NI-488.2 Version 19.5 for macOS Readme

October 2019

This file contains important information about NI-488.2 for macOS, including installation instructions, new features, and a partial list of bugs fixed for NI-488.2.

Refer to for the latest information about NI-488.2.

Supported Operating Systems

NI Application Software Support

Supported Hardware

Installation Instructions

Product Security and Critical Updates

Driver Version Naming Changes

List of Features not Supported in macOS

Known Issues

Enhancements and Bug Fixes

Accessing the Help

Legal Information

Supported Operating Systems

NI-488.2 supports the following operating systems:

  • macOS version 10.14
  • macOS version 10.13

NI Application Software Support

The following table lists the NI application software versions, including service packs, supported by NI-488.2.

NI Application Software Versions Supported by This Release
NI LabVIEW 2018, 2019
NI-VISA 19.0

Note:  NI I/O Trace 17.0 and later support NI-488.2 17.0. Previous versions of NI I/O Trace do not support NI-488.2 17.0 or later.

Supported Hardware

The following list contains the NI hardware supported by NI-488.2 on macOS:

  • NI ExpressCard-GPIB2
  • NI GPIB-ENET/1000

1Analyzer functionality is not supported.

2This hardware is end-of-life and not recommended for new designs. Support for this hardware may not be maintained in future versions of NI-488.2 on macOS.

Installation Instructions

Refer to the NI-488.2™ for macOS Getting Started Guide on the NI-488.2 for macOS install media for installation instructions and system requirements.


To uninstall NI-488.2 for macOS, refer to Uninstall.txt in the /Applications/National Instruments/NI-488.2 directory on the system.

Product Security and Critical Updates

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

Driver Version Naming Changes

NI-488.2 versions are now aligned with the versions of major NI application software products. This alignment gives you information about the year the driver was released and the most recent software version the driver was designed to work with. Driver versions now start with a two-digit year indicator: <ProductName><Year-BasedVersion>. For example, NI-488.2 for Windows 14.0 is the version of NI-488.2 released with LabVIEW 2014. The last version of NI-488.2 released under the old numbering scheme is NI-488.2 for Linux 3.2. The first version released under the new numbering scheme is NI-488.2 for Windows 14.0.

List of Features not Supported in macOS

The following features of NI-488.2 supported on Windows are not supported on macOS:

  • GPIB analyzer support

Known Issues

Power Management and Energy Saver Modes

NI-488.2 for macOS does not support power management. You must disable the Energy Saver Sleep Modes or make sure all GPIB handles are offline before the system enters Sleep Mode.

Upgrading NI-488.2

When upgrading NI-488.2 15.5 to later versions of NI-488.2, you may see a kernel panic on the initial boot after the upgrade. Refer to KB 7J6ELBBO for more details.

Installing NI-488.2 Generates a System Extension Blocked Message

Starting with release of macOS 10.13, macOS introduced a new security feature which requires the user to approve non-Apple kernel extensions (KEXTs). During a new installation of NI-488.2 for macOS, a System Extension Blocked notification appears. You need to approve the KEXT for NI-488.2 for macOS. Follow the steps below to approve the KEXT:

  1. Click on the Apple menu from the taskbar then select System Preferences.
  2. In the System Preferences window, select Security & Privacy.
  3. On the General tab, click on the padlock at the bottom left to be able to make changes.
  4. Click the Allow button next to the prompt 'System software from developer "National Instruments" was blocked from loading' at the bottom of the Security & Privacy window.

Link to Troubleshooting Wizard's Interface Not Listed is reported as Safari Can't Open the Page

Starting with Safari on macOS 10.14, the link to Troubleshooting Wizard's "Interface Not Listed" reports "Safari Can't Open the Page". Use one of these workarounds to view the online help page:

  • Click on Troubleshooting Wizard's Help, then click on "One or More Missing GPIB Interfaces in macOS" in the left pane.
  • Change the Safari setting to allow the page to be displayed:
    1. Launch Safari.
    2. Select Safari from the menu bar and then select Preferences.
    3. In Preferences window, select Advanced from the tool bar.
    4. At the bottom of the Advanced window, click on the check box to the left of "Show Develop menu in menu bar" to enable it.
  • Use Firefox or Chrome.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 19.5

NI-488.2 version 19.5 adds support for macOS 10.14 and LabVIEW 2019.

NI-488.2 version 19.5 does not support 32-bit applications.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 18.5

The Following Issues Were Resolved in NI-488.2 18.5

373478: In a multicontroller application, all controllers used in the application would report EPWR error if one of the controllers lost power resulting in an EPWR error.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 18.0

NI-488.2 version 18.0 adds support for macOS 10.13 and LabVIEW 2018.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 17.0

NI-488.2 version 17.0 adds support for macOS 10.12 and LabVIEW 2017.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 15.5

Support for OS X 10.11

NI-488.2 for Mac OS X, Version 15.5 adds support for OS X 10.11.

Self-Test and Device Reset features are now available for all GPIB interfaces from within MAX.

Self-Test and Device Reset features are now available for all GPIB interfaces from within Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). GPIB interfaces may be tested using the Self-Test feature, or tested programmatically through the System Configuration API. The Device Reset feature resets the selected GPIB hardware.

Note:  Although the NI-488.2 Troubleshooting Wizard remains available in this release, the functionality is deprecated in favor of the Self-Test feature.

Performance of MAX has been improved.

The GPIB-ENET/1000 configuration page can be launched using the Device Configuration command in MAX.

The following issues were resolved in NI-488.2 15.5.

12109: Calling ibonl when a board level ibwait is in progress could result in application crash.

121181: A deadlock might occur when attempting to use a board handle with pending ibonl call on another thread.

433395: Extra delay on ibwait and ibstop was removed for GPIB Ethernet-based hardware.

478063: GPIB-USB-HS+ might become unresponsive upon rebooting in a virtual machine.

518983: As a result of an issue introduced in NI-488.2 14.1, GPIB-USB-HS I/O bus communication can hang until the handle to the GPIB interface is closed when all of the following conditions are true:

  • The affected interface is not CIC (Controller in Charge)
  • A read or write is in progress
  • An ibwait including the DCAS bit is in progress
  • A device clear is received during the I/O transfer

545813: On OS X 10.11, signal termination (for example, Control + C) of a pending ibwrt with a large buffer causes subsequent ibfind to fail for GPIB-USB-HS.

546910: GPIB Explorer and Troubleshooting Wizard fail to launch after upgrading from 3.0.1 or below to 14.1 on Mac OS X 10.11.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 14.1

Updated integer types in ni4882.h

Modified the integer types used in ni4882.h and NI4882.Framework. All uses of unsigned long have been replaced with unsigned int to improve compatibility with 64-bit compilers. This API has never been documented with prior versions of NI-488.2 for Mac OS X, but ni4882.h and a 32-bit version of NI4882.framework were installed on the system. Any user utilizing these files should update their applications according to the updated function prototypes in ni4882.h. This change does not impact ni488.h or NI488.framework.

Note:  This change remains binary compatible with any user who may have previously compiled against NI4882.Framework.

New 64-bit Application Interface

NI-488.2 for Mac OS X, Version 14.1, adds a 64-bit application interface that allows users to create 64-bit applications using the NI4882 framework. Using the 32-bit version of NI4882 framework, users can use the same NI4882 API to build corresponding 32-bit applications with no source code changes. For more information about the new NI4882 API, refer to the NI-488.2 Help. You can access NI-488.2 Help from GPIB Explorer by selecting Help»Help Topics»NI-488.2 from the menu bar.

Added NI-MAX and NI-VISA

NI-488.2 for Mac OS X, Version 14.1, installs NI-VISA and NI-MAX by default. Installation can be customized by selecting Customize button during the Installation Type step.

Support for NI System Configuration API

NI-488.2 now reports GPIB controller interfaces through the NI System Configuration API.

The following issues were resolved in NI-488.2 for Mac OS X, Version 14.1.

122997: The EOIP status bit could remain set incorrectly if an ibwrta or ibrda call returned an EDVR error.

171688: An ibnotify callback could fail to be triggered by END if the notify condition included END but not CMPL.

205182: Asynchronous transfers could sometimes report EABO even though the transfer completed successfully.

240000: On GPIB-USB-B and GPIB-USB-HS controllers, ibwait and ibnotify could fail to detect the CIC, LACS, and TACS bits.

332479: On GPIB-USB-B and GPIB-USB-HS controllers, the first I/O operation after device insertion could be terminated prematurely.

374822: Calling ibonl while ibnotify is pending could cause the process to crash under some circumstances.

380705: Aborting an ibrda very quickly after starting it could allow a PCI-based GPIB interface to receive data when addressed as a listener, without a read in progress. The data is then lost and cannot be recovered.

394848: If a GPIB controller is connected to a USB port on a Thunderbolt display, disconnecting and then reconnecting the display can cause the host machine to become unresponsive.

404267: In some situations, the GPIB-ENET/1000 could hang while performing asynchronous transfers. This included fixes in both the NI-488.2 driver and the GPIB-ENET/1000 firmware. Users of the GPIB-ENET/1000 should update the GPIB-ENET/1000 firmware to version 1.1.0 to receive the full benefit of this fix.

405414: In some cases the DCAS bit was not correctly cleared after being reported, causing it to be reported with subsequent calls.

425931: Calling ibstop with an asynchronous operation in progress would sometimes not report an EABO error as expected.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 3.0.1

Support for 64-bit Mac OS X Kernel

NI-488.2 for Mac OS X now functions when using a 64-bit Mac OS X kernel.

Support for GPIB-ENET/1000 Controllers

The GPIB-ENET/100 has been replaced by the GPIB-ENET/1000. The GPIB-ENET/1000 is configured using a web interface. This interface may be launched from within GPIB Explorer, or by discovering the GPIB-ENET/1000 web server using the BonJour pane in the Safari web browser.

Revised Method for Configuring GPIB Ethernet Devices

The standalone Ethernet Config and Firmware Update utilities are no longer installed. Ethernet devices are now discovered and configured from within GPIB Explorer. NI-488.2 for Mac OS X no longer includes a utility to update the firmware on a GPIB-ENET/100 device. Should you require this capability, contact National Instruments for support.

Replacing NI Spy

NI Spy is replaced by NI I/O Trace.

Accessing the Help

Refer to the NI-488.2 Help, accessible from the GPIB Explorer by selecting Help»NI-488.2 Help from the menu bar.

Legal Information


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