Intro to DFU

Intro to Using DFU-Util

(Mac Only)

Contributed by: maguro


Click HERE for a .PDF copy of DFU-Util Checklist


If you’ve hung out in any of the forums at all, you’ve probably heard, and perhaps been alarmed by, the apparent difficulty that some users have when initially trying to update to OpenTX firmware for the first time. It’s probably the single most feared, confusing, and frustrating thing about OpenTX, and has brought more than one enthusiastic OpenTX neophyte to their knees. We’re going to get you through it, hopefully with as little anxiety as possible.

The basic difficulty seems to be that Mac OS X does not contain the proper driver to allow OpenTX to communicate with the main STM chip in the radio. Without the driver, the operating system doesn’t recognize the chip, and you’re dead in the water. For the Mac the driver is called: DFU-Util. Don’t worry! You’ll be shown where and how to download and install the driver and get your machine talking to your transmitter.

Lesson Goals

There’s only one goal in this lesson, and that’s to get your computer communicating reliably with your Taranis. Nothing happens without that.


In this day of Plug-n-Play, we’ve become used to simply connecting a new device, having the computer recognize it, install the appropriate driver, and we’re ready to go. Luckily, with the Mac this is the case.

The driver used when working with OpenTX Companion and the Taranis, is dfu-util. This driver is not included in Mac OS X, so the first think you have to do is to go out, get it and install it on your machine. Scary? For many of us, of course! Impossible? Absolutely not!

 Lesson Progression

  1. Read and understand the information above. Know why we’re doing what we’re doing.
  2. OpenTX Companion now comes with “OpenTX for FrSky Taranis” as the default download type. We won’t get to that stage until the next lesson, so there’s no reason to worry about it, yet.
  3. Download the discussion checklist and notes. At least look them over. My feelings will be hurt if you don’t.
  4. Follow the steps in the checklist to see if you already have DFU-Util installed. Chances are, if you’ve been flashing different versions of OpenTX, you’re set to go. If this is the first time you’ve attempted to load new firmware on your OpenTX based transmitter, you have to download and install DFU-Util Use the images in the checklist and the videos as references as you move through the process.
  5. OK, return to the Fund. of OpenTX (Mac) menu and move on to the next lesson.


Intro to DFU — 1 Comment

  1. Point of clarification:

    The heading of this section clearly states “Mac only” for use of the application dfu.util 07.
    However, in another section, (Introduction to Zadig), a file with the same name is indicated as being used for ubuntu (linux and other open source operating systems).
    Have I missed something here?
    I am using Linux Mint 17.1
    I do have a file dfu util already installed.

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