Topic: New macOS RME Thunderbolt driver – public beta test
Important News: we just had to learn that using the current Xcode compiler 13 to generate our driver files produces drivers that won't work under Big Sur. We are investigating how to solve this. For the time being please only try this new driver under macOS 12.x.
This is a macOS Thunderbolt DriverKit driver.
Several years ago Apple decided to no longer allow so called kernel extensions in hardware drivers. The grace period where they still work will soon come to an end. So far using previous drivers has become cumbersome, for example by the required lowering of system security on latest Apple Silicon machines.
The new 1.0 driver is based on Apple’s DriverKit framework. It runs in user space, not as kernel extension. Therefore on M-processor based machines, the additional boot into Recovery mode and setting the Security Policy to reduced security is no longer required. Still Apple requires to ‘Allow’ the drivers in the Security & Privacy dialog. Hope is that with this new driver the 'Allow' state becomes more reliable than it has proven in the past.
Attention: The UFX+ requires a firmware update to version 110 (AKM) or 164 (ESS) to enable the use of this DriverKit driver. Link to firmware update tool:
Current driver version: 1.00. Included TotalMix FX: 1.77b1. This is a special DriverKit version that is not compatible to previous drivers.
New in TotalMix FX 1.77b1:
- Improved search function in the Workspace Quick Select dialog
- DAW mode Speaker B: On changes the routing was not restored correctly
System requirements: macOS 11 and up, Intel or M processor (Apple Silicon)
Installation: Double-click on driver_mac_tbdk_100.zip to expand the archive file to the driver file UFX+ Thunderbolt DK.pkg. Installation works automatically by a double-click on the pkg (package) file. Before reboot check that in Security & Privacy, tab General, the RME driver is allowed to load. If not unlock the settings and allow it. Then reboot computer.
A previously installed kernel extension driver, like 1.21, does not need to be uninstalled. It will be overwritten automatically. After that you could set the system security back to normal, unless any other existing kernel extensions still need reduced security.
To go back to 1.21: easiest method is to drag the RME Thunderbolt Settings app found in the folder Applications to the trash can - only use the Finder for this action. With DriverKit this Settings dialog is 'the app', upon removal all driver files belonging to it will also be removed automatically. You will be asked for permission for the removal of the extensions. If done simply reinstall the former 1.21.
As an alternative we also made a version of the 1.21 driver available that should reliably remove the DriverKit extension during its installation, see link below. The one found on our website for download is not guaranteed to always do that.
Former driver 1.21 with updated installer to remove DriverKit 1.0x:
Any feedback is much appreciated.