How to configure the connection between Bela and your laptop
Bela functions as a USB network device when connected to your computer. It’s crucial to make sure that your computer is configured correctly so you can access Bela and all its tools and settings. Some systems support USB network devices seamlessly, while others need a quick driver install.
This article explains how to configure your computer based on the operating system you’re running, and make sure it’s set up correctly.
Table of contents
- How to test if your system is already configured
- Mac OS X
- Test your configuration: Load the Bela IDE
How to test if your system is already configured
To test if your system is already set up to support Bela, plug your Bela system into your computer using your USB cable. Wait for the board to boot up (about 30 seconds). Open up a web browser (we recommend Chrome), and navigate to
If the Bela IDE loads in your browser like in the image below, congratulations! Your system is ready to go.
If the IDE does not load, you’ll need to do a quick driver install based on your computer’s operating system. Find instructions for your operating system below.
Mac OS X
Modern Mac systems (from Yosemite 10.10 onwards) will recognise a Bela with a recent image as a USB network device right away. For this to work on macos Catalina and above, ensure you have a Bela image v0.3.8a or above. Only if you are running 10.9 (Mavericks) or earlier you will need to install drivers by following the procedure below:
1. Download the drivers
Download network drivers from this link. The download will start automatically.
2. Unzip and install the drivers
Double click the ZIP file in the Finder, and follow the install instructions.
For OS X 10.13 and later
On OS X 10.13 or later, you will have to ask the system to run the drivers (you will only have to do this once).
System Preferences > Security and Privacy. There will be a message that says
System software from developer "Joshua Wise" was blocked from loading. Click
Allow to authorise the driver:
After installing, reboot your laptop.
If you’re running Linux, everything you need should be on your machine.
If you’re using Windows with a recent Bela image (v0.3.5 or later), then you should not require any drivers and you can jump to testing your configuration below.
If you’re using an older version of Windows such as Windows XP, or if you’re using an older version of the Bela software (v0.3.3 or earlier), you’ll need to install network drivers:
1. Download drivers
Download drivers for Windows 64 bit or Windows 32 bit
2. Install the drivers
This should complete without issue.
If Windows Driver Certification pops up, click
When you’re finished installing, reboot your computer.
Test your configuration: Load the Bela IDE
To test if your computer is correctly configured, connect your Bela system by USB and wait for it to boot up, and open a browser (we recommend Chrome).
For recent versions of the Bela image (v0.3 and later) you can access the Bela IDE in the browser by going to http://bela.local. If the Bela IDE loads, your system is configured correctly. On some systems (namely those where an mDNS client is not running),
bela.local may not work and you may need to access the board at the IP addres that works with your OS:
|Operating System||IP Address|
|Mac OS X, 10.10 (Yosemite) and later||
|Mac OS X, 10.9 (Mavericks) and earlier||
*: for this to work on macos Catalina (10.15) and above, your Bela needs to be running image v0.3.8 or above.
When your system is configured correctly, we recommend making a bookmark in your browser's bookmark bar so you can load the Bela IDE quickly without having to remember its address.
For more info on Bela and its IP addresses, check out the explainer article found here.