Downloading and Installing NI Driver Software on Linux Desktop


Beginning in 2018, NI offers a new catalog of Linux Desktop support for a variety of test and measurement hardware on the PXI Express platform. With this release, there has been a change to the way that NI's driver software is acquired and installed onto a Linux Desktop system. Instead of providing an executable INSTALL script as in the past, NI now provides a repository add-on that can be downloaded and used to instruct your Linux distribution's native package manager to install NI driver software packages such as, NI-DAQmx, NI-VISA, NI-488.2, and NI-Sync.


Note: Due to updates to software dependencies, 18.0+ NI driver software cannot be installed through your Linux distribution's package manager if there is already pre-18.0 NI driver software on the system. Pre-18.0 NI driver software must be uninstalled first--please see the documentation for your pre-18.0 NI driver software for uninstallation instructions.


In order to install the desired driver software to your system, you must follow the steps described in the sections below:


Locate the Most Recent Repository Add-on

To find the available repository add-ons, visit NI Linux Device Drivers Download for the latest release of NI Linux Device Drivers. For more information on which NI drivers and versions are included in each NI Linux Device Drivers download see the Description section on the individual Download page.

Download the Repository Add-on File

Each NI Linux Device Drivers download page includes a .zip file containing the various repository add-on options (.rpm files). Each .rpm file is specific to a Linux distribution or family of distributions. The applicable Linux distribution(s) can be found in the file name of each .rpm. Please select the .rpm file that applies to the Linux distribution being used on your system.

For example, if installing NI driver software on a CentOS 7 system, you need to unzip the latest NI Linux Device, and install "rpm_RHEL7CentOS7.rpm".

Install the repository add-on

The repository add-on can be installed using the 'rpm' command with the -i flag. In the above example, the proper syntax for installation is: "rpm -i rpm_RHEL7CentOS7.rpm".

For more information on the 'rpm' command, you can consult the manpage by typing 'man rpm' from the terminal.

Figure 1: Installing the repository add-on through terminal on CentOS 7.

Install driver update repositories (optional)

In certain cases, there may be a new device driver release which is more recent than what is provided by the up-to-date repository add-on. In such cases, the newest release of the device driver requires that a repository update be installed after the repository add-on. The repository update can be found inside '', attached to the master repository download page. Such cases are noted in the 'Driver' table under 'Description':

Figure 2: In this scenario, PXI Platform Services 18.1 requires a driver update repository to install.

Download the desired NI driver software through your Linux distribution's package manager

After the repository add-on has been successfully configured, your Linux distribution's package manager can download and install NI driver software. Refer to the NI Linux Device Drivers download page for a list of package or driver names and versions which can be installed using your system's package manager.

Figure 3: Installing the NI-DAQmx driver using the Yum package manager on CentOS 7.

Finally, you must reboot the system once the installation of NI device drivers is complete before you can use your NI hardware.

Note: After installing NI device drivers, the next reboot will cause the system to install the latest revision of newly installed modules. This process is automatic and and can take several minutes, depending on how many NI device drivers were installed. In order to ensure the process is complete before using your hardware, NI recommends that you perform this step manually with the command 'dkms autoinstall' after the installation of NI device drivers is complete.

Install support for NI LabVIEW (optional)

After NI driver software has been installed, you may install driver support for NI LabVIEW if you plan to use it. Refer to the 'Application Development Environment' table in the Description section of the NI Linux Device Drivers download page for the names of packages which can be installed to provide driver support for LabVIEW. Please see Figure 3 below for an example.

Figure 4: Installing LabVIEW 2018 support for the NI-DAQmx driver using the Yum package manager on CentOS 7.