Best Driver Station Alternative

Hello, several members of my team and I are working on macs and subsequently cannot run the Driver Station application. I was wondering if anyone here knows any good MacOS alternatives that would be able to run code for the 2022 year (v2022.4)?


For offseason/testing/demo Conductor exists. For events, you must run the official Windows-only DS.

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Hi, I looked into Conductor and couldn’t seem to install it. I tried to CMAKE it and ran into dependency issues with node modules having mismatching versions. I’m not sure if this is something specifically with my computer or Conductor itself as it has not been updated in quite some time.


There’s also QDriverStation, a few of our team members have used it for testing.

Joysticks are a bit finicky but for most things it’s alright

I’m a pretty deep Apple loyalist—like, I just watched a show on my Apple TV with the audio going over a pair of HomePod minis loyal.

And I say this to underscore my next statement: buy a Windows laptop. Ideally, a used business-class laptop like the Lenovo ThinkPad T-Series or Dell Latitude. Even in present circumstances, you can be in one for a couple hundred bucks that lasts for years (our DS is at least five years old since the team got it, and it too was bought used).

It would be nice to have a control system that was more platform-agnostic—too many iPads and ChromeOS devices floating around in schools these days. But until then, I endorse embracing the suck and having the dedicated hardware on tap. It will make your life easier.


Sadly QDriverStation does not seem to be supported for deploying 2022 robot code

We have one it is, for some reason, unable to deploy code or use any git commands. I have tried to convince the team to reset it but to no avail. This makes us need to use multiple computers which can be annoying for comps and testing.


The driver station protocol hasn’t changed significantly in some years. We used it successfully for at least autonomous testing earlier this season.

You don’t need the driver station to deploy code, are you having trouble doing so?


if possible could u tell me what GradleRio version you used? I tried earlier and was getting no robot communications. We were using a RoboRoo 2.0. We use 2022.4.1

In a pinch I would go with boot camp or parallels but realistically I would take @Billfred’s advice and get a windows machine as a dedicated driver’s station.


I am on an m1 mac so Bootcamp nor parallels would work. The driver station still hasn’t released a nonforced optimized version despite them saying they would.

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Hi there, creator of Conductor here; I haven’t updated the repository lately because there hasn’t been any features I feel I need to implement. It worked when I was a student, and as far as I’m aware, there haven’t been any changes that would break its fundamental operation. It has become harder for me to debug any bugs in operation since graduating, but issues in the build process are still fair game. Would you be able to open an issue with the errors that you ran into, and I’ll see what I can do to sort it out? I was able to clean build Conductor tonight.


You can just run the driver station software on the windows machine and do all the coding and deploying on your Mac.


What a coincidence! Thanks, I’m going to try to do the make again tonight and create that issue.

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Quick Question, how did you install WebKitGTK on Mac. I’m not exactly sure how to build it from that website cause I am not totally familiar with make or CMAKEing something?

Yes, but sometimes I don’t have access to that computer or it is dead because it barely lasts five minutes.

The Windows-only compatibility is most likely because the driver station is built on top of lab view

This was a bad decision by FIRST and NI. The tool could be electron or QT based to have compatibility across all platforms

Recently, labview libraries stopped working on my laptop and after several hours of debugging and trying to fix, the solution that worked was to Reimage the laptop


Do you know OpenDS? I never tested it, but it received a protocol update of 2022.

  1. The DS is designed and built by NI. LabView is a natural choice for NI to use, for obvious reasons.
  2. The DS was initially designed in 2009 to run on the Classmate netbook (Atom-based). Electron did not exist, and isn’t a good choice for hard real time applications anyway.
  3. Compatibility across all platforms is more complicated than just the dev environment / windowing toolkit. Joystick consistency (button and axis mapping and how things enumerate) is notoriously bad across platforms. The DS also does a lot more than just read joysticks and send them to the robot. For example, for robustness at events, the DS does some low level (platform specific) things with DHCP leases and network interfaces.
  4. NI only supports USB connections to the Rio on Windows. The Rio and radio imaging tools only run on Windows. Etc. So Windows is required for more than just the DS.
  5. It’s much easier for support reasons for FIRST to require a single OS at competition events. That way when issues happen at the field the FTA and CSAs only have to know debugging/common fixes for one platform. Similarly, from a development perspective, it is significantly easier to only need to isolate issues and develop and test changes on one platform rather than multiple.
  6. Windows is by far the most common platform used by teams. A typical WPILib release will have 5-7x the number of Windows downloads to the number of Mac downloads (and that’s likely an undercount, as it’s more likely that one Windows download is installed on multiple team machines).

x86_64 only I believe. I will try when I get home.