MUSBLAN: USBLAN for MacOS

Introduction

MUSBLAN is an adaptation of Belcarra Technologies USBLAN for Windows to the MacOS (10.11.1 and later) environment.

MUSBLAN focuses on three protocols for networking over USB: Microsoft RNDIS, CDC-EEM and CDC-ECM subset. Kits are protocol-specific.

Parameters of a kit

An MUSBLAN kit has the following parameters:

  • USB Vendor/Product ID/Interface triples (driver personality information). 
  • IP address of a Virtual Network Interface in MacOS which is bridged to the attached USB device(s). 
  • Protocol: CDC-ECM subset, EEM or RNDIS. Other protocols (ECM, NCM) on request.

Automatic system configuration

The MUSBLAN systtem offers a DHCP service to both the MacOS host and one or more attached devices, forming a network segment of those network nodes.  The host IP address is a kit parameter, always ending in 1, e.g. 192.168.200.1.  This address is mapped to a Virtual Network Interface in the System Preferences Network pane on the Mac. Attached devices take sequential positions, e.g. 192.168.200.2, 192.168.200.3.  In this way both ends of the link can be DHCP clients and yet know the IP address of the remote end of the link.

Contents of a Kit

MUSBLAN is provided as a kernel extension package, including preinstall and postinstall scripts which first remove previous instances, unload possible conflicting extensions, install the new kernel extension, and then load it.

MacOS Security Policy

MacOS security policy now requires that kernel extensions from third parties be approved by the user in the Security&Privacy pane of System Preferences or during system boot immediately after installation.

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