MacOS Big Sur Issue and Temporary Resolution

Hello All. Longtime user of Mixxx. I wanted to give a little piece of advice that I’ve run into running Mixxx under MacOS Big Sur.

Mixxx needs to be run in “Low Resolution Mode” otherwise it loads in such a way that the interface is both unusable and “blown out.” Once you click to run in “Low Resolution Mode” everything works as usual, except the interface is now lower resolution and blurry, and clicks are a wee bit slower.

This will work for me, because I am now using Mixxx to stream music for a station now, as opposed to live events. However, the delay in clicks registering, even though small, will be an issue for anyone in a live event where speed is important.

MODERATOR NOTE: Mixxx 2.3 beta is now working on macOS 11 without this issue.


Launchpad bug report:

Also, if you download the newest Beta (2.3.x), the issue is fixed completely. This may be the better solution for those needing to ensure no issues with speed or switching tracks.

Thank you - when trying the new build, the screen looks right but the mac is running at a super high processing rate?

EDIT: Sorry to ask, I can’t see how to put it into low res?

Further Edit: Yup, using the Beta locks my Mac and I have to force reboot

Please test this build. It is not signed, so you will need to right click on it in Finder and open it despite the warning. You may need to be logged into GitHub to download it. GitHub inconveniently puts the DMG file inside a ZIP file, so you have to extract the ZIP first. If the performance is also unusable with that, I’m not sure we’ll be able to support macOS 11 for Mixxx 2.3.


Can you please check the following:
-Switch the “Waveform type” in the Preferences dialog to plain “RGB”
-Disable the Spinnies in the Skin Settings

Does this solve the performance issues in High-Res mode under Big Sur?

To follow-up, I am not seeing that issue. My CPU hovers around 8% and may jump temporarily to maybe 30% when loading a new song, but there is no delay in performance. It’s in my top 10 of CPU usage about half the time, but definitely not tops in usage. Memory usage is pretty “normal” for mixxx ~700MB.

I have NOT changed the spinning record animation or the waveform RGB settings.

Right click on the application and Look for the “Open in Low Resolution”

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Hi all

Can I check, I can see 2.3 and 2.4 beta’s - which should I try please?

Thanks for the low res fix - will try that now.

In terms of changing the spinnies and RGB on 2.3, I can’t even get into that - it just locks until I reboot it

Edit: Opened in Low Res and it’s locked the machine again (2.2.4)

(Also, I have to be super quick on a reboot as it reopens windows (I can’t change this) and I have to force quit them before it immediately loads up)

@kylerickards: You can try to start Mixxx from command line with the option --saveMode

Thank you for sharing this. It is good to know we can support macOS 11 with Mixxx 2.3. However I don’t know why @kylerickards is having trouble. @kylerickards, to clarify, did Mixxx only start freezing when you updated to macOS 11? It was working okay before that, right?

That’s --safeMode, not --saveMode. To try this, open a Terminal window and run /Applications/ --safeMode (assuming you installed Mixxx to /Applications; change that part of the path if you have it installed elsewhere).


Yes, mixxx was fine before the Big Sur update. Have just tested in safe mode with the reduced resolution (build 2.2-r6798). That works ok. Not tried the Beta one.

Thank you for the Terminal advice, I use Linux day to day and only my Mac a few times a week so a lot of it is not known to me!

EDIT: Mixxx is loading up without using safe but in the reduced resolution still - CPU is still on about 50% which seems high for my usual stuff.

Further Edit: No, doesn’t work in low res mode unless I use the --safe switch. Goes very weird and no responsive.

Okay, I am glad we found a usable workaround @kylerickards even if it is not ideal.

For Mixxx 2.4 we plan to change from Qt’s deprecated QGLWidget API to QOpenGLWidget. This will improve performance on macOS. However, it will require completely rewriting the code for synchronizing the waveforms with the audio output so that won’t be ready for Mixxx 2.3.

I don’t usually use macOS either. I just learned that while working on the macOS packaging for Mixxx.

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Thanks so much for helping. I tend to use Mixxx when I do my radio show on my travels but I suspect I will be in London anytime soon!

Also thank you all for the awesome work - I would have no idea where to even start!

@kylerickards @JeffreyDJ what GPU do each of you have? Perhaps the driver for @kylerickards’ GPU isn’t working well with macOS 11. The --safeMode option turns off OpenGL.

Hi Be0,

For the computer I referenced above that my station is running on is a 2020 iMac 27" with 72G Memory, and AMD Radeon Pro 5500 XT graphics with 8G memory

I use my 2017 15" MacBook Pro if I am doing a live set, though I’ve not used it recently with Mixxx. I decided to try both versions on this, and it was consistent. 2.2.4 did not work until “Low Resolution Mode” was used and then it was very laggy. I installed Mixxx 2.3 Beta, and it works fine with Low Resolution Mode off. The below is for the Macbook Pro:

When I am running mix on the 2017 MacBook Pro (16G memory), it does fire up the AMD Processor (2G Dedicated memory), but I don’t seem to have any lag. It does use a larger percentage of available CPU, though the machine is running fine. Note, that is 44% of the current CPU Usage which still is staying steady around 25%-30% total usage.

Turning off the spinning records, changing the waveforms or turning them off make no difference in CPU usage on either of my machines, as an FYI.

What GPU does this computer have?