Using the NI myDAQ with Apple and Mac OS X

Updated May 3, 2018

Reported In

Hardware

  • myDAQ University Kit
  • myDAQ Student Kit

Software

  • LabVIEW 2014 Full
  • LabVIEW 2014 Base
  • LabVIEW 2013 Base
  • LabVIEW 2013 Full

Driver

  • NI-DAQmx

Operating System

  • Mac OS X

Other

  • Apple MacBook
  • Apple iMac
  • Apple Mac Mini

Issue Details

I have purchased an NI myDAQ and would like to use it with my Apple Mac product and Mac OS x, is this possible?

Solution

Yes, you can use the NI myDAQ on Mac OS X and Apple Mac hardware. The recommended approach is to use the NI DAQmx driver for myDAQ developed specifically for Mac OS. However, some of our customers have also reported success using their myDAQ with Mac OS using Mac OS Boot Camp and Virtual Machines. Below are details regarding the three available methods for using NI myDAQ hardware on Mac OS:
  1. Using the NI DAQmx driver for myDAQ on Max OS X (Recommended)
The NI DAQmx driver for myDAQ can be found at this location on NI Labs. A detailed guide to help you get your system up and running can be found at Getting Started With NI-DAQmx for myDAQ on Mac OS X. In addition, you will also need a supported LabVIEW development system for MAC OS X. Only MAC OS X 10.7 (64-bit kernal only), 10.8, 10.9 with LabVIEW 2013 or 2014 are supported with this driver. 
  1. Using the Mac OS Boot Camp application to run Microsoft Windows on a Mac Computer
To run Microsoft Windows on your Mac Computer, you will need a Mac Computer that supports the Mac OS Boot Camp application and a licensed copy of the Microsoft Windows operating system. By running Windows using Boot Camp, you will be running the operating system natively on your computer, rather than inside a virtual machine running on top of the Mac OS, which option III offers below. 

To install Microsoft Windows to your Mac Computer and set up your NI myDAQ on your Mac, follow these steps
  • Follow the instructions from Apple for installing Boot Camp and Windows.  These instructions and other Boot Camp resources can be found on Apple's web site at: Apple - Support - Boot Camp.
  • Boot the Mac OS computer into Windows.
  • Follow the installation instructions available at the white paper Setting Up Your NI myDAQ
  1. Using Virtual Machine environments to run Windows on a Mac Computer 
Many customers have reported some success with using Virtual Machine (VMs) environments to run Windows for a myDAQ on a Mac. Some of these VMs include:
  1. Parallels
  2. VMWare Fusion
  3. Virtual Box

Additional Information

While the NI myDAQ is supported for Mac OS X, support is limited to the software mentioned above and neither the ELVISmx Express VIs nor the DAQmx Express VIs are supported in NI-DAQmx for myDAQ. 

For Virtual Machines, National Instruments testing with these environments has shown some performance limitations. This is mainly due to the emulation layer of USB and the amount of traffic between the VM and Mac OS.  These limitations may include: 
  • Hardware timed Analog Input may experience buffer overflows at high rates of speed on the myDAQ
  • Hardware timed Analog Output may experience buffer underflows or failure to write data.
  • Software timed I/O may experience a delay between request and read/write.
Hardware timed Analog Output performance may be increased if writes are large in size and the buffer on the host is increased.

For more information on NI hardware with VMs, see Are NI Products Supported on Virtual Machines (VMs)

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