KX AUDIO DRIVER MOD
Hi guys i am a small developer, i really like to use my sound blaster cards on my machines and i love also coding, so when i find the source code for the kx audio driver on git hub and then Eugene, the creator of kx audio driver decided to no longer maintain the project, i decided to start working on a mod of this driver and maintain it.
With my mod, created starting from the sources of the last official version of kx audio driver and all the small commiunity updates, i am working to keep the driver compatible with the latest mac os versions and to improove the driver over time.
Supported cards are:
- most of the Sound Blaster live!, live! 5.1 and live! 5.1 digital series (except for the cards not using the 10k1 architecture)
- sound blaster pci 512 and pci 256
- Sound Blaster Audigy, Audigy 2 and Audigy 2 zs series
- E-MU cards based on the 10k2 sound chip (like the EMU8852 aka 0404m, including the pcie version)
- Sound Blaster Audigy 4 (SB0610 only) and the Audigy 4 pro
- Sound Blaster Audigy RX (SB0155)
- other creative and e-mu cards based on the (10k1,10k2, 10k2.5 and CA10300 based cards)
The NOT supported cards includes (but are not limited to):
- ES1370/ES1371/ES1372/ES1373 based sound cards
- Any CA0106 based card and cards with similar architectures (like sound blaster live! 24 bit, sound blaster audigy SE SB0570, audigy LS and similars, but audigy SA is supported)
- Any sound blaster x-fi (some of them works on macOS using a modified version of voodoo hda)
- Any sound blaster recon3D
- Sound blaster Audigy FX
- Any sound blaster Z/ZS/ZX and similar series
- Any sound blaster AE5/AE7/AE9 series
- Any sound card without an emu sound chip
- Any ISA Sound card
In the time being the things i have modded or added with this mod are:
- cracking and stability fixes
- added a more proper support for the pci express Sound Blaster audigy rx SB0155 (which basically is an audigy 4 with a pcie bridge chip)
- more user-frienly names for the cards in the settings and other system menus (so the name will be, for example, SB live! 5.1 SB0060 instead of kx SB0060 [e880] witch was shown in the original driver)
- added support to sample rate changing and bit resolution change (the absolte worst supported quality is 7 khz at 8 bit dept while the absolute best is 192 khz at 32 bit depth)
- inputs support
- added boot args to manage the driver (more info on those soon)
What i'd like to implement but i don't know how to do:
- fix the support when using more than one card, to get all the cards shown in the settings and other menus,
- have the gameport/midi port of older cards to be used in mac os as a midi in/out
If other developers would like to join and help they are free to do so, this is a free open source project afterall, and also an hand from other people with testing and feedback will be nice.
LINKS and downloads:
- github repo: https://github.com/ITzTravelInTime/kx-audio-driver (kext download coming soon, since an update is coming)
Some people do have problem understanding AppleALC, how to use it for their own codecs. Here's how I used it for both Realtek ALC and IDT audio codecs.
For more info on Catalina click here.
A New Driver for Realtek RTL8111
Due to the lack of an OS X driver that makes use of the advanced features of the Realtek RTL81111/8168 series I started a new project with the aim to create a state of the art driver that gets the most out of those NICs which can be found on virtually any cheap board on the market today. Based on Realtek's Linux driver (version 8.035.0) I have written a driver that is optimized for performance while making efficient use of system resources and keeping the CPU usage down under heavy load.
Key Features of the Driver
Supports Realtek RTL8111/8168 B/C/D/E/F/G found on recent boards. Support for multisegment packets relieving the network stack of unnecessary copy operations when assembling packets for transmission. No-copy receive and transmit. Only small packets are copied on reception because creating a copy is more efficient than allocating a new buffer. TCP, UDP and IPv4 checksum offload (receive and transmit). TCP segmentation offload under IPv4. Support for TCP/IPv6 and UDP/IPv6 checksum offload. Fully optimized for Mountain Lion (64bit architecture) but should work with Lion too. As of now there is no support for Snow Leopard but it can be added if someone will create the necessary patches. Supports Wake on LAN. Support for Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) which can be disabled by setting enableEEE to NO in the drivers Info.plist without rebuild. The default is YES. The driver is published under GPLv2.
As checksum offload doesn't work with jumbo frames they are currently unsupported and will definitely never be. No support for 32bit kernels.
Before you install the driver you have to remove any installed driver for RTL8111/8168.
Goto /S/L/E and delete the old driver (Lnx2mac, AppleRealtekRTL8169, etc.). Recreate the kernel cache. Open System Preferences and delete the corresponding network interface, e. g. en0. If you forget this step you might experience strange problems with certain Apple domains, iTunes and iCloud later. Reboot. Install the new driver and recreate the kernel cache. I recommend to use Kext Wizard or a similar utility for the installation. Reboot Open System Preferences again, select Network and check if the new network interface has been created automatically or create it manually now. Configure the interface.
Help - I'm getting kernel panics!
Well, before you start complaining about bugs after you upgraded macOS and ask me to publish a driver update, you should first try to resolve the issue on your own by cleaning the system caches.
As the driver uses macOS's private network driver interface, which is supposed to be used by Apple provided drivers only, you might run into problems after an OS update because the linker may fail to recognize that IONetworking.kext has been updated and that the driver needs to be linked against the new version (Apple provided drivers avoid this problem because they are always updated together with IONetworking.kext). As a result, the linking process produces garbage and the driver may call arbitrary code when trying to call functions from IONetworking.kext. This usually results in unpredicted behavior or a kernel panic. In order to recover from such a situation, you should clean the System Caches forcing the linker to recreate it's caches:
Delete all the files in /System/Library/Caches and it's subdirectories but leave the directories and the symbolic links intact. This is very important! Reboot. Recreate the kernel cache. Reboot again.
Make sure you have followed the installation instructions especially when you have issues with certain domains while the others are working fine. Use the debug version to collect log data when trying to track down problems. The kernel log messages can be found in /var/log/system.log. For Sierra and above use "log show --predicate "processID == 0" --debug" in order to retrieve kernel logs. Include the log data when asking for support or giving feedback. I'm an engineer, not a clairvoyant. Check your BIOS settings. You might want to disable Network Boot and the UEFI Network Stack as these can interfere with the driver. Double check that you have removed any other Realtek kext from your system because they could prevent the driver from working properly. Verify your bootloader configuration, in particular the kernel flags. Avoid using npci=0x2000 or npci=0x3000. In Terminal run netstat -s in order to display network statistics. Carefully examine the data for any unusual activity like a high number of packets with bad IP header checksums, etc. In case auto-configuration of the link layer connection doesn't work it might be necessary to select the medium manually in System Preferences under Network for the interface. Use Wireshark to create a packet dump in order to collect diagnostic information. Keep in mind that there are many manufacturers of network equipment. Although Ethernet is an IEEE standard different implementations may show different behavior causing incompatibilities. In case you are having trouble try a different switch or a different cable.
How can I retrieve the kernel logs? In Terminal type "grep kernel /var/log/system.log". I want to disable Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) but I don't know how? Take a look at the driver's Info.plist file. There you will find an option named <key>enableEEE</key>. Change its value from <true/> to <false/>. Don't forget to recreate the kernel cache after changing the value. WoL from S5 doesn't work with this driver but under Windows it's working. Is this a driver bug? No it isn't, the driver is working as it should because OS X doesn't support WoL from S5.
The driver has been successfully tested under 10.8.x and 10.9 with the B, C, D, E, F and G versions of the RTL8111/8168 and is known to work stable on these devices.
Version 2.2.2 (2018-01-21) Force ASPM state to disabled/enabled according to the config parameter setting. Requires 10.12 or newer. Version 2.2.1 (2016-03-12): Updated underlying linux sources from Realtek to 8.041.00. Added support for RTL8111H. Implemented Apple’s polled receive driver model (RXPOLL). Requires 10.11 or newer. Support for older versions of OS X has been dropped. Version 2.0.0 (2015-06-21): Uses Apple's private driver interface introduced with 10.8. Supports packet scheduling with QFQ. Please note that 2.0.0 is identical to 2.0.0d2. Only the version number has changed. Version 1.2.3 (2014-08-23): Reworked TSO4 and added support for TSO6. Version 1.2.2 (2014-08-44): Added an option to disable Active State Power Management (ASPM, default disabled) as ASPM seems to result in unstable operation of some chipsets. Resolved a problem with Link Aggregation after reboot. Added a workaround for the multicast filter bug of chipset 17 (RTL8111F) which prevented Bonjour from working properly Version 1.2.0 (2014-04-24): Updated underlying linux sources from Realtek to 8.037.00. Improved interrupt mitigate to use a less aggressive value for 10/100 MBit connections. Version 1.1.3 (2013-11-29): Improved transmit queue handling made it possible to reduce CPU load during packet transmission. Improved deadlock detection logic in order to avoid false positives due to lost interrupts. Version 1.1.2 (2013-08-03): Improved SMB performance in certain configurations. Faster browsing of large shares. Version 1.1.0 (2013-06-08): Support for TCP/IPv6 and UDP/IPv6 checksum offload added (can be disabled in Info.plist). Maximum size of the scatter-gather-list has been increased from 24 to 40 segments to resolve performance issues with TSO4 when offloading large packets which are highly fragmented. TSO4 can be disabled in Info.plist without rebuild. Statistics gathering has been improved to deliver more detailed information (resource shortages, transmitter resets, transmitter interrupt count). The interrupt mitigate settings has been changed to improve performance with SMB and to reduce CPU load. Configuration option added to allow for user defined interrupt mitigate settings without rebuild. Version 1.0.4 (2013-05-04): Moved setLinkStatus(kIONetworkLinkValid) from start() to enable(). Cleaned up getDescCommand(). Version 1.0.3 (2013-04-25): The issue after a reboot from Windows has been eliminated. Version 1.0.2 (2013-04-22): Added support for rx checksum offload of TCP and UDP over IPv6. Version 1.0.1 (2013-03-31): Improved behavior when rx checksum offload isn't working properly. Adds the chipset's model name to IORegistry so that it will show up in System Profiler.
There are still performance problems with regard to SMB in certain configurations. My tests indicate that Apple's Broadcom driver shows the same behavior with those configurations. Obviously it's a more general problem that is not limited to my driver. WoL does not work in certain configurations. Old systems with 3 and 4 series chipsets exhibit performance issues in recent versions of macOS because there is no optimized power management for these systems in macOS anymore as Apple dropped support for the underlying hardware a long time ago. In case you are affected, please upgrade your hardware or find an alternative solution because I have no plans for a workaround. Sorry, but I don't think that it's worth the effort.
Getting the driver
The source code can be found here: https://github.com/M...driver_for_OS_X There is also a pre-build binary for Mavericks and Yosemite: https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/files/file/88-realtekrtl8111-binary/
Building from Source
I'm using XCode 4.6.3 for development. You can get a free copy of XCode after becoming a member of the Apple developer program. The free membership is sufficient in order to get access to development tools and documentation.