Small Computing

Guide: Install OS X on Samsung N120 Netbook

Quick and dirty, this is not going to cover everything, but if you have an hour to kill, you will get OS X working on your Samsung N120 netbook, but don’t expect every last thing to work. Ready to get started? Grab your Samsung N120 netbook, iDeneb 1.4, and get these video kexts and let’s go to work.

This is still a work in progress, but it should be slightly more helpful to those who wanted something a little more detailed than my super fast initial post.

Preparing to install OS X on the Samsung N120 netbook

If you don’t have iDeneb 1.4 yet, get it.

Before you get going, you need to go into your BIOS (F2) and go to the Advanced tab and look for EDB (Execute Disable Bit). Enable it. If, after you have OS X iDeneb 1.4 installed on your Samsung N120 netbook you find you get stuck at a blue screen, this is why. Be sure you enable this.

Also in BIOS, go to the Boot tab and change Brightness Mode Control to User Control. Now, manually set your screen brightness using the FN key and the arrows. Set it to whatever you feel comfortable with (half is usually fine) because this is how you have to set brightness in OS X until a proper DSDT.aml is created.

Also, in case you missed it at the top of the screen, you need some video kexts. Have these handy. Everything else will more or less work with what comes pre-packaged with iDeneb 1.4.

Partition however you like, but I whacked XP entirely because I hated it so much (Samsung really made it awful). For sake of disclosure, I used a single journaled partition. You can use the disk utility to set this up, or else you can use the Windows disk manager to make partitions and then modify them in the OS X disk utility. If you’d like a little more, check the OS X installation guide for the Asus Eee PC 1000HE where I cover it a little more than I can right now.

Installing OS X on the Samsung N120 netbook

OS X will slowly, very slowly, boot. You do not need to specify any boot flags, just hit Enter to boot.

Here’s where you’ll need to select a few things to help make stuff work. Be sure you choose the Customize option when you’re at the screen that’s ready to install OS X.

Once you’ve selected all of these things, hit Done and then Install and wait. Once it’s all done, with some luck, it’ll reboot itself and you’ll be at the usual OS X user registration screen.

Post install of OS X on the Samsung N120 netbook

Now open up that video kexts file I said you’d need for post installation.

Power management will be installed but not functional, so…

Upgrade to 10.5.7

I’m going to shamelessly steal from the forums for the 10.5.7 update. Aside from formatting, this is entirely pwm8’s work. See the iDeneb 10.5.7 update guide thread for more information. However, just a side note, the Samsung N120 netbook can be upgraded using the official Apple delta upgrade. I can’t say for certain that it won’t break anything, but it does, in fact, work. If you’re worried, stick to the community upgrade.

Ok, I have spent most of the morning struggling with the 10.5.7 iDeneb update, but I finally have it mostly working. I was running iDeneb 1.3 updated with the iDeneb 10.5.6 updater.I spent most of the morning in safe mode trying to figure out how to get back to working condition. Needless to say, this update was a bit of a struggle, so here’s some tips to help others.

Main points:

  1. Backup to a flash drive or SD card ALL of your AppleIntelGMA950 files. This includes AppleIntelGMA950.kext, the two bundle files containing “950″ in the file name, the plugin file with “950″ in its file name, and the AppleIntegratedFrameBuffer.kext from your 10.5.6 install before you do anything. All of these files are located in your System/Library/Extensions file. The AppleIntel950 files are next to each other in that file so are easy to find.

  2. Also backup IOBluetoothFamily.kext from the same file may not be necessary for Samsung N120 netbook.

  3. Download the iDeneb 10.5.7 Combo update from Ihackintosh or from the link posted in the first page of the large thread on this forum titled: “OS X on Asus eeePC 1000HE – Updated 5/18/09”

  4. Install the combo updater, reboot.

  5. Reboot should work, but your machine will be in 800×600 stretched mode (much like the first time you installed). Also, bluetooth will be working, but will not be able to be turned off.

  6. Using Kext Helper, reinstall AppleIntelGMA950.kext, AppleIntegratedFrameBuffer.kext and IOBluetoothFamily.kext. Don’t reboot yet.

  7. From your backups, copy the 2 bundle files and the 1 plugin file that have “950″ in the file name into your hard drive System/Library/Extensions folder. You will have to tell it to replace existing versions of all those files.

  8. Reboot. You should be back to normal, with correct resolution and bluetooth able to be turned on and off.

A couple of issues: I don’t see anything different regarding power with this update-a couple of posters have noticed better battery life, I haven’t seen that yet. Also, no difference in the power management stuff in GenericCPUPMControl-one side’s graphs jump up and down and the other side stays at 100% (this is showing VoodooPower.kext 1.2.3 for reference)

I haven’t noticed that anything else is broken. Yet.


At this point, you should have most things working in OS X on your Samsung N120 netbook, but wireless and ethernet will not. Also, it may sleep when you close the lid, so find a clamshell.kext and that should resolve it. There’s a patch for ethernet I’ve not tried yet that I think will work, and wireless can be coerced into working infrequently, but it’s very ugly and unreliable and you’re better off replacing the wireless card if you want a seamless experience. Installing a Broadcom BCM4321 based card is highly suggested, and can be done in 10-15 minutes, even by novices.

If you’ve looked at the breakdown involved for swapping cards in the Asus Eee PC 1000HE, this is nothing like that. There’s about 13 screws on the bottom, the case pops off, and the wireless card is in the bottom left. See the picture for more details (it’s from my iPhone, so yes, the quality is awful and I apologize).

Samsung N120 internals

Also, I am yet to try it, but there’s a new audio driver that’s being used in the 1000HE community, and considering most of the netbooks out use the exact same hardware, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that it may work on the Samsung as well. When I find some time this week (I hope) I’ll give it a shot and see if it works: else, if anyone tries it, a quick comment or forum post would be appreciated since it’ll help anyone else out who happens to be looking for info on getting the N120 to play nicely with OS X.

Lastly, again, this guide is still a work in progress, so please bear with me while I figure out the best way to present everything to and to get functional links setup. This is something of a busy time for me, so I may not have an opportunity to anything more than very small updates between now and some time next week.

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