AX88179 USB Ethernet and MacOS 10.13 High Sierra

When I purchased the new Macbook Pro last year, one big issue was the lack of widely used interface ports. In order not to purchase many dongles (and spend too much on the Apple Store) I had a look on the usual sites and found a nice one from Cable Matters (no, sadly I have no sponsorship from them) which had them all: ethernet, USB-A, VGA and HDMI. Fantastic!

Coming from Linux, where 99% of the drivers are already provided in the kernel, the first odd thing I had to do is install the drivers for these ports! Even if I manage Windows computers daily, I wasn’t used anymore on my laptop!

Luckily drivers are not hard to find:

  • USB-A port uses ASM1153 chipset (55aa:174c), but works out of the box
  • Ethernet uses AX88179 from Asix (1790:0b95)

When I first installed the drivers I was using Sierra, and no problems arise. Now that I reinstalled with High Sierra the ethernet driver wasn’t working. Why? User-Approved Kernel Extension Loading.

User-Approved Kernel Extension Loading is a feature (released broken) which should enhance system security, from preventing unknown sources extensions from loading into the kernel.

So when I was prompted to load a kernel extension from developer WEI LU SU I instantly said NO. Just later I found out that it’s the extension which manages the USB Ethernet AX88179!

So if, like me, you missed or misinterpreted that prompt you can go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General in the window bottom you can see System software from developer “WEI LU SU” was blocked from loading. Right next to it a button will allow you to Allow the extension from loading, and the USB Ethernet port should work right after.

5 pensieri su “AX88179 USB Ethernet and MacOS 10.13 High Sierra

  1. I had the same issue but also had to take an extra step. After authorizing the developer “WEI LU SU” and then restarting, the network drive was still not loading right. I had to perform another install of the driver, restart, then it started working. Hope this helps someone else as well.

  2. Thank you so much! I literally opened and read close to a dozen sites to solve this problem and while many had steps to try, none had solutions that worked. I followed your recommendations and it solved the problem immediately! I wish I had found your post earlier. It would have saved me close to an hour of research.

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