Driver Station in Bootcamp (or Parallels) on M1 Mac?

Has anybody used or tested Driver Station and the other Windows-specific software tools within Bootcamp on an M1 Macbook? I’m considering buying a new MacBook so I wanted to know if I would be restricted to Intel or could buy an M1.

Somebody on our team has an M1 Macbook, so I am going to see if we can test it, but hard-drive space could be a limiting factor. If we end up testing this, we will post results, but I just wanted to see if anybody already had the answer.

I seem to recall someone having issues with it previously on here, to the point that it bricked their VM. I wouldn’t risk it.

It’s a VM… take a snapshot and revert. Cattle, not pets.


take a snapshot and revert it

There isn’t much to lose so why not try. Worst comes to work you delete Bootcamp. If we test it, we would probably delete it afterwards anyway.

I am trying Bootcamp on my Intel MacBook currently. I had previously tried to use Parallels so I only had to allocate 20 Gb of storage instead of 42, but that did not work, so I am just biting the bullet and giving up a third of my hard drive.

On an Intel Macbook, it should work just fine - as a VM or via dual booting. On the M1s… no clue - my kingdom for an aarch64 toolchain right now.

6844’s competition driver station in 2018 and 2019 was an Intel MacBook running Windows via Bootcamp. Aside from needing to use a USB-C dongle for USB-A (for controllers) and RJ45 (for the FMS Ethernet drop), I don’t recall having complaints.

If you’re hoping to use the M1/VM approach for competition, I’d recommend extensive testing before committing. Windows doesn’t yet have a robust arm64 software ecosystem, so some programs you run may have issues. Testing will help you confirm or refute those concerns.

I’d also recommend seeing what happens if your dongles or power cord get pulled out. Do the controllers get mapped back in correctly if plugged in again? The M1 has efficiency cores and performance cores; does the OS restrict the VM to just the efficiency cores if you’re running without a power cord?

I never really intended to use it for competition, we have enough driver stations, more of just I wanted to upgrade soon and I don’t want to have to use two computers.

We are actually going to test that, as our team member with an M1 MacBook Air agreed to install Bootcamp (he has a 1tb ssd so he can afford it). It probably will take a bit but we will post our observations when it’s done.

I think there’s a misunderstanding somewhere. Apple does not support Bootcamp on Apple Silicon.

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Yea, we realized that so the plan is to test any other solutions for apple silicon like crossover, qemu, virtualbox

Were y’all able to test this by any chance? (Sorry to somewhat gravedig here :grimacing::grimacing:

There is a driverstation that is currently maintained and supports macOS and Linux. See Conductor. You do have to build from source and bypass GateKeeper, but if you’re jumping through hoops anyways…

In my experience in the past, the latency a VM creates makes a robot control both unusable and dangerous.

Note: Anything you do with a mac or linux machine will not be legal for competition. You are required to use a machine running Windows without any virtualization.

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echo’ing what he said.

what’s the point of adding a HW abs layer when you are trying to eliminate any HW latency at all.

I mean you can get a cheap windows machine that can fully function as a drive station dirt cheap (used or new) as long as you’re not trying to do vision processing on the drive station.

What rule says that?


It’s not explicit in this rule but you have to use NI DS unmodified. Pretty sure that includes not porting it to non windows systems. Hacks to run it in VM would give you a bad time even if technically legal.

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I’ve asked an FTA at an event previously and have been told it could get me red-carded. Maybe something for Q&A?

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