How to Access RIO Devices on a Network Computer

Updated Dec 28, 2023



  • LabVIEW
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module


  • NI CompactRIO
  • NI-RIO
  • NI R Series Multifunction RIO
  • FlexRIO


This information applies to all NI RIO devices.

I have a system with an RIO device that I would like to target from a different system on the network. Is this possible?

You can access RIO devices running on a host system with networked systems if the host system is running the NI-RIO Server. 

LabVIEW Real-Time Systems

The NI-RIO Server is started automatically at system startup. 

Windows Systems

1.  The NI-RIO Server is not set to start automatically on system startup and must be started manually or set by a user to start automatically. The NI-RIO Server can be accessed in Windows XP and later by going to the Start Menu, and then navigating to Control Panel » Administrative Tools » Services.
2.  In the Services window that opens, locate NI-RIO Server in the list, as shown below:
3.  Next, right-click on the NI-RIO Server and select Properties. In the window that opens, click the Start button to start the RIO Server, as shown below:​​
4. The RIO Server can also be set to run automatically at startup, by changing the Startup type to be Automatic, as shown below: 

Some systems also require that the user creates firewall rules to allow the NI-RIO Server to connect to the network. To do this, follow these other steps:
  1. Go to the Windows Start Menu, and search for Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security.
  2. Once you open the program, go to Inbound Rules and click New Rule...
New Rule.png
  1. Select the Program rule type and click Next.
  2. Select the option This program path and enter the following path C:\Windows\SysWOW64\nirioserver.exe. Click Next.
  3. Select the option Allow the connection. Click Next.
  4. Select the type of networks you want to apply this rule. Make sure to select the option that applies to your type of network.
  5. Enter a Name and a Description (optional) for your rule.
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 7 but now under the Outbound Rules tab.

Accessing an RIO Device From a System Running the NI-RIO Server

1.  In the Project Explorer, right-click Project: Project_Name.lvproj and select New »Targets and Devices. Within the Add Targets and Devices dialog, select Existing target or device and then Specify a target or device by IP address. Then select the Networked Computer/Device target, enter the IP address, and click OK. This will add the networked system containing the RIO target of interest to your project.

2.  To add the RIO target to the project, right-click on the Networked Computer/Device target that should now appear in the project, and select New » Targets and Devices. Within the Add Targets and Devices dialog, select Existing target or device. Then select the RIO target present in the networked system, and click OK. This will add the remote RIO target to your project. You can now access the remote FPGA from VIs running under your My Computer target.