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Can anyone explain why the standard Arduino IDE 1.6 distribution does not include support for the popular CH341G USB/serial drivers?

I am using these USB/serial chips in several teaching projects for CoderDojo and it is somewhat difficult to have each student download the drivers and reboot their PCs for each class. It seems like both Mac and PC users would benefit from having these drivers loaded directly into the standard Arduino IDE.

Is there possibly some security concern? I know that the latest Mac requires that the drivers are digitally signed. In fact for many modern Macs to use the drivers we have to disable the digital signature checks.

Here is the link to the official drivers.

Here is a good article on how to download the drivers.

BTW, the command to disable the digital signature check on the mac we need to do the following:

In the Mac "Terminal" application enter:

sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1"

Then we must reboot the mac. Then when we want to re-enable the checks change the 1 to 0:

sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=0"

If we don't do this command, the Arduino App will not show the serial ports. Do to this go to Tools -> Port Menu within the Arduino application.

/dev/tty.SerialPort
/dev/cu.SerialPort

I should mention that the CH340G are also used in many "Arduino Nano" clones from China. Perhaps that is why the drivers are not included?

Tags: Driver CH340 Setup Installation

  • 5
    Because no Genuino uses them. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Aug 17 '15 at 3:50
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    A question about why the Arduino company does not ship certain drivers would be best addressed to them. We would have no way of knowing why they made that decision. – Nick Gammon Aug 17 '15 at 6:43
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I should mention that the CH340G are also used in many "Arduino Nano" clones from China.

I believe that the Arduino company already has concerns about the number of unofficial clones (many pretending to be genuine) and have lost a considerable amount of revenue to those knock-off products.

I imagine they are not going to make things worse for themselves by including drivers for unofficial boards, so that the job of the clone-makers is even easier.

  • Remember that Arduino driver is for the USB/Serial chip, not the Arduino Nano devices that included it. I am not sure it is fair to discriminate against a USB/Serial chip manufacturer just because their chip is preferred by some products. – Dan McCreary Aug 18 '15 at 1:04
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    That is a unique and bizarre interpretation of the word "discriminate". By that definition, Arduino "discriminates" against sound card creators by not including any sound card drivers with their IDE. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Aug 18 '15 at 9:38
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This is simply because the CH340G is not supported officially. The Arduino IDE is meant primarily for genuine Arduinos.

What you could do is repackage the Arduino zip file with the required library and create a basic script file to install the drivers with just a couple of clicks.

Or you could shift to another board that uses the ATMEGA32u4 as this might not require anything special. Have a look here. I don't have tested this board so you will need to check the quality and whether it works with your projects.

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