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/System/Library/Extensions

Somehow, my /System/Library/Extensions folder has grown to 214 items. Just curious - how many do you have on your computer? How in the world do I know if I need to load all of these? Can you clean some out? Why would you need or want to?

FWIW, /Library/Extensions is empty.

Again, how many do you have? The full entry contains my list for the Mac Pro on which I'm typing this (10.6.3).

ACard62xxM.kext
ACard68xxM.kext
ACard671xSCSI.kext
ACard6280ATA.kext
ACard6885M.kext
ACard67162.kext
Accusys6xxxx.kext
ALF.kext
AmbrosiaAudioSupport.kext
Apple_iSight.kext
Apple16X50Serial.kext
AppleACPIPlatform.kext
AppleAHCIPort.kext
AppleAPIC.kext
AppleBacklight.kext
AppleBluetoothMultitouch.kext
AppleBMC.kext
AppleEFIRuntime.kext
AppleFileSystemDriver.kext
AppleFSCompressionTypeZlib.kext
AppleFWAudio.kext
AppleGraphicsControl.kext
AppleGraphicsPowerManagement.kext
AppleHDA.kext
AppleHIDKeyboard.kext
AppleHIDMouse.kext
AppleHPET.kext
AppleHWSensor.kext
AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext
AppleIntelCPUPowerManagementClient.kext
AppleIntelGMA950.kext
AppleIntelGMA950GA.plugin
AppleIntelGMA950GLDriver.bundle
AppleIntelGMA950VADriver.bundle
AppleIntelGMAX3100.kext
AppleIntelGMAX3100FB.kext
AppleIntelGMAX3100GA.plugin
AppleIntelGMAX3100GLDriver.bundle
AppleIntelGMAX3100VADriver.bundle
AppleIntelIntegratedFramebuffer.kext
AppleIRController.kext
AppleKeyswitch.kext
AppleLPC.kext
AppleLSIFusionMPT.kext
AppleMatch.kext
AppleMCEDriver.kext
AppleMIDIFWDriver.plugin
AppleMIDIIACDriver.plugin
AppleMIDIRTPDriver.plugin
AppleMIDIUSBDriver.plugin
AppleMikeyHIDDriver.kext
AppleMobileDevice.kext
AppleMultitouchDriver.kext
AppleOnboardDisplay.kext
ApplePlatformEnabler.kext
AppleProfileFamily.kext
AppleRAID.kext
AppleRAIDCard.kext
AppleRTC.kext
AppleSEP.kext
AppleSmartBatteryManager.kext
AppleSMBIOS.kext
AppleSMBusController.kext
AppleSMBusPCI.kext
AppleSMC.kext
AppleSMCLMU.kext
AppleStorageDrivers.kext
AppleTyMCEDriver.kext
AppleUpstreamUserClient.kext
AppleUSBAudio.kext
AppleUSBDisplays.kext
AppleUSBEthernetHost.kext
AppleUSBMultitouch.kext
AppleUSBTopCase.kext
AppleVADriver.bundle
AppleXsanFilter.kext
ArcMSR.kext
ATI1300Controller.kext
ATI1600Controller.kext
ATI1900Controller.kext
ATI2400Controller.kext
ATI2600Controller.kext
ATI3800Controller.kext
ATI4500Controller.kext
ATI4600Controller.kext
ATI4800Controller.kext
ATIFramebuffer.kext
ATIRadeonX1000.kext
ATIRadeonX1000GA.plugin
ATIRadeonX1000GLDriver.bundle
ATIRadeonX1000VADriver.bundle
ATIRadeonX2000.kext
ATIRadeonX2000GA.plugin
ATIRadeonX2000GLDriver.bundle
ATIRadeonX2000VADriver.bundle
ATISupport.kext
ATTOCelerityFC.kext
ATTOCelerityFC8.kext
ATTOExpressPCI4.kext
ATTOExpressSASHBA.kext
ATTOExpressSASHBA2.kext
ATTOExpressSASRAID.kext
AudioAUUC.kext
AudioIPCDriver.kext
autofs.kext
BJUSBLoad.kext
BootCache.kext
CalDigitHDProDrv.kext
cd9660.kext
cddafs.kext
CellPhoneHelper.kext
CHUDKernLib.kext
CHUDProf.kext
CHUDUtils.kext
Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext
DRI_iSCSI_Initiator.kext
DSACL.ppp
DSAuth.ppp
DVFamily.bundle
EAP-KRB.ppp
EAP-RSA.ppp
EAP-TLS.ppp
EPSONUSBPrintClass.kext
GeForce.kext
GeForce7xxxGLDriver.bundle
GeForceGA.plugin
GeForceGLDriver.bundle
GeForceVADriver.bundle
HighPointIOP.kext
HighPointRR.kext
hp_designjet_series.kext
hp_Deskjet_io_enabler.kext
hp_Inkjet_io_enabler.kext
hp_Inkjet1_io_enabler.kext
hp_Inkjet3_io_enabler.kext
hp_Inkjet4_io_enabler.kext
hp_Inkjet5_io_enabler.kext
hp_Inkjet8_io_enabler.kext
hp_io_printerclassdriver_enabler.kext
hp_Laserjet_io_enabler.kext
hp_Officejet_io_enabler.kext
hp_Photosmart_io_enabler.kext
hp_PhotosmartPro_io_enabler.kext
hp_qc_io_enabler.kext
ICAFWKodakProDriver.kext
ImmersionForceFeedback.kext
IO80211Family.kext
IOACPIFamily.kext
IOAHCIFamily.kext
IOATAFamily.kext
IOAudioFamily.kext
IOBDStorageFamily.kext
IOBluetoothFamily.kext
IOBluetoothHIDDriver.kext
IOCDStorageFamily.kext
IODVDStorageFamily.kext
IOFireWireAVC.kext
IOFireWireFamily.kext
IOFireWireIP.kext
IOFireWireSBP2.kext
IOFireWireSerialBusProtocolTransport.kext
IOGraphicsFamily.kext
IOHDIXController.kext
IOHIDFamily.kext
IONDRVSupport.kext
IONetworkingFamily.kext
IOPCIFamily.kext
IOPlatformPluginFamily.kext
IOSCSIArchitectureModelFamily.kext
IOSCSIParallelFamily.kext
IOSerialFamily.kext
IOSMBusFamily.kext
IOStorageFamily.kext
IOStreamFamily.kext
IOSurface.kext
IOUSBFamily.kext
IOUSBMassStorageClass.kext
IOVideoFamily.kext
iPodDriver.kext
iTunesPhoneDriver.kext
JMicronATA.kext
L2TP.ppp
LexmarkUSBMerge.kext
LogitechForceFeedback.kext
mcxalr.kext
msdosfs.kext
ntfs.kext
NVDANV40Hal.kext
NVDANV50Hal.kext
NVDAResman.kext
NVSMU.kext
OSvKernDSPLib.kext
PPP.kext
PPPoE.ppp
PPPSerial.ppp
PPTP.ppp
Quarantine.kext
Radius.ppp
Sandbox.kext
SLAB_USBtoUART.kext
SM56KUSBAudioFamily.kext
SMARTLib.plugin
smbfs.kext
SMCMotionSensor.kext
SoftRAID.kext
System.kext
TMSafetyNet.kext
TrustedDataSCSIDriver.kext
udf.kext
ufs.kext
USBOverdrive.kext
VaraAudio.kext
webcontentfilter.kext
webdav_fs.kext

11 Responses to "/System/Library/Extensions"

  1. Here’s a diff to mine:

    - AmbrosiaAudioSupport.kext
    - DRI_iSCSI_Initiator.kext
    + EyeTVAfaTechHidBlock.kext
    + EyeTVCinergy450AudioBlock.kext
    + EyeTVCinergyXSAudioBlock.kext
    + EyeTVEmpiaAudioBlock.kext
    + EyeTVVoyagerAudioBlock.kext
    - SLAB_USBtoUART.kext
    - TrustedDataSCSIDriver.kext
    - USBOverdrive.kext
    - VaraAudio.kext

  2. I think that this is pretty normal. Just for comparison: I have 197 extensions in there.

  3. mine

    < AmbrosiaAudioSupport.kext
    107,109d105
    < CHUDKernLib.kext
    < CHUDProf.kext
    < CHUDUtils.kext
    < DRI_iSCSI_Initiator.kext
    < SLAB_USBtoUART.kext
    < TrustedDataSCSIDriver.kext
    < USBOverdrive.kext
    sony_prs.kext

  4. I have 222.

    As to "How in the world do I know if I need to load all of these?"
    `kextstat` will tell you what's actually being loaded. (combined with | wc -l to count, for me on a 2008 Air it's 109)

    "Can you clean some out? Why would you need or want to?"
    I wouldn't - I can't think of a reason to do so, these are kernel extensions which are only loaded as needed, and removing things is just liable to break things.

  5. Patrick, there is only one reason to remove an extension I can think of: a 3rd party kernel extension that breaks things and freezes the Mac.

    I don’t know how the situation after major OS upgrades is. Does the OS move 3rd part kexts into a safe place or does it load and crash on major incompatibilities?

  6. Patrick Quinn-Graham said on May 8, 2010:

    `kextstat` will tell you what's actually being loaded. (combined with | wc -l to count, for me on a 2008 Air it's 109)

    Ah, 146 here.

    Patrick Quinn-Graham said on May 8, 2010:

    I wouldn't - I can't think of a reason to do so, these are kernel extensions which are only loaded as needed, and removing things is just liable to break things.

    Mostly what Ralph said, but also because I don't want to keep things around that may cause problems eventually, and I'm a big fan of being tidy in general.

    Though I've since learned to give up on my ~/Library/Preferences directory... eek. I don't dare look in there or I'll probably end up wasting four hours.

  7. I have 214 in my /System/Library/Extensions too. I have 6 in /Library/Extensions.

  8. I also have 214:

    obsidian:~ tim$ ls /System/Library/Extensions/ | wc -l
    214

    Here are the differences:

    obsidian:~ tim$ ls /System/Library/Extensions/ | diff /tmp/erik.sorted -65a66
    > AppleInternal
    112d112
    FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext
    162a164
    > KLog.kext
    177d178
    < SLAB_USBtoUART.kext
    185,187d185
    < TrustedDataSCSIDriver.kext
    < USBOverdrive.kext
    release-osx-10.3.x.kext
    214a214
    > zfs.kext

    "AppleInternal" is an empty directory with a 2007 timestamp. Perhaps it came from some developer seed of Mac OS X?

    that "release-osx" thing appears to be a PL2303 driver

  9. grr, I didn't turn my angle brackets into HTML entities, so the comment system mangled it..

    obsidian:~ tim$ ls /System/Library/Extensions/ | diff /tmp/erik.sorted -65a66
    > AppleInternal
    112d112
    < DRI_iSCSI_Initiator.kext
    120a121
    > FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext
    162a164
    > KLog.kext
    177d178
    < SLAB_USBtoUART.kext
    185,187d185
    < TrustedDataSCSIDriver.kext
    < USBOverdrive.kext
    < VaraAudio.kext
    209a208
    > release-osx-10.3.x.kext
    214a214
    > zfs.kext

  10. Mine has 211 entries.

  11. I wouldn’t try to twaddle with this unless you absolutely know what you are doing. I’ve sent both Windows and Macs to their graves by twiddling with system files that I thought I don’t need. The guy at Apple told me simply to “clear my cache”...


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