NI-VISA 20.0 for macOS Readme

May 2020

This file contains important information about NI-VISA 20.0 for macOS, including supported platforms, known issues, new features, and a partial list of bugs fixed for NI-VISA 20.0.



System Requirements

NI Application Software Support

Installation Instructions

Product Security and Critical Updates

NI Software Support for 32-bit applications

New Features

Known Issues

Bug Fixes

Legal Information


NI-VISA is the NI implementation of the Virtual Instrument Software Architecture (VISA), a standard for configuring, programming, and troubleshooting instrumentation systems comprising GPIB, VXI, PXI, Serial, Ethernet, and/or USB interfaces.

System Requirements

NI-VISA 20.0 for macOS supports the following platforms:

  • macOS 10.15.x
  • macOS 10.14.x

NI-VISA for macOS currently supports the following resource types and utilities:

  • GPIB
  • Serial
  • Remote Client
  • Remote Server
  • ENET Serial
  • USB
  • VISA Interactive Control
  • NI I/O Trace

Note  NI-VISA for macOS supports only 64-bit applications.

NI Application Software Support

The following table lists the NI application software versions supported by NI-VISA:

NI Application SoftwareVersions Supported by NI-VISA
NI LabVIEW 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Installation Instructions

LabVIEW Installation

You can install all of your LabVIEW products—including NI-VISA—using the LabVIEW 2020 Platform media. Refer to the LabVIEW Installation Guide on the LabVIEW Platform media for installation instructions and system requirements.

To request additional LabVIEW Platform media, visit

Note  If you purchased this product with an NI Software Suite or NI Product Bundle, use the installation media that shipped with your purchase to install this product.

Installed Files and Paths

There are three main locations where NI-VISA installs files.

  • The local /Library/Frameworks folder contains the VISA.framework folder. This folder contains all needed headers and supporting Passport libraries that NI-VISA uses.
  • In the local /Applications/National Instruments folder, there is an NI-VISA folder. This folder includes the NI-VISA Help, as well as several groups of C examples using NI-VISA. This NI-VISA folder also includes a graphical utility called NI-VISA Configuration to configure VISA options and the VISA Interactive Control (VISAIC).
  • Finally, the /Library/Preferences folder contains an NIvisa folder with .ini files. These files are used for NI-VISA settings and status codes.

Product Security and Critical Updates

Visit for security information about NI products. Visit for information about critical updates from NI.

NI-VISA 19.0 Drops Support for 32-bit Applications in 2019

NI-VISA dropped support for 32-bit applications starting in 2019. Versions of this product that ship after May 1, 2019 (including NI-VISA 19.0) will not support 32-bit applications. For detailed information about 32-bit application support, visit

New Features

NI-VISA 15.0

Added support for NI MAX.

NI-VISA 14.0

Added support for 64-bit versions of LabVIEW.

Added support for the System Configuration API.

Added support for viGpibControlREN on TCPIP resources that use the VXI-11 protocol.


Improved performance of viRead for a HiSLIP resource.


Improved performance of viWrite for a HiSLIP resource.

NI-VISA 5.1.2

Added support for 64-bit kernel for OS X.

Added OS X 10.7 support.


Added support for HiSLIP.

Added the VISA Interactive Control (VISAIC) stand-alone application. Refer to the NI-VISA Help for more information on the updates to VISAIC.


Added OS X 10.6 support.

Added support for 64-bit formatted I/O.

Dropped GPIB-VXI support.


Added automatic detection of LXI (TCP/IP) devices that support the mDNS and DNS-SD technologies.

NI-VISA 4.0.1

Added support for the PXI/PCI Passport on the x86 architecture.

Added native support for the NI-VISA Configuration Utility on the x86 architecture.


Added support for OS X on the x86 architecture, aka Mactel.

Added support for 64-bit data transfers in register-based operations, to support the VISA 4.0 specification.

Added support for DTR/DSR flow control. The Agilent 34401A requires DTR/DSR flow control when used via Serial. Note that not all Serial port drivers on OS X support DTR/DSR. We have tested the Agilent 34401A with NI-VISA 4.0 using the Keyspan USA-19HS and verified that it works properly.

Known Issues

You can access the software and documentation known issues list online. For a list of known issues with NI-VISA 20.0, visit the list on

Bug Fixes

For a list of bug fixes for NI-VISA, visit and enter the Info Code

Legal Information


© 1995–2020 National Instruments. All rights reserved.

Under the copyright laws, this publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storing in an information retrieval system, or translating, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of National Instruments Corporation.

NI respects the intellectual property of others, and we ask our users to do the same. NI software is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Where NI software may be used to reproduce software or other materials belonging to others, you may use NI software only to reproduce materials that you may reproduce in accordance with the terms of any applicable license or other legal restriction.

Third-Party Legal Notices

You can find third-party legal notices in the /Library/Application Support/National Instruments/Legal Information directory.

U.S. Government Restricted Rights

If you are an agency, department, or other entity of the United States Government ("Government"), the use, duplication, reproduction, release, modification, disclosure or transfer of the technical data included in this manual is governed by the Restricted Rights provisions under Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.227-14 for civilian agencies and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement Section 252.227-7014 and 252.227-7015 for military agencies.

IVI Foundation Copyright Notice

Content from the IVI specifications reproduced with permission from the IVI Foundation.

The IVI Foundation and its member companies make no warranty of any kind with regard to this material, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The IVI Foundation and its member companies shall not be liable for errors contained herein or for incidental or consequential damages in connection with the furnishing, performance, or use of this material.


Refer to the NI Trademarks and Logo Guidelines at for information on National Instruments trademarks. Other product and company names mentioned herein are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.


For patents covering the National Instruments products/technology, refer to the appropriate location: Help»Patents in your software, the patents.txt file on your media, or the National Instruments Patent Notice at