Hypocrisy, thy name is Tonymacx86

Or: Why do I keep getting install failures when I try to use UniBeast?

So I’ve spent this past weekend in a kind of interesting situation. I own two macs, you see. One at home (which is very much dead, after a rollover accident which saw it chucked out the window, and Apple wanted north of $1K to fix), and one at work. Both of these devices run Mountain Lion.

Well, since the dead mac is basically useless to me, I want to take its copy of Mountain Lion and install it on my PC.

Technically, this is against Apple’s EULA. Realistically, I don’t put too much stock in what a megacorp claims their rights are on something that I owned and purchased :)

So I headed over to the bay and downloaded a copy of the App Store Mountain Lion installer, with the intention on using it with a Tonymacx86 tool called Unibeast to generate a flash drive I can use to install the OS on my desktop. Well, I go through the process, and the installer quits, saying it encountered an error.

I dig through my system logs, and I see this gem:

I originally thought this was a new Apple check, so I take that error message verbatim to Google. Where I end up is the Tonymacx86 forums. Lots of people having install failures.

Their response is one that’s obviously canned: “Your copy of ‘Install Mac OS Mountain Lion.app’ is incomplete, redownload it from Apple”.

Interesting.. I think. It seems they’re being terribly evasive about this.

Well, the error message is in our logs coming from a script called preinstall, so let’s look at that.

I use pkgutil to unpack the .PKG installer, and then grep for the text of the error:

Gotcha. Sure enough, in the preinstaller script, is this lovely bit of weak-sauce DRM:

Crude DRM in a tool which exists only to help break Apple’s DRM. WTF?

I also wonder why they’re saving off that receipt file to another location.

In any case:

It is now my firm belief that the Tonymacx86 project or any files or tools sourced from there can NO LONGER BE CONSIDERED TRUSTWORTHY.


Why? If they’re willing to resort to tricks such as this to waste your time, using a script that runs with elevated permissions, it’s a quite short jump from there to causing system damage. Imagine instead of echoing something out to the syslog, they threw an rm in there on something vital. A kext or two. Maybe messing with other partitions on your disk. Doesn’t take much to make a system unbootable…

I’ll be staying far, far away from these losers in the future.

Now, as an example of how utterly ineffective this kind of “DRM” is (like most kinds of DRM actually), here’s how you fix the bug and get Unibeast to work regardless of the source of your Mountain Lion installer. In one line of bash:

We unpack, drop the first 27 lines of the preinstall script (which serve no purpose whatsoever other than to inconvenience people), then repack.

Run, and you’re good.

Still. This will get you through the install you’re probably here to do, but in the future, I’d suggest using something like MyHack. Tonymac is a buffoon and cannot be trusted.

  • Que?

    I’m sorry, what the fuck are you jibber jabbering on about?

    • http://tkware.info TK

      I might ask you the same question.

    • Suffer Kate

      Read the article again… then again still if you don’t get it. Tonymac are a bunch of self-righteous pompous dumbasses who seem to live in their own little world where they definitely are on an ego trip of note.

  • Kristjan Rang

    So buying it from the App Store was too hard and now you’re complaining?

    • Droogy

      So buying a real mac was too hard so you decide to hackintosh? Hypocritical wanker.

    • http://tkware.info TK

      Why should I give Apple an extra $20 when I already have a copy of the OS I’m not using?

  • disuse

    I interpret this as a way to protect their ass a little bit. They are requiring the end user to legitimately own the copy they are trying to install on their hardware. Downloading from a torrent to install isn’t what the project is trying to support.

    • http://tkware.info TK

      Understandable I suppose, but keep in mind, the ultimate purpose of Unibeast is to crack Apple DRM. That’s all it is- a crack. It lacks the allcaps scene release name and the cool chiptune music, but it’s just a software crack.

      Purporting to support Apple while cracking their software (or more accurately, bundling together a large number of tools who’s end purpose is to constitute a software crack) doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      I don’t even have a particularly large love of apple or hate of this guy (until he started sending “legal” threats anyways…) – the fact that they’re being dishonest about it bugs me.

      • Adam

        Well no, I think you misunderstand. Apple has no actual DRM, so there’s nothing to crack. All tonymac’s software does is create a bootable installer and multibeast installs the equivalent of drivers.

    • TonyBlows

      Then why don’t they just say that?

      Instead it’s hidden in the installer, and mentioning this on their forums is sure to get you banned.

      It’s pointless anyway, requiring legit copies of the OS did fuck-all to save Psystar.

      • http://tkware.info TK

        Didn’t Psystar get ruined because they were profiting off of the results?

  • Leon
  • http://nemanja.blog.rs/ Nemanja Ćosović

    Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1485505115 Josh Spankit

    All other discussions aside; thanks for giving choice back to the user. :)

  • Crill

    Just love it. Absolutely love it. That repackaged OpenSourceWithCuteIconsAndNewNames stuff has always pissed me off. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it but you nailed it.