Using Mbox 2 with Linux and Ardour


I’ve done a bit of work on trying to get Mbox 2 working. My card didn’t “just work” so I had to do a lot of searching and I didn’t find the exact recipe anywhere, so to help the next guy, here’s my rundown on how to get it working.

Ubuntu 18.04 and Debian

Mbox 2 registered correctly, but when I checked with dmesg in the terminal, I would get a timeout error message and the device would get ignored.
There was no light in the card and nothing worked.

My firmware was version 1.24 and that was apparently too old, I had to upgrade it.

The version that I upgraded to was version 1.43 from
I first installed the latest driver (XP in VM) and then I used a firmware flash tool on windows XP SP3 in a virtual machine to flash the firmware.
downloaded from here:
It took several tries and reboots before it finally flashed correctly, but it worked in the end.

Getting a working XP system was the hardest part of the process.

At one point, I got a missing MCF71.dll error and I had to use a different XP VM image. DOn’t know if it’s related.

I tried to use the Mac_INTEL version on a 2011 macbook air, but it didn’t work since the program was apparently for power PC architecture, even though it should be for Intel platform.

I use Ubuntu Studio 18.10 on my Lenovo 2012 laptop (I also used Ubuntu Studio 16.04) and Mbox 2 works very well with both of them ‘out of the box’. Here is my dmesg log:

[196181.702624] usb 3-4: new full-speed USB device number 15 using xhci_hcd
[196181.862774] usb 3-4: config 1 interface 2 has no altsetting 1
[196181.862776] usb 3-4: config 1 interface 3 has no altsetting 1
[196181.862779] usb 3-4: config 1 interface 4 has no altsetting 1
[196181.862780] usb 3-4: config 1 interface 5 has no altsetting 1
[196181.866091] usb 3-4: New USB device found, idVendor=0dba, idProduct=3000, bcdDevice= 1.43
[196181.866094] usb 3-4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
[196181.866095] usb 3-4: Product: Mbox 2
[196181.866097] usb 3-4: Manufacturer: Digidesign
[196185.401670] usb 3-4: Digidesign Mbox 2: 24bit 48kHz

When you say ‘card’ I guess you mean the USB device?

As soon as I plug my Mbox 2 USB cable in, I get a green light on the USB - but you don’t?

Have you tried booting Ubuntu Studio 18 with a USB stick and see if it is the same?

I also tried this on MacBook Pro 2010 (booting USB Ubuntu Studio 18.10) and got the exact same output from dmesg and green lights on the Mbox 2.

Hi Viktorsmari,
Sorry that I was not clear enough, this post was only a guide to help the next guy with the same problem.
So when someone searches for a solution he/she will find this post.
I have fixed the issue by updating the sound card firmware to version 1.43.

Good thinking!
I hope my addition has improved your posts google-ability :smile:

1 Like

I confirm v1.43 is the Mbox 2 firmware version that works with Linux kernel.
If older than that, you may get probe failures or sporadic noises with the interface.

You can check the current firmware version of your Mbox 2 by running this command:
sudo lsusb -vv -d 0dba:3000 | grep bcdDevice

And the links to latest (1.43) firmware are on my site here: Digidesign Mbox 2: Linux driver provided! –