Archived: Mac OS X 64-bit Kernel and Rosetta Compatibility with NI Drivers

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This article explains the compatibility between NI drivers and Mac OS X Lion (10.7) and Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), which boot into a 64-bit kernel by default and no longer include Rosetta.

Note: NI-DAQmx Base is compatible with macOS 10.14 and earlier versions – check macOS compatibility for all supported versions for this driver. For more information, please read the End-of-Life Announcement for DAQmx Base Driver.



Both Mac OS X Lion (10.7) and Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) both boot into a 64-bit kernel by default and no longer ship with Rosetta, a dynamic binary translator that enables applications compiled for the PowerPC processor to run on Intel processors. Because of this, older versions of NI software and driver products will not install and/or function by default.

NI recognizes the need for its products to support the default Mac configuration. As such, we have made new drivers that are 64-bit kernel compatible and not dependent on Rosetta. The table below lists the first version of the drivers that you can install on Mac OS X 10.7 and Mac OS X 10.8.



Mac OS X 10.7

Mac OS X 10.8

NI-DAQmx Base












A computer that is booted into a 64-bit kernel can still run 32-bit applications. However, it cannot load 32-bit loadable kernel extension (kexts on Mac OS X). A driver that interacts with hardware requires a kext and older versions of NI Mac OS X drivers use 32-bit kexts.

Some computers that shipped with Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) and all computers running Mac OS X Lion (10.7) or Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) boot into a 64-bit kernel by default. If you wish to install the drivers older than the versions listed above on a computer that boots a 64-bit kernel by default, you will need to boot the system into 32-bit kernel mode. This can be accomplished by holding down 2 and 3 during boot on computers running Mac OS X 10.6 or Mac OS X 10.7. The 32-bit kernel is not available with Mac OS X 10.8.

Rosetta is no longer supported in Mac OS X 10.7 or later. Because previous versions of NI-488.2 use Rosetta, some components will not work even if booted into 32-bit kernel mode.


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