When OS X is installed, does the installer:
write only generic files (that will work on any machine supported by that OS), or
customise the installation to a specific machine type in any way? (If so, presumably this is based on the machine that the installer is running on?)
In the past, I have assumed that the answer is "OS X installs are generic", and used various tricks based on that assumption. But I've only ever done this in various temporary workarounds, because I don't really trust that assumption.
If I had a trustworthy (so preferably referenced) answer "OS X installs are generic", here are some examples of what I could do:
Boot a Mac Pro using the software on a MacBook Pro (ie laptop is in target disk mode, connected to desktop via FireWire, I hold down alt when booting the desktop and choose the laptop drive).
Run an installer on one machine, writing to a hard drive that I intend to install in a different machine.
Create an installation in a virtual machine (via VirtualBox etc), then write it to a standard volume for use in a physical machine, or vice-versa.
To try and limit the question:
Considering Intel only: let's ignore older PPC hardware
Let's say this is about 10.8 onwards
Apple hardware only: I'm not asking about Hackintosh
I understand that some applications may be confused in various ways by a change in the underlying hardware environment, but I'm just wondering about the OS itself here.