An RS-232 serial interface is required to program FreeWave radios used in the Piksi® Multi Evaluation Kit and it can be also used to receive and send data to Piksi GNSS receiver.  If your PC does not have such interface use USB to Serial adapter included in the kit. Use the instructions below to install the proper device driver for your operating system.


Download (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm) and install FTDI’s VCP drivers to communicate with Piksi Multi using the provided USB to Serial cable.

Mac OS

For Mac OS v10.12 Sierra or later you don’t need to install the FTDI driver.

For Mac OS v10.11 El Capitan or earlier, please follow the following instructions:

Install version 2.2.18 of FTDI's VCP driver.


  • Two drivers are available: VCP and D2XX. You only need the VCP driver.
    • Do not install D2XX driver.
  • Piksi requires FTDI driver version 2.2.18, not version 2.3.
  • When you run the installer, choose the option for OS X versions 10.4—10.7 (not 10.3).
  • If Gatekeeper displays an "unidentified developer" warning and prevents the driver from installing, you may need to open the driver .dmg file as explained here: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14369?locale=en_US 

After installing the FTDI VCP driver, you must unload the Apple driver and load the FTDI driver by running the following commands from the Terminal application:

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBFTDI.kext

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext

After unloading the Apple driver, you might get one of the messages below in your command window.

(kernel) Kext com.apple.driver.AppleUSBFTDI not found for unload request.

Failed to unload com.apple.driver.AppleUSBFTDI (libkern/kext) not found.


Can't open CFBundle for /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBFTDI.kext

Ignore those messages and load the FTDI driver. The Swift Console will still work as it should.


Recent versions of Linux (kernel > 3.0) have built-in native kernel support for the FTDI devices and do not require the above drivers.

For Additional Information

To continue working with the Piksi Multi, return to the Piksi Multi Getting Started Guide.