Teateam a russian speaking Mac OS developer binary patched the latest Mac OS X 10.6.2 Mach Kernel to eventually reenable support for Intel Atom CPUs. His kernel seems to be running well in 32bit and in 64bit mode. Atom CPUs are now reported as Intel Core Solo or Core Duo.
The patch seems only to consist of modifying a couple of (simply) assembler instructions to permanently set the CPU type. In the meantime Apple has released kernel sources and people are working on adding Atom CPU support in a proper manner.
Congrats Teamteam. That’s what Ilfak made IDA for ;-)
Apple’s 10.6.2 update closes lots of security holes that could be used to compromise systems. Safari, iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, and some other apps are rumored to be working more reliable after updating.
Apple pwns back
For OSX86 users on netbooks this update is far away from being recommended at the moment. The update now has proved what has been rumored some days ago: Intel Atom support has definitely been removed from the kernel.
Thus rendering Intel Atom based netbooks non working. Netbooks will not boot after updating as the following video by Stellarola shows. It shows the typical behaviour if the CPU is not supported by the kernel, OS X will instantly reset the system.
In contrast to what is being written on the major internet newspapers, the latest beta build 10C535 of Mac OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.2 does indeed still not support Intel Atom CPUs anymore.
Stellarola investigated into this issue some of his spare time to find out why different sources tell different things. And the reason is simple: if you run an early built 10.6.2 with an old kernel from july then 10.6.2 will indeed work, but the latest stock kernel in 10.6.2 build 10C535 as of now is not going to allow Atom CPUs to run.
According to Stellarola even in the 10.6.2. build 10C540 the Atom support is not gonna come back.
According to Stellarolla’s blog the upcoming Snow Leopard update 10.6.2 and the Leopard update 10.5.9 will most likely break Intel Atom support. Thus rendering hackintosh installations on netbooks inoperable.
Although Apple does not provide products shipping with Intel Atom CPUs, the Mac OS kernel did support those. Now with the growing amount of hackintoshs it seems Apple tries to stop the use of their operating system on cheap an tiny netbooks.
Probably this is another indicator that Apple is going to bring the long rumored tiny tablet Mac. Anyway for people willing to maintain MacOS on their netbooks the easiest way is to not update to 10.6.2 or 10.5.9 at the moment.