Skyline OSX

Hackintosh Resources and Guides

And We’re Back

Hacked

If you’ve tried to browse to this site in the past few days, you might have noticed a large red warning page saying the site contains malware.  We were hit by the SoakSoak wordpress attack. It attacks a site through the Revolution Slider plugin, and proceeds to install backdoors and malware into a site. This malware attempts to covertly download code from the domain soaksoak.ru.

Protecting Yourself

Considering the events of the past few days, I thought it might be nice to do a little bit on security.

For us hackintoshers, there isn’t as much of a chance for hacking and viruses as on windows. The basics still apply though. Update your machine as soon as there are updates available, don’t install questionable software, and use a secure browser such as Firefox, Chrome or Safari.  That will just about do it for a normal users; however, if you need to go a step beyond I have a few suggestions.

No Script

The largest opening modern desktop computers have to the outside world is through browsers, or more specifically through Javascript. Javascript exposes a lot of information and has been behind numerous attacks in the past. It is not fundamentally insecure, but the nature of it’s functionality means that exploits are common. Noscript is a browser plugin that allows you to restrict javascript to only run from domains that you trust. If you block all javascript the web becomes fairly unusable, so only use this if you’re alright with going through and allowing scripts from sites you trust.

KyPass

KyPass is an OSX port of KeePass, a popular password safe for windows. KyPass is unlocked with a master password, and stores all your passwords. This way you can easily use different passwords for every login. This means that if one site is compromised and your password is stolen, your other logins are safe. KeePass is also available on virtually every platform.

Encrypt Your Hard Drive

Most people aren’t aware that if your hard drive isn’t encrypted, I can simply take your computer, boot it off a USB drive and access all your data. Setting a BIOS password won’t stop me either; I can just pull the BIOS battery and everything is reset. If you have any data that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the world seeing on your hard drive, especially if it is a laptop I recommend encrypting your hard drive.  You can do this in disk utility, by adding an encrypted volume, and placing your files inside.

Anyway, our site is fully functional again. Happy Holidays, and stay safe out there.

Sources

https://wordpress.org/support/topic/soaksoakru-malware

http://thehackernews.com/2014/12/SoakSoak-Wordpress-Malware.html

http://blog.sucuri.net/2014/12/revslider-vulnerability-leads-to-massive-wordpress-soaksoak-compromise.html

All the new features in OS X Yosemite

Apple’s new version of OS X is finally here and Yosemite brings a host of new and improved features. From tweaks to the backbones of the engine to an entirely new visual flare, Mac users will have plenty of shiny new things to enjoy should they choose to upgrade. Below you will find an overview of the best changes that you should expect to see in OS X Yosemite to get you excited for the release.

A new look

The release of OS X Yosemite marks the end of a new era for the Apple ecosystem, starting with iOS 8 and now moving on to the computer platform. There are a lot of visual optimizations, some more apparent than others, including an all-new font, small tweaks to the UI, translucency effects across the board and more. Although a lot of the visual changes are subtle, it truly provides a breath of fresh air to OS X’s already great interface.

Integration with all Apple devices

Speaking of the Apple ecosystem, the company has decided to make all of its devices work together in unison, a feature that loyal fans will most definitely appreciate. Provided you use the same account and operate on the same Wi-Fi network across your devices, you can work and play in all of them seamlessly. Whether you want to answer a call from your iPhone in your Mac or start a document on one device and finish it on another, Yosemite will allow them to work in unison.

New Spotlight capabilities

Yosemite Reworked Spotlight

Yosemite Reworked Spotlight

If you already thought Spotlight was great, you are certainly going to love the new features added to your favorite search system. Apart from Spotlight’s usual capabilities of finding everything you want in your Mac, you will now be able to search a ton of new sources from the web, including the App Store, iTunes, Wikipedia, Bing and more.

A reworked Notifications Center

Yosemite Notification Center

Yosemite Notification Center

Forget everything you knew about the Notification Center. Although the utility is still the same in name, the similarities end there. Apple has completely reworked how the tool works, enabling for a much more fluent workflow. You can now get notifications from any app through interactive widgets which also means that you can completely remove the Dashboard in favor of the Notifications Center.

Improved versions of your favourite apps

Improved Safari Looks in Yosemite

Improved Safari Looks in Yosemite

All of your favorite apps like Safari and Mail have been improved both in regards to how they look and how they behave. Each program has received at least one major update without removing any of the functionality that has made them so popular. Be sure to take a look at every pre-installed app in your system as there is a good chance there will be a new feature to try out.

 

Yosemite Privacy Concerns

There are currently a few sites out there detailing some privacy concerns with 10.10 Yosemite, and recommending a few fixes. However, there is a bit more going on that what’s getting the most attention.

Spotlight

To help improve searching, Apple records your spotlight searches. This is a little sketchy, but I can see why they would do it. It makes spotlight more helpful. This can be disabled under System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results.

Safari also has a spotlight suggestions option which sends your searches to Apple. Keep in mind that this will happen even if you are using a secure search engine such as Duckduckgo or Startpage. This can also be disabled in Safari’s preferences; however, I would still recommend against using Safari as your primary browser.

Mail

If you set up an account through the mail app, the domain will be  sent to Apple for some reason. This means nothing if you use gmail or similar large scale services, but it could be unnerving to users of accounts on smaller domains. The solution to this is to simply use web based mail applications or something like Thunderbird.

About this mac and Cookies

Now for the interesting stuff. Whenever you open about this mac, data is transmitted to Apple including a cookie that is used to uniquely identify users. This cookie tracks the IP address that you initially visited Apple.com from, as well as the IP addresses from all subsequent connections to Apple through Spotlight or Safari. There appears to be no way to disable this. The data is still sent to Apple even if you have location tracking turned off, and have not signed into iCloud.

Conclusions

If you’ are concerned about your privacy, it might not be best to upgrade to Yosemite yet. The fix-macosx people are looking at solutions with firewalls to limit this data collection. Moreover f you really have something to hide, you probably shouldn’t digitize it at all, and if you must I recommend using a secure OS such as Tails.

Sources

https://github.com/fix-macosx/yosemite-phone-home

https://fix-macosx.com/

GTX 980 working in OS X 10.10

The Maxwell based GTX 980 appears to be working in OS X 10.10 Yosemite with the Nvidia web driver. The driver has been buggy with Maxwell cards during the developer previews of Yosemite, so it’s a little to early to tell if it’ll be completely solid. The good news is that all Maxwell cards should now work with OS X.

Download Yosemite Web Driver

For more detailed install instructions check out rampage dev’s web driver install guide. Note: the drivers he links are the old ones for Mavericks.

Sources

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/300923-gtx-970-compatibility/

http://netkas.org/?p=1356

Some Updates

I haven’t been around much, so I figure I’d better fill you guys in on what’s going on.

I started university this autumn. I’m at NC State getting a degree in CompSci. It’s just taken a lot of my time, and my living conditions aren’t exactly stable. I’m also working on a few other projects and I’m in the process of getting a part time development job. With all of that, I haven’t had much time for Skyline. I’ll probably pick it back up next semester when I get a decent place to work.

Backing up and Restoring your Hackintosh

Updating a hackintosh always has the potential for things to go wrong, so it is always recommended to have a backup copy of your data. The safest method is to have your data backed up to a seperate drive or NAS (Network Attached Storage); however, this can become very expensive especially if you have a lot of data. It can also be useful to backup your system to a seperate partition, so that you can revert if something goes wrong.

Tools for creating Backups

Time Machine Time Machine – Graphical

Time machine is Apple’s default backup mechanism. it works incredibly well alongside Migration Assistant to backup and restore data. If you want something that is very easy to use and well integrated, then time machine is your best option. Moreover, these is an application called Time Machine Editor, which adds a lot of the functionality missing from Time Machine.

SuperDuper – Graphical

SuperDuper is a 3rd party alternative to time machine. The basic version is free, but scheduled backups require the pro version which is priced at about $30. Unlike Time Machine, SuperDuper makes a full backup that is bootable. Note that booting from sepearate partitions on a single drive requires UEFI. If you make a copy of your drive using SuperDuper, you should see a second boot option in your Clover boot prompt saying something along the lines of “Boot OSX from Backup” or whatever you named your backup drive.

Carbon Copy Cloner -Graphical

Carbon Copy Cloner is very similar to SuperDuper. It schedules and creates fully bootable and restorable backups. You can also use these backups, as well as SuperDuper backups with Migration Assistant. Meaning that you can Create a backup > Clean install a new OS X version and then use Migration Assisstant to restore only your user files leaving the upgraded system untouched and fully functional. The only real downside to Carbon Copy Cloner is that it costs $40.

Rsync – Console

For more advanced purposes, or if you don’t want to shell out the money for the previous two tools, you can always use the rsync command which is included with Mac OS X. Rsync will create full bootable volumes just as the graphical tools will. To create a backup with rsync follow these steps:

Note: Your account must be set to Administrator for this to work.

  1. Format your backup drive in Disk Utility to OS X Extended (journaled). We’ll call it ‘Backup’ The drive should then mount and show up a drive on your desktop.
  2. Open a terminal and enter the following command: sudo rsync -aAHXv /* /Volumes/Backup –exclude={“.Spotlight-*/”, “.Trashes”, “/afs/*”, “automount/*”, “/cores/*”, “/dev/*”, “/Network/*”, “/private/tmp/*”, “/private/var/run*”, “/private/var/spool/postfix/*”, “/private/var/vm/*”, “/Previous Systems.localized”, “/tmp/*”, “/Volumes/*”, “/.Trash”}
  3. If the system spits out an error saying one of the locations listed in the –exclude doesn’t exist, you can remove it.
  4. You should now see a flood of filenames being listed as they are copied. This may take quite a bit of time.

Rsync supports incremental backups, so when you want to make your next backup simply run the command again with the –delete option to remove files from the backup that you have deleted.

Restoring to a newly upgraded system

Once you have upgraded or re-installed on your primary drive, you will want to restore all your data. The best way to do this is with Apple’s Migration Assistant as it will restore all your files without messing up any system configuration. Simply Navigate to /Applications/Utilities and open it.

Migration Assistant should then display any backup drives you have connected to your system directly or available over the network. Migration Assistant will work with any of the backup solutions listed above. It can also restore from another Hackintosh, Apple Mac or PC. Simply select the correct source and click continue.

Note: If you used the same username on both the new install and the system you are restoring from, Migration Assistant will ask if you wish to remove the account you created during the installation leaving your mac exactly as it was before.

Restoring in the Event of System Failure

Here you have two options. You can perform a clean install and restore with Migration Assistant, or if you created a bootable backup you can start your system from the backup and restore to your primary drive. This can be done at the Clover boot prompt.

Once you have booted the backup drive, format your primary drive using disk utility, and then restore the drive through SuperDuper, Carbon Copy or with the following rsync command:

sudo rsync -aAHXv /* /Volumes/<Name of the drive you are restoring to> –exclude={“.Spotlight-*/”, “.Trashes”, “/afs/*”, “automount/*”, “/cores/*”, “/dev/*”, “/Network/*”, “/private/tmp/*”, “/private/var/run*”, “/private/var/spool/postfix/*”, “/private/var/vm/*”, “/Previous Systems.localized”, “/tmp/*”, “/Volumes/*”, “/.Trash”}

You should then be able to reboot to your restored primary drive.

Sources

http://mac.appstorm.net/roundups/utilities-roundups/8-backup-solutions-for-os-x/

http://timesoftware.free.fr/timemachineeditor/

http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

http://bombich.com/index.html

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Full_system_backup_with_rsync

http://nicolasgallagher.com/mac-osx-bootable-backup-drive-with-rsync/

Yosemite Now in Public Beta

OS X 10.10 is now in pubilc beta. You can sign up for the beta on Apple’s site. They will then email you with a code which you can enter in the App Store to download a copy of Yosemite. You must be running OS X mavericks for the code to work.

This is a newer build than any of the Developer Previews that have been previously released; however, our guide for installing the DP1 should still work fine.

If you would prefer an easier way to create the usb installer,  Insanelymac forum member Snatch has created a script to automatically create the installer. You’ll still have to install the bootloader + kexts though. To get access to the download you must register at Insanelymac and download the script from this thread.

Update:

Yesterday I decided to do something fairly risky. I upgraded to 10.10 using the native OS X installer. Fortunately everything went smoothly, so here’s a little guide on how to do just that. Just please bear in mind that this is a bit risky and you shouldn’t do it unless you know what you’re doing and can recover if something goes wrong.

Make sure you are running the latest version of the clover bootloader.

Open your clover config file and add the lines.

<key>Arguments</key>
<string>kext-dev-mode=1</string>

Then create /EFI/Clover/kexts/10.10 and copy your kexts over to it.

Open the OS X installer and install on your hard disk.

When the machine reboots, select install OSX from [your hard drive name]

Note: If you do not usually boot with injected kexts I.E you keep your kexts in /S/L/E, then you will need to press space and select ‘with injected kexts’

Yosemite should now install normally and you should be able to reboot to it.

Sources

https://appleseed.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/

http://www.insanelymac.com/_/apple/os-x-yosemite-public-beta-is-now-available-for-r1013

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/298521-easy-yosemite-1010-usb-installer-updated-public-beta/

Building a Cheap Hackintosh for $400

One advantage of hackintoshing is choice. We can build whatever products we see fit, rather than relying on Apple to do it for us. Here we are going to put together an inexpensive, basic hackintosh that is perfect for someone who wants OS X without having to pay the high cost of a mac.

CPU – $137

We’ll go with the Intel i3-4330. This is a very basic dual core processor; however, it is more than capable of handling the average person’s workflow. It also includes Intel’s much improved HD 4600 graphics, so you will easily be able to stream media and play minecraft in glorious 1080p.

Motherboard – $79

 

Gigabyte H87m-hd3 I chose this board because it is cheap, compatible and upgradeable. The on board audio uses the ALC892 chipset for which you can get a kext here. The ethernet uses realtek gigabit lan has a kext avaliable here.

You can save a bit more by going with an H81, but the h87 has dual channel memory and a few more features.

Ram – $50 (ram is still so darn expensive)

There are no real special requirements for ram in hackintoshes. I recommend Corsair Vengeance memory as it is very reliable. 4GB is pretty much the standard for machines. Mavericks can run with 2GB, but it will be very slow.

Hard Drive – $50

500GB Western Digital Blue As with ram, your choice of hard drive doesn’t really affect OS X compatibility.

Power Supply – $55

Corsair CS 450 watt This is a fairly low end power supply; however, it should be enough for this build.

Case – $36

Silverstone PS08B Silverstone is a very good at making inexpensive cases and this one looks pretty nice.

So our total comes to $408. Now bear in mind that this machine is not going to compare with a top of the line iMac or Mac Pro. That said it’s a perfect starting point and can easily be upgraded.

Also check out our recommeneded builds and installation guide.

Sources

http://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/1132-intel-haswell-chipset-comparison

http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/HCL_10.9.3#Gigabyte

SaveOSX, making macs developer friendly

Save OS X is a project designed to implement a lot of the more developer friendly BSD and linux functionallity on Mac OS X. Most notably they have implemented a sort of coexistance between X11 applications designed for BSD and linux and Aqua based or OS X applications. This means that you can use a linux window manager on your mac. They have also created an extensive package repository of both source and binary packages, which can be downloaded through the pkgsrc and pkgin package manager.

If you are a developer or simply want a more powerful OS X desktop, I highly recommend that you check out their work at www.saveosx.org.

Hackintosh Vietnam, an alternative to Multibeast

I recently discovered a tool created by the Insanelymac member pokenguyen for easy post installation on a Hackintosh. The tool is called Hackintosh Vietnam, and it contains a lot of the same features as Tonymac’s Multibeast; however, it is more inclusive and feature rich. This means that it can be useful across a wider range of systems.

Hackintosh Vietnam contains tools for installing and configuring Chameleon and configuring Clover. It comes with many commonly used kexts and patches.

You can download Hackintosh Vietnam from osx86 here.

Or check out the main thread here.

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