Using the NI myDAQ on an Apple Computer with macOS

Updated May 29, 2019

Reported In

Hardware

  • myDAQ Student Kit

Software

  • LabVIEW

Driver

  • NI-DAQmx

Operating System

  • Mac OS X

Other

  • Apple MacBook
  • Apple MacBook Pro
  • Apple MacBook Air
  • Apple iMac
  • Apple Mac Mini

Issue Details

I have purchased an NI myDAQ and would like to use it with my Apple computer/laptop that has macOS, is this possible?

Solution

Yes, you can use the NI myDAQ on macOS. The recommended approach is to use the NI DAQmx driver for myDAQ developed specifically for macOS. However, some of our customers have also reported success using their myDAQ with macOS using macOS Boot Camp and Virtual Machines. Below are details regarding the three available methods for using NI myDAQ hardware on macOS:
 

Using the NI DAQmx driver for myDAQ on macOS (Recommended)

The NI DAQmx driver for myDAQ on macOS can be found on the NI Labs Community Page. 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 macOS. Only macOS 10.7 (64-bit kernal only), 10.8, 10.9 with LabVIEW 2013 or 2014 are supported with this driver. 
 

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 macOS 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 macOS, which option 3 below offers. 
 
To install Microsoft Windows to your Mac Computer and set up your NI myDAQ on your Mac, follow these steps
  1. 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.
  2. Follow the installation instructions for setting up your NI myDAQ.
 

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: Parallels, VMWare Fusion, and Virtual Box

Note: National Instruments testing with these Virtal Machine 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 macOS.  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. However, hardware timed Analog Output performance may be increased if writes are large in size and the buffer on the host is increased.
  • Software timed I/O may experience a delay between request and read/write.
For more information on NI hardware with VMs, see Are NI Products Supported on Virtual Machines (VMs)

Additional Information

While the NI myDAQ is supported for macOS, 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. 
 

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