Boss Katana 100 Mk1 Driver

I’m new to the community pages and have a problem which hopefully someone may be able to help with.
I have a Katana 100 Mk1 and I’m trying to delve deeper into its abilities with the use of a Apple iMac desktop computer. Following Justin’s guide I have downloaded the Driver and Tone Studio. However the device (my computer ) cannot be found when installing, Tone studio is there but the driver isn’t. Im thinking there maybe a OS issue here although I am at the latest mac Big Sur 11.5.2 release.
Has anybody come across this problem before?
Thanks for your interest. Fingers crossed.
Vic Fullard

I’m not a Mac user so can’t give you direct feedback but on the Boss website it says it’s still under testing for some versions of the Katana (some are compatible) >> BOSS - Support - Support News - Compatibility with macOS Big Sur (macOS 11) (Intel-based)

Thanks. I’ve logged a query with Boss directly inBackstage asking a direct question. When I get answer I’ll post it here. Can’t believe I’m on my own on this.

I think there are some discussions about this on Reddit and similar. I failed to get my Katana to work on my MacBook. I think there was some alteration to the driver install that could be done, but I don’t think I was gutsy enough to try it.
I use an android pad with “Katana Librarian” and was able to get it to work with a PC, but don’t have a good PC and the android app is easier than Tone Studio anyway.

@Jamolay I read your comment to my othe post about using Katana w/ Macbook - what Mac OS are you running, and which model of Katana do you have?

It is @fullvic , the OP, who posted the question. He lists his OS in the opening post. Thanks for helping! I just gave up on using a Mac with it myself, since I had other options.

Hi there, I’m using an iMac with OS Big Sur and the amp is a Katana 100 Mk1.
My investigation so far has revealed that Boss does not have a mac driver for the Mk1 but does have Windows version and as I’m a full Apple household I’m trying to borrow a windows laptop just to try Tone Central.
It is possible to load windows to a Mac but I’m told the windows functionality then leaves a little to be desired so I’m not going down that route. I have also found that Boss advise mac/ MK1 users to use the Catalina operating system which is no help as I’ve updated my computer all along and to revert to Catalina appears to be beyond my IT abilities and a retrograde step anyway.
So I have a choice, drop the whole idea of using the Tone Central and all of its features, use a windows laptop, upgrade to a Mk2 amp. or wait for Boss to release a driver but first I’ll explore Tone Central.
Cost will be key to all this.
Watch this space.

There is one other option which would be to use Katana Librarian which is an Android app. It’s not free but a lot on here use it with a lot of success. Some prefer it to Tone Studio. Just thinking a cheap Amazon Fire tablet + Katana librarian and you’ll have the functionality of being able to access the other effects. Although you DONT need access to Tonestudio it’s handy to have some different effects loaded into the button slots so you can pick something different to the standard (or at least try them out).

My Katana is mkii and I was unable to get the Mac driver to work even with Catalina. I bought an inexpensive Samsung tablet and run an app called Katana librarian, which does everything that Tone Studio can do. Not ideal for an Apple household, but an option at least. It does work well and I keep the tablet attached to use while I play.

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Aha! I had a Samsung Galaxy and gave it to my granddaughter, she’s now gone Apple so I’ll plead for its return and try it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

There is also an open source alternative to Tone Studio called Floorboard, that might be an option:

I have not used this and am not associated with the project, but it does look promising.

Thanks for the info. Having exhausted my options I’m left with reverting to Catalina OS on a MacBook . Fingers crossed🤞. I’d be interested to know what Justin S’s set up is.

There’s another option maybe.
You can setup a virtual machine (VM) on your Apple and install another operating system on the virtual machine. You will only have to setup the VM only with as many resources (disk space and memory) as necessary for the operating system and the software you want to install.

I don’t know what the requirements are for Tone Studio but if it runs on Linux, you can install Ubuntu on the virtual machine (as you’d need a license normally for Windows whereas Ubuntu is free).

It’s not a complicated task but it may be a bit confusing if you haven’t done it before. It is an option though.

Tone Studio won’t run on Linux with Wine, practically speaking. The Mk II version won’t run at all (at least I couldn’t get it to). The mk I version will run, but you can’t connect it to the Katana as the app doesn’t seem to recognise the ALSA drivers, and the Windows drivers won’t install on Wine.



Seems like a dead end then :weary:

That said, I don’t know what Wine is in this case. Some kind of Virtual Machine?

Virtualbox should run on Macs and in theory then a Windows OS could be installed in the VM. And if that works, Tone Studio should work on Windows if Boss claims it does.

WINE is a compatibility layer that provides Windows OS API calls on Linux and translates them to the equivalent Linux API call, allowing you to directly run many Windows applications on Linux (there’s also a commercial version, Crossover which also has support for Chromebooks and Macs).

It differs from a VM in that there is no Windows OS involved: the application is launched in, and run from Linux (or Mac, or Chromebook) directly without starting up a VM.

Yes, this should work and I have, successfully, used BTS on Linux within a VM, using VMWare and a Windows 10 VM. I’ve not tried using Virtualbox but, as long as you can map the USB port through to the VM, it should work.

It does, however, require a Windows license/install.



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Any information from Boss themselves? Seems a bit poor if drivers no longer work for Apple users.

I could be wrong but thought Justin is an Apple user and owns a MK I and a MK II.

I own a 50w MK ii but use windows and have had zero problems.

Yes: they are testing an updated version, but it’s not released yet.

I will note that Mac OS updates causing this sort of issue seems to be a common thing amongst a lot of manufacturers, not just Roland/Boss.

From what I understand, Apple doesn’t provide any sort of early access to most of these updates, so the vendors get them at the same time as the users and if, as in this case, there are breaking changes, this causes user problems until the vendor can fix them.

At this point I believe this OS update has been out just over 1 month. Justin is a busy man and I doubt he uses his Katana and BTS that regularly. He probably isn’t aware yet.



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No wonder I always preferred to plug my Les Paul straight into a Marshall head and 4x12 cab with no messing lol.

Bought the Katana to mess about with at low volumes and it is a fantastic piece of kit. Shame some users can’t get the full benefit. Bloody computers :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

That is certainly an issue with these amps which have a PC based app.

However, on the Katana (and most other similar amps) you get “plug in and go” without needing a PC. You only need a PC if you want the extra FX and tweak-ability, which aren’t on your Marshall head at all.