Howto: Installing ASIX’s USB Gigabit Ethernet Driver on Mac OS X Lion 10.7

If you plug one of our Plugable USB2-E1000 USB 2.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapters or others based on the ASIX 88178 chipset into an Mac Lion system, Apple will match it with the Apple Gigabit Ethernet driver that’s included in Lion.

But things often fail on non-Apple adapters in a confusing way: it will show as “Connected” in the Network control panel, but connections out won’t work — you’ll notice it has a self-assigned IP address (169.*), no router, and no DNS server. It looks something like this:

Fortunately, ASIX has an updated driver which works on Lion 10.7 (and older versions). Note that if you had done this before upgrading to Lion, your old driver may be 32-bit. Lion moves all systems to a 64-bit kernel, so in the case of a Lion upgrade, you may have to uninstall the old driver (uninstaller included in the driver package), and follow the steps below to get ASIX’s latest driver.

Download the Plugable USB2-E1000 (ASIX 88178 chipset) driver from our USB2-E1000 driver page.

If you’re downlading with Safari, look for the Download folder the Lion has in your Dock by default. Click on that to bring up recent downloads, which looks like this:

Open that folder, then click on the “.dmg” to open the ASIX driver installer disk image.

The image then shows up on the left side of the window, below your other drives, called “DISK IMAGE”. Click on this to open the image, then click on the installer (the icon with the package opening).

You’re finally out of Lion’s folders and into the installer proper.

The ASIX 88178 driver isn’t big (254K)

You will be prompted to let the driver install.

A reboot is required for the newly installed driver to be active.

After the reboot, if you open the Network control panel, you should now see “Connected”, but now also with a properly assigned IP address, DNS, etc.

If that’s not the case (or something goes awry later), it’s common on Mac OS X to need a fresh interface for the adapter, which you can create via the network control panel (this creates a new, clean configuration for an adapter). See the ASIX Mac installation guide for details.

And once you have that automatically assigned IP address, you should be done – open Safari and enjoy!

And if you have a Plugable adapter and have any problems at all, we’re here to help. Visit or email anytime. Thanks!

Where to Buy

[amtap amazon:asin=B003VSTDFG]

21 comments on “Howto: Installing ASIX’s USB Gigabit Ethernet Driver on Mac OS X Lion 10.7”

  1. roscoe

    I was going to send this back before I read the article. Now I’ll give it a try.

    Note: The cisco model installs with out any issues or drivers in lion and it’s only $1 more on amazon.

  2. flux

    I had problems with the installation not starting on my Macbook Air 13″ 2.4 i5 running OSX 10.7.

    So I had do:
    * extract the .kext from the .dmg and install it using Kext Helper b7.
    * rename the AppleUSBGigEthernet.kext in /System/Extensions/…
    (get path from: find /System/Extensions -name “*GigEthernet*” ).
    * Now it works, even after reboot =)

    * And btw, if no .kext is loaded (use kextunload -b AppleUSBGigEthernet) I can also pass this adapter thru VirtualBox to a Windows XP guest and with that installed driver get it up and running. Although I only get about 1.5MB/s =(

    • Grey

      Can you please explain the rename part, and what you renamed AppleUSBGigEthernet.kext to?
      I also have no idea of extracting .kext fm .dmg…

  3. Grey Hodges

    I have a new Macbook Air w/Lion. I’ve done all the above. Uninstalled then reinstalled. Checked that the 3.5 driver is actually installed (System Profiler->Software->Extensions->AS88178)
    Rebooted from cold start. Removed the USB Gigabite Ethernet from the network list, then added it back. Still does not connect. Same cable connects on the black Macbook that I want to replace. I need this to work so I can move the 225GB of stuff from the black MB to the new one.
    WiFi is too slow.

    What’s next Kemosabi? Reply quickly, please.


    • Bernie Thompson

      Hi Grey – Next step would be to ask what ip address, router, dns is getting assigned to the adapter. A self-assigned IP is a common problem, symptomatic of still running the Apple driver (not the new ASIX driver). But the way to get faster support is to email .. you’ll reach our ticketing system, and we’ll work to help you out!

  4. brian

    hello, I was wondering if this is used in Mac OS Lion on macbook air with Parallels, will the Windows partition still work over the ethernet? I dont see why not, but has anyone confirmed?

  5. R Welke

    This worked. Would have been “nice” if you had included some of this info (or a warning/pointer to it) on or in your packaging! But, in the end it works, so all’s well that ends well.

    • Bernie Thompson

      Glad to have you up and running and thanks for the feedback! With each production run, we work to make improvements to the products – and we’ll definitely be looking to catch up with Lion specifics in future paper docs — along with continuing to update electronic documentation here on Thanks! Bernie

  6. Nunz

    Hi Bernie (et al.)

    Just wondering if you know if using ASIX updated drivers would work using the apple branded USB adapter. It also uses this chipset…or are apple doing some hardware blocking?

    thnx in advance!


    • Bernie Thompson

      Hi Nunz – We haven’t done testing, but Apple does use ASIX chips in all their USB ethernet devices. My guess would be the ASIX driver should work on all ASIX based devices (including Apple hardware), whereas it appears Apple’s software (Mac OS X in-box drivers) are only tested and made to run on Apple’s own units.

  7. Punky

    Damn.. About to return this already.
    Plugged it and got 169…. So, I installed the 3.2 version pkg that came with it.. It started acting up and did not light up anymore.. WTF!? it stopped working.

    Searched through google and found this site, then tried it out.. Works like a charm..
    Using it right now to test through MBA 11 w/ Lion.

    Thanks for the 3.5 update..

  8. larry

    Lion can’t use more than 1 USB-Ethernet Adapter
    Just a side note that on the latest mac mini’s you can’t use more than 1 USB to ethernet adapter.
    We frequently setup software routers with 2 ISP for failover, so the built-in ethernet goes to ISP#1, the 1st USB Ethernet Adapter connects to the local LAN (NAT) and the 2nd USB Ethernet Adapter connects to ISP#2. This all worked fine in 10.6.x
    No longer works in Lion

    • Roze

      Hi Larry,

      This was a setup that we did not try until today. But after your comment, we decided to test it out.

      We had two units of Plugable Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter plugged into our Mac Mini running Lion 10.7.2. They were connected to two different networks, one to the ISP and the other to the Local LAN. We did not use the inbuilt USB Ethernet port at all.

      The system had connectivity to both networks and was working fine. That leads us to conclude that it is possible to get more than one USB Ethernet Adapter running on Lion at least in certain setups like the one we tested.

      Thanks for reporting this! We’re not sure yet about what is causing the different results. Please do feel free to let us know if you ever need any help or information regarding any of our products.
      Just shoot us an email at We are here to help!

  9. Marc

    The installation worked without any problem on my 2011 MacBook Air running 10.7.3. The product is pretty nice too, and more than doubles my MBA to Time Capsule connection speed. Well done, Plugable.

  10. mickey

    i have a tiger osx 10.6 and this worked fine thanks so much i was about to throw this thing away

  11. Graham Roberts

    I’m getting a message AX88178_v3.6.0 can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer – I’m running Mountain Lion – FRUSTRATED!!!!!

  12. Tobi

    I’m on Mountain Lion (10.8.2 and the recommended driver version 3.8.0) and usb adapter does not work for me any more in a reliable way. Just after restart the adapter works fine, but after unplugging and plugging the adapter back in system preferences always show not connected. Under Linux, the adapter is working fine, so no hardware defect.
    I’m grateful for any tips to resolve this annoying issue. Tobi

    • Jeff Everett

      Hi Tobi-

      Are you running Android File Transfer? This application is known to not work with the USB Ethernet adapter. That’s just a first guess, if you have other questions please shoot an email to with your Amazon Order ID (so I can verify which of our adapters you have) and we can get you sorted out.

      Best wishes-


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