[Guide] Creating a Basic Config.plist file for booting macOS


Staff member
Jul 22, 2018
Intel Core i9 9900K
2xAMD RX 580 8GB
OS X/macOS
Clover (UEFI)
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
The config.plist is a system configuration file for the Hackintosh and allows to boot. Without a config.plist, no machine can boot into macOS.

A basic config.plist file is automatically created while installing Clover Boot loader at /EFI/Clover/. If the config.plist is already present, it will be renamed as backup config.plist or remain untouched. The config.plist which is installed by Clover Boot loader, is the default config.plist and is not optimised for all the systems. It can boot into some installation but when talking about the majority, it will fail to boot on most of the newer machines and high end builds.

Also, it's a good idea to create a config.plist for each specific system which will exclude the errors and trouble while installation and you can easily boot into macOS installation. The configuration file is written in XML and can be edited using a text editor. But we don't recommend to use a text editor as it has a chance of config.plist file corruption. The best way to edit a config.plist is to use some specific tools like Clover Configurator, Xcode, Plist Editor Pro etc..

This guide covers a creation of basic config.plist which will allow to boot most of the systems. However, for few systems, such as Xeon, High End CPUs, Workstations, Server, X99, X299, you might need to tweak your config.plist.

Notes :
  • It's good to have a minimal configuration and options set before you install. Once you install, you can add the other options later on. This will cause less trouble and speedup the installation process.
  • As it's a basic config.plist creation guide, so only important sections has been discussed. This will only allow to boot off your system. It will not enable any other hardware.

Download Tool
The very first step is to get Clover Configurator which will help in creating, modifying or editing a config.plist. The Clover Configurator is available for download in the Downloads section of our forum.

Installing Clover Configurator
After downloading, copy the Clover configurator to Applications folder.
You can also use Clover Configurator from your Desktop or any other location but having it in Applications is a good idea.

Note :
  • If you have other settings in Safari or use some other browser, make sure to extract the Clover Configurator after downloading it.
Creating a config.plist
Open Clover Configurator
There are several sections, starting with the first one

Clover Configurator Section ACPI sections are as follows:

Under DSDT, patches section, you can implement the necessary ACPI patches for optimising the ACPI system components with DSDT and SSDT.

The common patches includes:
  • USB
  • Audio
  • iGPU Power Management
  • SATA
On a Desktop, the common patches are :
Comment: change EHC1 to EH01
Find* [HEX]: 45484331
Replace [HEX]: 45483031
Comment: change EHC2 to EH02
Find* [HEX]: 45484332
Replace [HEX]: 45483032
Comment: change HDAS to HDEF
Find* [HEX]: 48444153
Replace [HEX]: 48444546
Comment: change GFX0 to IGPU
Find* [HEX]: 47465830
Replace [HEX]: 49475055
Comment: change HECI to IMEI
Find* [HEX]: 48454349
Replace [HEX]: 494D4549
Notes :
  • Use "change GFX0 to IGPU" patch for iGPU power management. This only applies if you're using a Intel HD Graphics. This is not needed with discrete Graphics Card such as NVIDIA and AMD.
  • Use "change HECI to IMEI for Intel UHD Graphics only.

For further information on possible ACPI parameter configurations, see https://clover-wiki.zetam.org/Configuration/ACPI.

Below the patches, you can see Fixes section, these are the small fixes, without patching your DSDT and SSDT. It's not recommended to have on a Desktop. Using these options can cause improper boot or system unstable.

If you're using a DSDT which has been patched, you can type your DSDT name. Such as DSDT.aml

The Drop Tables menu allows to drop certain DSDT tables. For most Hackintosh systems it is recommended to drop DMAR to boot a Hackintosh system.

The SSDT allows specific SSDT settings mostly CPU power management related. To enable CPU Power Management, you need to check "Plugin Type". Enabling this option will enable CPU Power Management.

If you're using a full set of patched DSDT and SSDT, you need to check "Drop OEM=true". Don't use this option if you're not using a full set of DSDT and SSDT. On a Desktop, it's not recommended.

Under Disabled AML, you can list your DSDT and SSDT. This will exclude your DSDT and SSDT while booting. On a Desktop, it's not recommended.

Under Sorted Order, you can list your all DSDT and SSDT which you're using in /EFI/Clover/ACPI/Patched.

Note :
Use the complete DSDT and SSDT and name along with extension. For e.g. DSDT.aml

For Acpi, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.29.15 AM.png

The Arguments section allows to use of certain boot flags which is necessary.
The common boot arguments are:

Notes :
  • At the time of installation, it's recommended to use "verbose, -v" which will allow a verbose boot with the messages instead of Apple logo with a progress bar. After installation and completing post installation, you can uncheck this option and have a clean Apple Logo.
  • Use "-disablegfxfirmware" if you're using Intel HD 6xx Graphics only.
  • For fixing Sleep/Wake functions, some users use "darkwake" but it's not recommend on any system.
  • If you want to use any custom boot flags, which are not available in Clover Configurator, you can use them here. All you need to do is type the boot args. With the Beta release and other functions, some custom flags are required by few kexts such as Apple ALC, Lilu, and other plugins.

Under Default Boot Volume, you can choose the default volume so that the macOS boots automatically from the Clover menu. Use the name of your macOS System Drive on which the OS has been installed. Such as Macintosh HD. This should be usually done at the time of post installation.

The Default Loader sets the boot file of the Boot loader which is /EFI/Boot/BootX64.efi. You can have it. But it's recommended to not have this option as it can cause issue.

The Legacy should be set as PBR

If you're using a High frequency of RAM, such as 1866MHz, 2400MHz, and later, you'll need to set "XMPDetection=Yes". For this, you also need to enable XMP Profile 1 in UEFI Settings of your motherboard.

To prevent hibernation, check "NeverHibernate" box.

For more information with this section, you can read at: https://clover-wiki.zetam.org/configuration/boot

For Boot, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like

Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.29.20 AM.png

Boot Graphics
The Boot Graphics section is have very less importance and recommended to leave it untouched.

For Boot Graphics, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.29.24 AM.png

The CPU section is usually untouched for all systems. This option can help if your CPU is not detected automatically by the macOS or has wrong information of your CPU such as different name or Unknown CPU.

All the other values should be untouched and not recommended to modify as it can lead to a unstable system. The values such as Frequency, Bus Speed, are automatically controlled by BIOS. For overclocking, you can set the options in BIOS/UEFI.

For CPU, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.29.27 AM.png

The Devices section has sub sections such as Fake ID, USB, Audio and Add Properties.

Fake ID
This section can be used to spoof or set a device ID for hardware such as Graphics, WiFi, SATA etc.
On a Desktop, it's recommended to leave it untouched.

Note :
If you're using a Intel HD Graphics, you need to set Fake ID

Skylake : 0x19168086
KabyLake : 0x59168086
Coffee Lake : 0x59168086, spoofed as Kaby Lake

This sets the USB properties. The following options should be checked.
  • Inject
  • Add ClockID
  • Fix Ownership
This section allows the injection of layout ID. This option should be left untouched and should be configured at the time of post installation

The values in Arbitrary properties entries are not recommended unless you need something with the Intel HD Graphics or the Intel HDMI/DP Audio.

For Devices, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.29.35 AM.png

Disable Drivers
This section allows you to disable the certain drivers from /EFI/Clover/drivers64 or drivers64UEFI
It's recommended to leave it untouched for a basic config.plist for Desktops.

For Disable Drivers, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.29.41 AM.png

The Clover GUI has other sub sections such as Mouse, Scan, Themes, Volumes, etc..

The mouse option allows the use of Mouse within Clover Menu and also allows to change certain mouse properties such as click function.

The Scan section controls the scanning of Boot Drives and the other installed Operating Systems in Clover menu.
It's recommended to leave this option untouched.

The theme section allows to set the Clover Theme. Such as BGM. If you're using any other theme, you can set the theme name here.

Hide Volumes
This section hides the volumes in Clover menu. For High Sierra and later, it's recommended to hide Preboot and Prebooter Volumes. You can also hide other volumes as per your requirements.

For GUI, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.30.06 AM.png

This section allows to control the Graphics functions with the Framebuffer, VRAM, ports and other stuffs.
When using a AMD or a NVIDIA GPU, it's recommended to leave it untouched. However, for some old ATI/AMD and NVIDIA Cards, it might be required to set few options.

Note :
  • If you're using a Intel HD Graphics, you'll need to set ig-platform-id and check Inject Intel. Users are requested to search for respective threads available under forums to retrieve any further necessary information.
For Graphics, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.30.12 AM.png

Kernel and kext Patches
This section has also the following sub sections

The following options needs to be checked
  • AppleRTC
  • AppleIntelCPU
  • kernelPm
This section is for spoofing a CPU with the other CPU model. This is not recommended but if you're using CPU such as Pentium CPUs, you need to set 0x0306A0 as Fake CPUID for Pentium CPU which will spoof it as a Ivy Bridge CPU.

This section allows you to patch kexts without editing them directly

The patches such as TRIM and NVMe drives, Boot Graphics Glitch can be achieved from here. It's recommended to leave it blank, untouched. At post-installation, you can add the necessary patches.

Note :

For Kernel and Kext Patches, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.30.16 AM.png

Note :
  • For Arrandale, Sandy and Ivy CPUs, you must check "AppleIntelCPUPM".
  • If you're using a Dell Motherboard, you must check "DellSMBIOSPatch".
Rt Variables
This section holds ROM, SIP etc..

The ROM should be set to "UseMacAddr0"
The BooterConfig should be set to 0x28 and CsrActiveConfig to 0x67 respectively. To disable SIP, set CsrActiveConfig to 0x00 and 0x03 will partially enable the SIP.

Note :
On a Hackintosh, it's recommended to have SIP disabled.
For more information on SIP, check : https://www.elitemacx86.com/threads/guide-how-to-disable-sip-system-integrity-protection.260/

For Rt Variables, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.31.18 AM.png

This section is the important section and has various impact on your system.
The SMBIOS should be set according to your System Configuration depending on your CPU.
Different SMBIOS version can be set from here using "Up and Down" symbol.
After selecting the appropriate SMBIOS, the rest SMBIOS values will be automatically filled by Clover Configurator. are automatically and properly filled by Clover Configurator.

Note :
  • Note hat "Serial Number", "Board Serial Number" and "SmUUID" are unique SMBIOS credentials, which should not be revealed in public. They are unique for each system and mandatory for activation of iMessage and FaceTime.
  • This should be configured at the time of post installation.
The common SMBIOS has been listed below

If your system is unable to recognise the correct amount of RAM, you'll need to add your RAM information here. By default, it's not recommended unless you have such issue.

For SMBIOS, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like. This is a typical SMBIOS. You must choose SMBIOS according to your system configuration as per the guide.

System Parameters
This section has a small function but has a great importance.
The only change is setting Inject Kexts to "Yes" and Inject System ID. Rest will remain untouched.

Note :
For System Parameters, the screenshot below is a example what it should look like
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.31.35 AM.png

Finally, after applying all necessary changes in config.plist described above, don't forget to save the modified config.plist from the menu bar before closing Clover Configurator.app.

A sample of config.plist has been attached below