As if selling non-Apple labelled computers with Mac OS X pre-installed and licensing the technology to do so to third parties wasn’t enough, Psystar has now moved ahead and has started offering its Rebel EFI package for everyone to buy and use. It makes it possible for just about anyone to install Mac OS X on a non-Apple labelled computer.
Rebel EFI is a collection of tools which enables everyone to install Mac OS X Snow Leopard on a supported computer, whether that computer has been labelled by Apple or not. Contrary to the currently available tools, however, it is more user friendly while also offering a number of additional features.
Rebel EFI is built atop Psystar’s Darwin Universal Bootloader, which allows you to install up to six different operating systems on six different hard drives. It supports Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, as well as various Linux distributions. It automatically detects the hardware in your system, and downloads the drivers needed to get Mac OS X Snow Leopard installed.
It also integrates Psystar’s Safe Update technology, which screens the updates coming directly from Apple, to ensure nothing goes wrong. Safe Update will also check for any possible new drivers and hardware profiles for Snow Leopard. Support is built-in into Rebel EFI, so you can contact Psystar from within the application. You can also send information to Psystar about components currently not working, so Psystar can work on improving hardware support.
Currently, hardware support for Snow Leopard using Rebel EFI is limited to the types of processors you find in Apple-labelled computers, such as the Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core i7 or Xeon Nehalem processors. I would’ve tested the tool myself before writing about it, but my only Intel machines are a dual-core Atom 330 (runs Leopard) and an Atom N270, and they do not state that the Atom platform is supported.
Rebel EFI comes as an .iso, and pretty much works like the boot-132 method. Burn .iso, boot machine using .iso, remove the Rebel EFI CD, insert Snow Leopard DVD, continue as if installing Snow Leopard on an Apple-labelled computer.
Rebel EFI will set you back USD 49, but there’s a demo version too. The demo will allow you to install Snow Leopard, but hardware support is limited in the demo version. CrunchGear tried the full version, and it worked beautifully on an HP TouchSmart PC – heck, even the touch screen worked!
I will contact Psystar for a review copy, just to see how it all works. Maybe I’ll get lucky, and my Atom 330 is supported after all. My biggest problem thus far is that there’s doesn’t seem to be a supported hardware list, and why would you spend USD 49 on something if you don’t know if your machine is supported?