards for about a month now. Maybe I'll upgrade to an X-box.
  • by Geldon ( 444090 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @09:59AM (#10449934)
    Once Xebian is installed they compile PearPC

    In other words, they are emulating a Mac for it. That is like me telling people I got my Xbox to play SNES Games when all I am really doing is pulling up an SNES emulator on my xbox with Linux.
  • caches, just in case (Score:2, Informative)

    by Savves ( 786087 )
    PasteEater writes "The good people over at XBox Scene [mirrordot.org] ? [google.com] have the scoop. Mac OS X has been successfully installed [mirrordot.org] ? [google.com] on a modified [mirrordot.org] ? [google.com] Xbox. What does this mean? Well, it's no Xbox Media Center [mirrordot.org] ? [google.com] , but it does prove that nerds are at the forefront [mirrordot.org] ? [google.com] once again!"

    thanks to mirrordot.org

  • Emulated? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wog ( 58146 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:06AM (#10450005)
    Guess what? I can also run PDP-11 software on my XBox! Or any other operating system, for that matter.

    This was done through emulation. The blurb seems to imply that something incredible was accomplished, when all that was done was loading it into an emulator.

    It may be pretty funny to see OSX running off an XBox on a TV, but it's hardly usable as it is. Call me when it runs natively.
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:16AM (#10450092) Homepage Journal
    the legal section [gatech.edu] in that in the EULA for OS X it states that you cannot install OS X on any non-Apple hardware(probably due to the whole clone thing that failed miserably), I'm not saying that it's right or wrong, but it's an issue they should have addressed.
    • Apple used to give away System Software. Up 'till System 7.1, IIRC. Now it's $130 every year or so.

      I don't see this as any different than buying a DVD. If I want to play the DVD on my linux box that's OK with me, I bought it. The implicit license with CSS scrambling just doesn't make sense.

      Same here. I love OSX, but if I paid for it I ought to be able to do with it as I please, if I'm not violating Apple's rights. The "Right to Profit" doesn't count. Does Microsoft stipulate (yet) what kind of hardw
    • It's actually Apple _LABELLED_ hardware. Technically, I think it might be possible to get around that by slapping an official Apple logo from Apple on the piece of hardware.

      Apple has yet to respond to PearPC at all so far. We'll deal with it when it arrives, then we'll remind them that we didn't do anything but build our emulator toward the documented standards that are freely available on the internet.
  • What for? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:19AM (#10450120) Homepage Journal
    Why would I want to put Mac OS X on my Xbox? I bought my Xbox to play video games, after all . . .
  • Do you smell that? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SengirV ( 203400 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:20AM (#10450122)
    It's the Georgia Tech IT department getting ready to expell a student for having it's systems /.'d You would think that /. would look at the supplied links and do some filtering when it comes to links hosted by a University. But I guess that is asking too much. I hope Ga Tech students enjoy using pencil and paper while their computer systems turn to a pile of molten metal.
    • You would think that /. would look at the supplied links and do some filtering when it comes to links hosted by a University.

      Maybe it's different where you went to school, but my university had more available bandwidth than most small companies or ISPs. There's nothing about academia that's inherently more slashdottable than any other type of site.
    • by gallavad ( 662421 )
      Nope. Speaking as student at Georgia Tech's College of Computing (where the page in question is being hosted), I can say with confidence that we will easily survive this slashdotting, just as we have the many in the past. The network's not even feeling slow.

      Actually, I recall hearing some years ago that Tech actually routes about 25% of the data that passes through Atlanta, so it would take a lot more than slashdot to pull us down, bandwidth-wise.
  • Using PearPC to "run" OS X on an modded X-Box is not groundbreaking, headline worthy or "news for nerds," -- it's just sensationalist BS to drive traffic and push ads.
  • by Ikazuchi ( 116052 ) <<gro.kovahyrc> <ta> <ihcuzaki>> on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:23AM (#10450152) Homepage
    but it does prove that nerds are at the forefront once again!
    Not to sound like a dick, but nerds are at the forefront of what exactly? Nerdiness? Big surprise there folks.

    Big surprise...
  • What it proves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalgiblet ( 530309 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:23AM (#10450167) Homepage Journal
    "...it does prove that nerds are at the forefront once again!"

    What it proves is that there are some people with some serious free-time on their hands...

    There seems to be an inordinate focus on hack this, crack that, emulate the other and port an OS to the most outlandishly unlikely hardware possible. (Hey, look! I'm running OS/2 on my toaster!)

    As a stunt this is really amazing.

    As a project resulting in something useful, it is dubious at best.

    I find myself in the same category. I'm just getting into PocketPC programming and my first thoughts are about emulators. Are we so lacking in imagination that we can't come up with any original ideas?

    I guess the truth is that almost all the "low hanging fruit" has been picked, and now we must work much harder to come with an original idea. Shoulders of giants, etc, etc.

    Just so I don't sound like too much of an old curmudgeon, I will say that it looks like these are students, and it is of course a great learning experience.

  • by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @10:47AM (#10450387)
    jeebus. do we really need a link to the "Revenge of the Nerds" movie?

    freaking hypertext junkies... go play on a wiki.
  • Honestly.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by d_jedi ( 773213 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @11:00AM (#10450523)
    I fail to see the point.

    The XBox hardware is dated now, anyway. You could probably buy all of the components and build yourself an XBox-equivalent PC for about the same price (P3 processor.. GeForce3.. 10GB HD.. not too expensive, nowadays..)

    Now, if PearPC would work at decent speeds on recent hardware.. THEN I'd be impressed (I've always wanted to try out OSX, but I'm not going to spend thousands to buy a Mac..)
    • Re:Honestly.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by hayne ( 545353 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @11:16AM (#10450714)
      (I've always wanted to try out OSX, but I'm not going to spend thousands to buy a Mac..)

      How about one thousand? E.g. $799 (eMac) $1099 (iBook) $1299 (iMac) [apple.com]

      • Re:Honestly.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by d_jedi ( 773213 )
        OK.. a bit of hyperbole on my part (although in Canada, it really is more like thousands http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/c anadastore/).

        The point is, I don't want to buy any new hardware just to run some software. My Athlon64 is running quite fine now, thank you.
        • Re:Honestly.. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by droleary ( 47999 )

          The point is, I don't want to buy any new hardware just to run some software.

          'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'

          'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
          'I don't much care where--' said Alice.
          'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
          '--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.
          'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.'

          That is to say, if you really don't buy hardware to

    • Re:Honestly.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by argent ( 18001 ) <(moc.agnorat.6002.todhsals) (ta) (retep)> on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @04:02PM (#10453612) Homepage Journal
      (I've always wanted to try out OSX, but I'm not going to spend thousands to buy a Mac..)

      Old Mac Martin regularly sells G3/233-300 desktops and minitowers for $30-$50 plus shipping, and they run OS X fine. You might want a better video card, and Old World Computing has some PCI Radeon 9200s for under $150, but you could get a feel for it for a lot less.

      My Mac at home is one of his, upgraded with a Radeon 7000, a G4/533 CPU (from OWC, again), and a 10/100 ethernet card.

      Go to lowendmac.com and subscribe to the swap list, and watch what comes through.
  • It's not just the X-Prize. Don't you watch the _Daily Show_ with John Stewart? "The nerds win the pennant! The nerds win the pennant! The nerds win the pennant!"
  • News Flash (Score:2, Funny)

    by Vlad_Drak ( 20809 )
    Another amazing breakthrough, someone managed to make an XBox function like a cheap, outdated, and under-powered PC. Oh wait, it is a cheap, outdated, and under-powered PC.
  • by LogicX ( 8327 ) * <slashdotNO@SPAMlogicx.us> on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @11:24AM (#10450816) Homepage Journal
    After reading the news about the Xbox being able to run OS X you may be asking yourself, "How can I do this as well, what do I need?"

    Well, the answer to that question would be that you need to have a Xbox, obviously, and a way to run unsigned code.

    In my experiences I have found that www.xbox-modchips.com [xbox-modchips.com] provides quality tech suport, a good warranty, and overall great prices.

    Right now the most Compatible chip in the market is the Xecuter 3 modchip [xbox-modchips.com]. This can let you run the unsigned code required for a Mac OS X install.

    In my opinion though, OS X needs a lot of proccessing power to run it's OS and requires a good bit of memory too, but the 733mhz proccessing power and the 64mb of ram that come with the Xbox may fall short behind on the minimal basis of running OS X on an Xbox.

    Linux on the Xbox can do some great things such as, connect to your email server, browse the internet, run Linux apps, and even daisy chain several Xboxes together that are running Linux and make a 10,000 mhz machine. Linux on the Xbox has progressed very far, but how will Mac's OS X hold up like the current Xbox-linux Os's out today?
    Only time will tell.
  • So the Xbox can run OSX. But can it run OSX running a Dreamcast emulator running an NES emulator?
  • by thedbp ( 443047 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @12:05PM (#10451354)
    All they did was install OS X via PearPC on Linux running on the XBox. As far as I know:

    1. Linux has been running on the XBox for a while.
    2. It has already been demonstrated that PearPC can emu PowerPC on x86 and run Mac OS X (albeit slowly)

    All they did was give instrux on how to compile PearPC for the XBox, which any seasoned Linux user could have figured out if they tried. Beyond that, wouldn't this be SLOW AS DIRT?!?! Even on a very fast x86 desktop machine, PearPC crawls like a gimp sloth w/ no hind legs. And wouldn't most XBox-Linux users probably also have a faster x86 PC that they could run OS X thru PearPC on?

    I fail to see how this is interesting in the slightest. Maybe I'm jaded, but to me it seems there's nothing new here. Please move along ...
  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2004 @01:47PM (#10452450) Homepage
    can emulate any other computer.

    We have known this for over half a century.

    It's been done and but I wonder if it was worthwhile distraction from doing real work.

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