NI-RFSG 21.0 Linux/x86 64-bit Architecture Readme

August 2021

This file contains late breaking news about NI-RFSG and supersedes any information found in other documentation included in the distribution.

Refer to NI Linux Technology for the most recent information about Linux support at NI.

Refer to NI-RFSG Release Notes for known issues, bugs fixed since the last release, and other release details.

System Requirements

Installation Instructions

Supported Hardware

Accessing the Help

Finding Examples


Linux Limitations

Legal Information

System Requirements

NI-RFSG software for the Linux has been tested on the following distributions:

  • openSUSE Leap 15.2
  • openSUSE Leap 15.1
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
  • CentOS 8
  • CentOS 7

NI-RFSG requires a 64-bit distribution and does not support 32-bit applications.

For more information about supported Linux versions and distributions supported by NI, refer to

Supported Hardware

NI-RFSG 21.0 for Linux supports the following hardware models:

Vector Signal Transceiver

  • PXIe-5820
  • PXIe-5830
  • PXIe-5831
  • PXIe-5831 with PXIe-5653 as LO
  • PXIe-5832
  • PXIe-5832 with PXIe-5653 as LO
  • PXIe-5841
  • PXIe-5841 with PXIe-5655 as LO

Vector Signal Analyzers

  • PXIe-5668
  • PXIe-5668 with PXIe-5698 as RF Amplifier

Installation Instructions

NI provides a repository add-on for all supported drivers that you can install using your Linux distribution's native package manager.

  1. Visit and enter the Info Code LinuxRepository.
  2. Download the installer for the repository add-on for your Linux distribution.
  3. Install the repository add-on using the rpm command.
  4. Select and install the following NI-RFSG driver packages through your Linux distribution's package manager:
    • ni-rfsg
    • ni-rfsg-daqmx
    • ni-rfsg-labview-20xy-support

After the driver packages are installed, you must rebuild the new packages for the system kernel. NI recommends that you run the command 'dkms autoinstall' after installation, and before rebooting the system, to install the latest revision of all modules that have been installed for other kernel revisions. After doing so, the installed device drivers will function immediately on the next system start.

Loading a Custom FPGA Bitfile(s)

The custom bitfile(s) should be added inside the device specific folders: $HOME/natinst/fpgaextensionsbitfiles

For example, for NI PXIe-5820, place the custom bitfile(s) inside the folder: $HOME/natinst/fpgaextensionsbitfiles/NI PXIe-5820

Accessing the Help

Use a web browser to view the NI-RFSG documentation at

Finding Examples

This release includes examples showing the use of NI-RFSA in C and LabVIEW.

C examples are located in /usr/share/ni-rfsa/examples. Make files are provided that link to the necessary libraries.

The LabVIEW examples are located in the LabVIEW examples directory.

Be sure to run the device configuration utility (described in the Installation section) before running examples.


Question: During installation, I get an error message - "Error downloading packages."

Answer: It is likely that you do not have an active internet connection. We request you to connect to the internet. If not, use Linux Distribution media to install the dependencies before installing the packages.

Linux Limitations

Some features discussed in the NI-RFSG documentation are unavailable on Linux.

NI-RFSG 21.0 for Linux does not support 32-bit versions of LabVIEW.

  • NI-RFSG supports two application development environments:
    • LabVIEW 2021
    • C and C++ (gcc)
  • NI-RFSG does not support other ADEs, such as Microsoft Visual C/C++, or Microsoft Visual Basic.
  • While NI-RFSG includes LabVIEW VIs, it does not provide other graphical utilities that are available for other operating systems:
    • The Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX) graphical configuration utility. Refer to DEVICE CONFIGURATION in the Installation section for information about configuring your device in Linux.
    • Soft front panels.
  • External calibration functions are not supported. Refer to your hardware documentation for information about external calibration, and refer to If your NI-RFSG requires external calibration, either perform the calibration on a Windows system, or hire NI or an independent calibration laboratory to perform the calibration.

Legal Information


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End-User License Agreements and Third-Party Legal Notices

Notices are located in the /usr/share/doc/ni-rfsg/NOTICES directory. EULAs are located in the /usr/share/ni/licenses 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.

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