Just a general OS question

Wondering if anyone can answer what is probably a very simple question for me.

What determines if a unit is Mac compatible vs Windows (or whatever) compatible?

Wouldn’t anything with a Ruida controller be Mac compatible? (Without using parallels or similar.)


I may not be following your question but I will try.

LightBurn is a software that runs on your computer. We offer LightBurn in 3 versions to support the Operating System running on that computer. We currently provide a version for macOS, Windows (32 and 64-bit versions), and a version that supports the Linux OS as well.

The personal computer is then connected to the laser controller and they communicate via USB or Ethernet.

It is the software that is the unique offering here, as LightBurn is the only software available for different OS environments. The software provided by Ruida for their family of controllers is Windows only.

I think in trying to make it clear, I made it complicated.

I have macs and pcs, and use your software (which honestly is amazing, especially for the price.)

What I am trying to figure out is what makes the laser cutter/engraver Mac OS compatible.

Most ads for machines just say windows, etc and some go so far as to say NOT Mac compatible…


Our software is what makes it macOS compatible. Most laser system manufactures have been using the software provided by the controller manufacture. Until LightBurn, this has exclusively been Windows based software.

LightBurn provides more options for users wanting to work their projects from the computer systems they are use to using in their current workflows. My guess is as more Laser Manufactures become aware of LightBurn, you will start to see the “Windows Only” text fade away in their ad’s and the new text will change to reflect these options. :slight_smile:

Great. Thanks very much.

Generally two things:

  • Driver availability - the hardware needs to be able to talk to software on the OS using some kind of driver. Some hardware, like a web camera, keyboard, or mouse, uses standard ways of communicating so they’re effectively supported by the OS and USB standard. The Ruida controller uses a USB to Serial chip by a company called FTDI, and they are supported by most OS’s. Ethernet, supported by a number of DSP controllers, does not require any drivers - just a network connection.

  • Software availability - Most companies that make laser controllers or laser hardware only support PC’s because that’s where the lion’s share of the market is. Home users are more of a mix, but industrial users tend to use PC’s almost exclusively, so supporting MacOS or Linux is costly, with relatively low return.

Very interesting. Thanks for the explanation.


Smart move @LightBurn Mac :desktop_computer: :computer: OS people are a large % of creatives who will appreciate LighBurns abilities. Just curious what percentage of Mac OS vs Window Lightburn users are there in the world?

Other then mobile device integration, security and stability Mac OS does take a second fiddle to Windows 10. At last count 91% of the worlds computers are windows based, 5% were Mac OS and 4% were all others. I can see why developers want to develop to the masses since the laws of supply and demand are more favorable at making money however my developer friends do love Linux.

Mad respect for @LightBurn


I’m a developer, and worked on / with Linux daily for about 2 years and hated it. I can’t understand why anyone would choose to work in the dependency hell that system creates. I’m familiar enough with it that it’s not terrible to do a build of LightBurn for it, so I do, but I can’t imagine anyone using it voluntarily for any reason other than “it’s free”.

For LightBurn users, here’s the breakdown:

BINGO ! We have a winner

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