Does Plugable Support macOS With Our DisplayLink-Based Products?

Last Update: February 9th, 2021
Article ID: 724337

Our DisplayLink-based products are supported with macOS albeit with some potential limitations.

As of this writing, there are two different versions of the macOS driver that have been released by DisplayLink (the separate company that makes the primary chip within our DisplayLink-based products, and who also develops the software driver).

A ‘legacy’ version which uses a kernel extension in order to provide its functionality, and a newer ‘DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity’ App which utilizes a new architecture that does not rely on a kernel extension to provide its functionality.

The choice of which driver to use is ultimately determined by one’s OS version and individual specific requirements, since each version offers different capabilities and operating system compatibility. We have provided a comparison table below that highlights their differences in an effort to help our customers make an informed decision.


New DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity App
‘Legacy’ DisplayLink driver
Supported operating system versions
macOS 10.15 Catalina and macOS 11 Big Sur
macOS 10.14 Mojave and macOS 10.15 Catalina
Ease of installation
Straightforward
Can sometimes be more difficult, as compared to the new App
Supports closed-display mode (aka clamshell mode -> https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201834 )
No** Yes
Supports display ‘rotation’

No with macOS 10.15 Catalina

Yes with macOS 11 Big Sur on Intel-based systems

No with macOS 11 Big Sur on Apple CPU-based systems

Yes
Supports macOS ‘Login screen’
Yes, with additional ‘Login screen’ application installation
Yes
Manageability
Via DisplayLink icon within the Apple Menu bar
No management application
Development status
Actively being developed
Being phased out due to changes within macOS


** Closed-display mode (aka clamshell mode or 'lid closed' operation) is supported on Macs using Apple M1 processors when an external power source is connected (e.g. Apple-branded power adapter or a docking station with host charging capability) on macOS Big Sur version 11.1 and later. Clamshell mode is not supported on Intel-based Macs