Probably because OSX uses different naming conventions for devices files and because OSX uses Core Audio audio subsystem (not ALSA or OSS) there are no devices such as:


So, where are audio devices file in OSX?

  • Can you give some examples of the kinds of audio device files you wish to locate? Are you asking about Audio Unit, VST, or LADSPA files, for example? – user9290 Apr 6 '12 at 8:28
  • Or are you asking about drivers for specific hardware or peripherals? – user9290 Apr 8 '12 at 12:36
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    I've asked about device files for audio devices in OSX. I ment device files as described here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Device_file . Question was not about drives or some specific hardware. – Alex Bolotov Apr 8 '12 at 15:14
  • @OleksandrBolotov, What are you asking? The first sentence of the wikipedia article reads: In Unix-like operating systems, a device file or special file is an interface for a device driver that appears in a file system as if it were an ordinary file.. Then you state that your question is not about that; it's a complete contradiction. I realize that your English is not perfect, so maybe you can't exactly translate what you might be trying to say [?]. – l'L'l Apr 8 '12 at 22:45
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    Alex's question and responses are spot on. One of the innovations of unix in 1970 was that every device appears as a file (in /dev). You could thus read and write to a device in a hardware independent way. So in this case you would expect to see something like /dev/audio for the system audio input/output, and perhaps variants on that if additional audio devices are present. To manage parameters like sample rate, a second device, like /dev/audioctl is provided in Unix. It seems that OSX is not sufficiently unix-like to have them. – David M W Powers Nov 8 '15 at 2:47

According to the Mac OS X Developer Library:

The Audio family does not export device interfaces for applications to access audio hardware directly. However, it does provide a device interface that the Audio Hardware Abstraction Layer (Audio HAL) uses to access drivers derived from the Audio family.

So I guess you need to find more information on "Audio HAL"


Here are some suggestions.

If you are talking about Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) devices, then the path is


By default there is one bundle there: on my Mac iSightAudio.driver, is the driver for the built-in webcam.

Other devices may use Kernel Extensions; bundles that end in .kext, are located in:

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    OPs question is about the visibility of devices as streams in a hardware/driver independent way in /dev or /devices or similar. – David M W Powers Nov 8 '15 at 2:49
  • I had a clingy audio device called "Squirrels Audio" from airsquirrels. Even after following their uninstall guide at help.airsquirrels.com/support/solutions/articles/…, it just wouldn't go away. Turns out their driver was hidden under /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/ so this solution came in handy :) – kip2 May 2 '20 at 9:10

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