Is ARM-proecessor relevant for Rhino?

As you may have heard, soon macbooks will have ARM-based processors instead of Intel.
Does this influence the way Rhino for Mac works? Will it hinder the development of Rhino for Mac?


I don’t know of any plans on doing some ARM-specific development. I guess we don’t know enough to say one way ore the other.

Anyway, here an old thread that gets revived every now and then.

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With Apple’s developer conference today, they announced their plan on this transition and prepared tools for developers. They make it sounds so easy! And I would usually take a step back on believing those statements.

Hope to get some heads up from Rhino Mcneel side :grin:

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Hi Darren - we’ll be taking a look into the information as it becomes available…


I am also concerned about Rhino running natively on Apple Silicon (ARM). Thanks in advance for any updates

Update from McNeel posted yesterday: Apple Silicon, macOS Big Sur, and Rhino for Mac

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Sadly they closed that topic and I cannot post there.

I think the transition to Apple’s own ARM chips is a great move and I hope that the new architecture will be supported by Rhino, because I would hate to replace Rhino if it doesn’t. Staying on Mac is far more important than staying with Rhino for me.

It’s rather sad reading the silly comments from some non-Mac users, those people are clueless about what makes a Mac a great platform. I can’t see myself ever returning to Windows based PC’s.


OpenGL is still being shipped with macOS 11 by the way.

My guess would be that Rhino will be running inside a Rosetta 2 virtualised environment for the foreseeable future? We’ll need to see what that would mean for performance on macOS, especially since version 6 already is not the most stable and well-rounded.

Unless Apple has done something really revolutionary in terms of their new hardware and Rosetta 2, I don’t see how it could be comparable to running things natively really, and I kinda doubt that Rhino will ever be a “true” mac app (with Metal integration, etc.), since that would mean that McNeel would have to develop and maintain two fairly different Rhino versions.
Also, Rhino allegedly relies on many legacy and/or Windows-based libraries for different things that will probably be hard and/or labours to adapt to ARM architecture.

On a side note, I still remember the Power PC days and the most frustrating thing was the lack of compatible software. Apple was far less popular back then, though. I really hope, things go differently this time, but I’m not too optimistic.

i believe metal is already targeted in their development, some preperations at least have been made i assume, which should allow to merge that in at some point. and it is probably just one branch more which would have to be maintained individually. i am not sure if that will be super huge… i dont hope for McNeel and of course also for us :slight_smile:

to run via Rosetta 2 might not be a good point even to aim at, i agreee. since at some point maintenance will obviously be dropped by apple. instead focussing on the real deal would be a much greater value of invested time in my humble o pee onion.

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I don’t know what it means for Rhino transition to ARM, but the Affinity Suite has been compiled for Apple Silicon.

They have IPad versione of Affinity Photo and Designer and probably for Publisher too.
So I think their situation is not comparable.