How to Manually Install Kernel Extensions in Mac OS X

Jan 12, 2012 - 7 Comments

Kext files

Can’t use the easy Kext Drop app for some reason to install a kernel extension? Installing kexts (kernel extensions) manually is always an option and it’s not too difficult if you’re comfortable with the command line:

  • Copy the .kext file(s) to /System/Library/Extensions/
  • Open the Terminal and type:
  • cd /System/Library/Extensions/

  • Type the following commands at the terminal, replacing the kext name with the one you are installing
  • sudo chmod -R 755 kextfile.kext
    sudo chown -R root:wheel kextfile.kext

  • Now remove the kext caches:
  • sudo rm -R Extensions.kextcache
    sudo rm -R Extensions.mkext

  • Reboot the Mac

The kernel extension should now be installed.

As you can see this is more time consuming than the alternative, so ideally you’ll just one of the installer applications instead.

Thanks to Nick for the tip

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Posted by: William Pearson in Command Line, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

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  1. Andre says:

    This is true unless the kexts are for hackintosh, in which case they are stored at

    “/Extra/Extensions/”

    Instead of the System location

  2. sogneire says:

    I’ll stick with kext helper but thanks anyway

  3. root86.org says:

    just use a nice hackintosh tool, this also works on real macs: Kextutility or Kext Wizard.

    • Al says:

      So I just tried to do this on my MT Lion for my SSD drive, however I did not see the part about del the cache files…Im remote from my system at the moment and unfort logmein is now showing my system as offline so I have no idea what I will be seeing when I get home. Can I just del the cache files and all will be right or did I just screw myself…also I saved the ones I replaced on my desktop do I just copy them back to reverse things???

  4. Al says:

    So I just tried to do this on my MT Lion for my SSD drive, however I did not see the part about del the cache files…Im remote from my system at the moment and unfort logmein is now showing my system as offline so I have no idea what I will be seeing when I get home. Can I just del the cache files and all will be right or did I just screw myself…also I saved the ones I replaced on my desktop do I just copy them back to reverse things???

  5. [...] for some reason the package installer fails, you can install the kext using the traditional manual installation method described here, though it’s a bit more advanced. Likewise, you can uninstall the kext that way, and if [...]

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