Beagle bone not network/serial accessible over USB in Mac OS X El Capitan

To save others the angst, I just wanted to report that on the latest Mac OS X (El Capitan 10.11) the Beaglebone Black is currently not usable via the USB connection, except as a storage device. The alternative is to power it somehow and connect via Ethernet.

Normally there are two methods of console connection via USB: as a virtual network device using HoRNDIS or as a virtual serial device using FTDI USB Serial drivers. Both are thwarted by El Capitan because it enforces kext signing, but for slightly different reasons:

  • HoRNDIS simply hasn’t been signed for the latest OS, so refuses to load. A preview version that is signed has become available (discussed here: and over at the source: ) but it does not appear to work with the Beaglebone.
  • FTDI’s drivers contain a long list of recognised chips, but the Beaglebone isn’t one. Adding support is a simple matter of adding the vendor and product ID to the kext, but unfortunately doing so invalidates the signature and the kext will no longer load!
    If anyone discovers improvements on this state of affairs then please let us know. I’ll do the same.


A positive update on the HoRNDIS front: the preview version (rel8pre1) has been confirmed to work on the latest OS X, 10.11.1. Still no word on FTDI.

Thanks for posting. Hopefully this gets resolved.

you just saved me a lot of angst!!