CUDA Driver for Lion

Developer Drivers (4.0.21) for Lion support has been posted to our developer site.

Forgive my ignorance, new to MAC, but can this driver be used for OS X Lion users of CUDA applications?
MY MAC after upgrading to Lion brings up a message the driver needs replacing, but the NVIDIA driver server is not available.
Can I use this as the new driver?


Yes, to use CUDA on Lion you need to install this driver.
We are investigating the issue of the server availability.


Can you perform the following please?

  1. Open Terminal. You may do this by pressing the Command and Spacebar on your keyboard to bring up the Spotlight window and then type “Terminal”. Open the Terminal application. It will pop up a window similar to the picture below:

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  1. From within Terminal, type the following command:

/Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check | echo $?

  1. It should return a value of “0”. Next, type the following command:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Print :RunAtLoad” /Library/LaunchAgents/com.nvidia.CUDASoftwareUpdate.plist

  1. It should return a value of “false”. Finally, type the following command:

defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.nvidia.CUDAPref

  1. It should display the text “UpdateRequired = FALSE”. I am including a screenshot below demonstrating what the Terminal window should appear after running the commands above:

External Image

  1. If either of the commands above return a different value, please notify me and if possible, provide a screenshot of what you get.

Does this work with all MacPros? Mine is early 2008 Intel 2x 3.0ghz dual core.

Is there any special rigging that needs to happen?

I just ordered that card (with little research) and i was really wanting to run it. I thought i was going to have to return it.

I want to have more than 256 cuda cores and if there is a card i can get within $50 USD of where the GTX570 that is more compatible with mac I would get it. Is there such a card?

This is my screenshot:

I could be wrong but it sounds as if you have a Mac Pro 1,1 or 2,1. If that is true, I believe the only CUDA enabled card you can purchase for your system is a Geforce 8800GT w/ 32-bit EFI. If you have a Mac Pro 3,1 or higher, you can use any recent Geforce or Quadro card for Mac.

I also got the same thing… the last command returns “UpdateRequired=TRUE”…


Hi Manuel,

I have the same problem with Lion & CUDA driver.
I’ve run the commands as you suggested:
$ /Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check | echo $?
$ /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Print :RunAtLoad” /Library/LaunchAgents/com.nvidia.CUDASoftwareUpdate.plist

I’m using 2007 MBP, with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB.


OH MY…Yessss

I have been looking for an answer to this for a while. I do have a macpro 1,1 system. I have been looking for anything nvidia that would fit the 1,1 identifier and give any amount of cuda cores with 1g. I know this is only 512mb but it will have to do on my quad 3.0.

My premier pro is begging for it.

Same prob here:

I´ve updated CUDA manually by downloading the dmg from Still says. that CUDA needs to be updated.
I have a Mid2010 MackBookPro.

Here a screenshot from

Bildschirmfoto 2011-09-21 um 07.57.55.png

Mine is about the same as Fleuz’, except the terminal returns “UpdateRequired = FALSE” (as I guess it should) and it never stops checking for updates. I open the CUDA control panel and it automatically starts to check for an update—and apparently keeps checking for ages, because the text “Checking for CUDA updates” never goes away. Logging out, rebooting, repairing file permissions, turning off the firewall etc won’t help. This has been going on since the last update. Before that everything worked, i.e. it checked for updates and within seconds returned “No newer CUDA driver available” or “An new CUDA driver is available”.

The computer is an off-the-shelf 24" 2.93GHz iMac9,1 running OS X 10.7.1 Lion, with a standard-issue NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card.

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I am a frequent user of the CUDA capabilities on my mac. Since upgrading from 10.6.8 to 10.7 I have not been able to make these features work either. I have a Mac Pro 3,1 with the Nvidia 8800 GT 512. I currently have the CUDA Driver Version: 4.0.50 and GPU Driver Version: 7.12.9 270.05.10f03. When I open a terminal shell and enter “nvcc -V” I get “command not found” as if CUDA is not running on my system at all. Also, under the update button in the CUDA preferences pane in System Preferences it states that “CUDA update server unavailable.” If there is anyways to resolve this issue I am open to any suggestions. Here are my results:

$ cd /Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check | echo $?
-bash: cd: /Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check: Not a directory
$ /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Print :RunAtLoad” /Library/LaunchAgents/com.nvidia.CUDASoftwareUpdate.plist
$ defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.nvidia.CUDAPref
UpdateRequired = FALSE;

I’ve been using Mac for just under a year and do take the time time to try and work things out for myself but I am really stuck on CUDA and hope this is the right thread to ask for help.
I use Photoshop and Illustrator. When using Photoshop shortly after installed I got a window saying there had been a problem with my graphics card and my Photoshop was now running as 32 not 64.
I googled and discovered I have two graphics cards on this machine so I downloaded to gfxCardStatus to check the Nvidia card was working. Apparently it was.
I also read somewhere that I needed to upgrade my card. In Mac Forums I was told not to do that as as upgrade would come in with the Mac software updates when needed. So I carried on with the 32bt Photoshop.
I have just upgraded to Lion and while trying to get used to it I went through all my settings and prefs. I found I have a CUDA application which needs updating but I am not sure how it got there, or even if I should have it. I may have downloaded it when I thought updates where down to me.
Can someone tell me if I should use it and also if installing it, or upgrading it if it is installed is difficult. I rather struggled through the previous posts … . . .
I have a 17" MacBook Pro running Lion 10.72 but this problem was also on Snow Leopard.
Thank you.
I have edited to attach the screen shot of the Photoshop message.

Photoshop problem.png

I had some different problems. I recently purchased a pre-owned GTX 285 and installed it in my Mac Pro 3,1 Early 2008, Lion 10.7.2.
Then I installed the newest drivers: GPU Driver 7.12.9 270.05.10f03, CUDA Driver 4.0.50.
The card worked fine with the mac itself and Finder, Photoshop and Final Cut Pro / X performed noticeably faster.
What I could not get to work was CUDA acceleration in Adobe Premiere. GPUSniffer could not find any CUDA Device and the Mercury Engine Hardware acceleration was greyed out and not accessible.
Downgrading to CUDA Driver 4.0.19 made the trick and, after that, CUDA acceleration was on in Premiere, though I didn’t work a long time and I can’t say much about stability.
Exactly the same situation, though with another video board was reported here: hp 2.0 Dock ( with DVI and Ethernet ) | .
Anyone has experienced this or has some comments?
Thanks all.


Last login: Wed May 9 10:09:48 on console
Abraham-Giraldos-Mac-Pro:~ abrahamdavidgiraldo$ /Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check | echo $?
Abraham-Giraldos-Mac-Pro:~ abrahamdavidgiraldo$ /Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check | echo $?
Abraham-Giraldos-Mac-Pro:~ abrahamdavidgiraldo$ /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Print :RunAtLoad” /Library/LaunchAgents/com.nvidia.CUDASoftwareUpdate.plist
Abraham-Giraldos-Mac-Pro:~ abrahamdavidgiraldo$ defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.nvidia.CUDAPref
UpdateRequired = TRUE;
Abraham-Giraldos-Mac-Pro:~ abrahamdavidgiraldo$

it also says all times

CUDA Driver Version: 4.0.21 update required !!

is doesnt allow me do something

CUDA update server unavailable

There is a problem on the IT side, we are working to fix it as soon as possible,

Do we need to buy a Mac specific Geforce or Quadro card or will ANY Geforce or Quadro card work?

I have a MacPro 3,1 running Lion and I’m also looking to get better performance from CS6.

If any Geforce or Quadro card will work, can we use the developer drivers that are posted at the top of this thread?

thanks in advance

Lou …